Elbow river casino. Rivers Casino in Schenectady offers new place to play - Times Union

In a corner next to the poker room at Rivers Casino &, Resort is Van Slyck's, something of an entertainment triple threat just a few feet away from the bustling 50,000-square-foot gaming floor. River casino.

Video poker machines are sandwiched between table games, slot machines and an entertainment lounge for bands and disc jockeys. For the casino's operators, Van Slyck's is a microcosm of the things people can experience when &mdash, starting today &mdash, they visit the sprawling facility on the edge of the Mohawk River.

The casino will feature 1,150 slot machines, 67 table games and 15 poker tables but it will also house restaurants &mdash, everything from a high-end steakhouse to a burger stand and pastry counter &mdash, live entertainment and a spa.

Just beyond the entrance to the parking garage is a posh event center with a courtyard and riverfront banquet terrace where weddings and corporate functions can be held.

"We have everything booked from 25 people to 500 people," Carney McGuire, director of sales for Rivers, said.

Rivers Casino general manager Mary Cheeks said boxing and mixed martial arts matches are also planned for the 10,000-square-foot center that can accommodate about 900 people.

"We want to do a lot of sporting events because sporting in a casino just is a natural," she said. "We're easing our way in to understand who our customer base is before we start a heavy-hitting marketing strategy, but we're going to have a lineup that we introduce or announce pretty soon,"

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Big name local and nationally recognized disc jockeys as well as live bands will be on stage at Van Slyck's.

"It's really the only place where you can catch the game, catch the band, and gamble, all simultaneously," said Rivers' marketing vice president Danny Brockdorf. "This is really the only place in the Capital Region where you can do all three of those things under one roof."

The $330 million casino complex also includes the full-service Splash Spa, offering massages and manicures in addition to other beauty and relaxation treatments. An adjacent 165-room hotel is nearing completion and is expected to open by summer. Among the restaurants, Dukes Chophouse, the upscale steakhouse, will have a riverfront patio featuring live entertainment during warm weather.

The casino is part of a larger $480 million Rivers Casino &, Resort at Mohawk Harbor project developed by business partners Galesi Group of Rotterdam and Chicago-based Rush Street Gaming.

Rivers Casino &, Resort will be located adjacent to Galesi's new $150 million mixed-use Mohawk Harbor building project, which includes the 124-room Courtyard by Marriott hotel that's already open and a planned 50-slip harbor on the Mohawk River.

In a 2014 executive summary that Galesi and Rush Street submitted to the state, they projected $233 million of "stabilized gaming revenues" by the third year of operations, $82 million of annual gaming taxes and fees, and $50 million in annual payroll and tax benefits.

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Last year, the city and county of Schenectady received $2.5 million of the $50 million licensing fee that Rush Street paid to the state while several other area counties got a share of that money ranging from $1.7 million on the high end that went to Albany County and $180,000 on the low side to Schoharie County. The city and county of Schenectady and the city school district are expected to reap millions more in revenue.

Meanwhile, the Capital Region has a new place to play.

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Where will the chips fall?

&bull, The county and city each received $2.5 million in casino licensing fees this year.

&bull, The city received $1.045 million in mortgage recording tax.

&bull, The county received $522,900 in mortgage recording tax.

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&bull, The city and county will receive annual payments from casino revenues of $4 million.

&bull, This does not include sales tax, bed tax and property tax.

Source: Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority

Posted by at 06:52PM

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