Yonkers Daily Voice

Casino is among the successful racetracks and casino’s in the country, producing nearly a half billion dollars in economic activity in 2012, according to a new report.

The Yonkers Avenue racino attracted over 8 million visitors last year and generated more than $374 million in revenue for state and local municipalities, the New York Gaming Association found.

Included was a dedication of $331 million – or 61 percent of its gross gaming revenues – to New York state, more than $276.7 million of which went in support for education, the report said.

In addition, the casino directly employs nearly 1,200 people, 97 percent of whom live in New York.

“We’re proud to do our part as an employer and economic asset to our community, state and region and we especially appreciate the loyal support of our patrons,” Timothy Rooney, Jr., general counsel at Empire City, said in a statement.

The NYGA’s 24-page annual report released Monday outlines the economic impacts of the nine racinos throughout New York.

Together, the group generated $1.8 billion in gross gaming revenue in 2012, the report found. Of that, more than $822 million went toward education — the equivalent of 12,100 teacher’s salaries.

In addition, the nine casinos directly employed more than 6,000 workers. When factors such as construction and visitor spending were factored in, the NYGA estimates its casinos were responsible for as many as 17,000 jobs around the state.

“As this report shows, our nine existing facilities are tremendous economic assets that should be nurtured and developed,” James Featherstonhaugh, President of NYGA said in the report.

In Yonkers, gaming officials estimate more than 8 million visitors visited Empire City in 2012, including roughly 1.2 million who were not New York residents. These out-of-state visitors generated as much as $68.8 million in economic output and helped sustain more than 500 jobs, the report estimated.

Empire City’s Rooney said he expects those numbers to continue to increase as the casino wraps up a $50 million expansion project.

“We’re also very excited by the new dining and other offerings that will be available in the coming months to enhance our racing and gaming opportunities and attract even more visitors to our facility,” he said.