Less than a year in and Rivers Casino GM is stepping down


After having only been open for nine months, Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady reportedly announced that Mary Cheeks would be stepping down from her role as general manager immediately.

While news of the position being vacated was a surprise to many, according to TV station News 10, some locals said the casino, which held its grand opening on February 8 this year, hasn’t had the impact they expected it would have.

According to the news agency, Cheeks left to “pursue other opportunities,” per a statement from the casino.

Councilman Vince Riggi reportedly said he “was kind of surprised” by the news. He told News 10 that the $330 million casino located on the edge of the Mohawk River in eastern New York has underperformed revenue projections. And while Riggi would not say Cheeks’ departure and the casinos less than stellar performance were directly related, he did say, “When the team underachieves, the manager is first to go.”

Rivers is one of three licenses awarded in Upstate New York in December 2015, including del Lago Resort & Casino located in Waterloo, between the cities of Syracuse and Rochester, which opened on February 1st and the $1.2 billion Montreign Resort Casino, now Resorts World Catskills, in rural Sullivan County, which is expected to open in March 2018.

Rush Street Gaming’s fourth ground-up casino development, Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady reportedly posted a $3 million profit its first week of business with gross gaming revenues reaching $23.1 million.

According to USA Today’s Democrat & Chronicle, the Schenectady casino estimated gross earnings of $222 million in its first year of operation, however, it has in its first seven months brought in $82 million and is on pace to wrap up its first year approximately $80 million under the initial projection.

Del Lago fared even worse according to the report, as even with 800 more slot machines than the Rivers casino, in its first seven months brought in just $6 million more than Rivers. That reportedly sets del Lago on pace to come in at least $100 million off what was originally projected at $263 million for its first year.

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For the time being, Justin Moore, Rivers assistant general manager, will assume the general manager role.