Board cites strong evidence of local support, workforce development plans, track record of Rush Street Gaming and the Galesi Group in its unanimous recommendation
SCHENECTADY — The New York State Gaming Facility Location Board unanimously recommended today Rush Street Gaming’s Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor for a gaming facility license from the New York State Gaming Commission. It was the sole gaming facility application to be recommended in New York’s Capital Region.
“I’d like to thank the Gaming Facility Location Board for its thoughtful review of all applications in the State of New York. We’re very pleased the Board has recommended Schenectady to host one of Upstate New York’s casinos,” said Rush Street Gaming Chairman Neil Bluhm. “We operate successful gaming facilities in other major markets, and we look forward to working in New York. Our attention is now turned to working with our outstanding local partners, including our development partner the Galesi Group, to make this vision a reality.”
“Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor will be a tremendous benefit for the entire Capital Region, thanks to a premier location, a great development team and strong local partnerships that are going to put hundreds of New Yorkers to work,” said Rush Street Gaming CEO Greg Carlin. “Schenectady is ready, we are ready, and we look forward to being a part of this vibrant community.”
Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor will be a $300 million gaming facility featuring a 50,000-square-foot gaming floor with 1,150 slot machines and 66 gaming tables. A high-end steakhouse, a “marketplace” with lite fare restaurants, an entertainment lounge, a banquet facility and a spa will also part of the project, as will a 150-room hotel and a parking garage, both to be attached to the gaming facility. Public outdoor open spaces and riverfront walking and biking trails will be part of the project.
The gaming facility will be an integral part of the $150 million mixed-use Mohawk Harbor waterfront development currently under construction by the Galesi Group. The mix of residential, retail and commercial space will be complemented by a second 124-room hotel and a 50-slip harbor on the Mohawk River and Erie Canal.
“Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor will cement Schenectady as the entertainment capital of the Capital Region,” said Galesi Group COO David Buicko. “Rush Street Gaming deserves recognition for its outstanding gaming facility proposal, as does the entire Schenectady community for its support. Our work is already underway at Mohawk Harbor, and the inclusion of a gaming facility will make this destination the premier waterfront development in Upstate New York.”
In its selection report, the members of the New York State Gaming Facility Location Board explained their unanimous recommendation for Rivers Casino & Resort, noting among other attributes a solid financing plan, the track record of the operator and developer, strong evidence of local support, a workforce development plan and the gaming facility’s inclusion in the mixed-use Mohawk Harbor development.
“The Board finds that Rush Street is a gaming company with experience in developing, financing and operating entertainment and gaming destinations on a scale comparable to the proposed Rivers project. … The Board concludes that Rivers offers the superior proposal based upon consideration of all of the statutory factors,” the Board’s report read.
Rivers Casino & Resort is expected to create approximately 1,200 permanent jobs, in addition to approximately 1,400 construction jobs. Part of the plan to fill those jobs will include a partnership with Schenectady County Community College and its Casino and Gaming Management program.
The gaming facility will be built on the former site of the American Locomotive Company, which is one of the oldest brownfields in the country. The state environmental quality review process has already been completed.
“I am incredibly enthusiastic about what Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor will be bringing to the City of Schenectady. Both Rush Street Gaming and the Galesi Group have a tremendous track record of success, and both organizations have been responsive, responsible and simply outstanding to work with through the application process,” said Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy. “I’d also like to thank the Schenectady community for the support shown for Rivers Casino & Resort over the past months. Our city will be made all the stronger thanks to this project, and we can’t wait until the ribbon is cut.”
“The decision of the Gaming Facility Location Board is a game changer for Schenectady County and our successful efforts to revitalize our historic downtown,” said Anthony Jasenski, Chairman of the Schenectady County Legislature. “Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor will generate millions of dollars in tax revenue for Schenectady County, the City of Schenectady, and our local school districts, while creating an estimated 1,200 jobs for our residents. Thank you to our unified economic development team and everyone who has helped to bring this project home, especially our partners at Rush Street Gaming, The Galesi Group, and the City of Schenectady.”
About Rush Street Gaming – Founded by Neil Bluhm and Greg Carlin, Rush Street Gaming and its affiliates have developed and operate successful casinos in Pittsburgh, Philadelphia and Des Plaines, IL (Chicago area). By placing an emphasis on superior design and outstanding customer service, Rush Street Gaming has become one of the leading casino developers in the United States. Its casinos generate over $1 billion in annual gaming revenues, and all Rush Street Gaming casinos were voted a 2014 “Best Place to Work” or “Top Workplace” by their team members.