By Sarina Trangle
Resorts World has all its cards on the table.
After a few rounds of boasting double-digit growth rates, the South Ozone Park racino remains the highest-grossing gambling venue in the nation, but appears to have plateaued, gaming analysts said.
“They’re kind of tapped out capacity-wise. If they don’t get table games, a hotel, they’ve reached a level where there’s nowhere to go but down,” said Alan Wionski, head of the gambling consulting company Gaming USA Corp. in Paramus, N.J. “It’s not like more customers are going to suddenly appear.”
Woinski said monthly financial reports show Resorts World has posted small 2 percent spurts and dips, hovering around a modest, single-digit growth rate since its fiscal year began April 1.
Chad Beynon, senior analyst for gaming, lodging and theatres at Macquarie Securities Group in Manhattan, cited a similar tapering off in revenue.
“Their growth has kind of subsided to a more normal rate,” he said. “The only way to make more than this is to expand your property… they would have to work out a local agreement given the traffic to do more development.”
As its third anniversary approached, Resorts World trumpeted earnings from its roughly 5,000 video lottery terminals.
“Resorts World Casino continues to exceed all expectations, serving as an unparalleled economic engine for New York state,” President Ryan Eller said in a statement. “In a declining market Resorts World Casino continues to show year-over-year growth. Our unrivaled commitment to providing the best gaming and entertainment options on the East Coast will allow us to grow our business today and in the future.”
Analysts said the nationwide casino market is oversaturated.
Resorts World, which is a subsidiary of the Malaysian gambling giant Genting, said it has amassed $476.03 million about five months into its fiscal year. About $327.4 million of this has gone to the state, bringing its total state tax payments up to $1.5 billion.
The racino committed to donating 1 percent of its profits to community organizations and this year donated to City Harvest, the Boys & Girls Club of Metro Queens, New Hamilton Beach Civic Association and Sandy relief efforts.
It counted about 23,578 visitors per day and 707,340 per month in the current year.
In all, its revenue grew 13.8 percent last fiscal year, according to the New York Gaming Commission.
This year Resorts World declined to discuss its prospects.
Woinski noted the company might be more tight-lipped because it is competing to open another facility upstate.
He said the state’s introduction of up to four gambling houses upstate is unlikely to affect Resorts World, but noted New Jersey’s discussions of a casino in the Meadowlands could change the game. Woinski estimated Resorts World would see about a 30 percent dip in revenue if a competitor opened in Meadowlands, while Beynon put the impact much lower at about 10 percent.
Woinski said it would not make sense for Resorts World to invest in a hotel, convention center or other development unless it got consent to build a traditional, full-scale casino, which the state has said it would not consider for at least seven years.
Beynon said such developments may make sense if there is demand among surrounding businesses for convention space, but that the average Resorts World customer visited for two to four hours and would likely prefer to sleep in their own bed.
“It depends on business demand and at this point, I think they’re trying to pencil that out,” Beynon said.
Reach reporter Sarina Trangle by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at (718) 260–4546.