The American Gaming Association (AGA) made its latest stop on the American Gaming Small Business Jobs Tour at Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady in New York on Tuesday. At the roundtable event, local leaders from the community touted gaming’s strong impact in the area and across the entire state. The event highlighted the 350,000 small business jobs nationwide supported by the gaming industry and the thousands of small business jobs supported by the industry in New York.
Rivers Schenectady opened earlier this year and has already had a positive economic impact on the area through job creation and tax revenue generation. In New York alone, gaming employs more than 14,000 people, supports $828 million in wages, generates over $1.3 billion in tax revenue and has an economic impact of over $3.6 billion.
Gaming industry stakeholders and local media packed a standing-room only space to hear remarks from:
- Gary McCarthy, Mayor of Schenectady;
- Mary Cheeks, general manager of Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady;
- Ray Gillen, chairman, Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority;
- Jeff Stark, president, Greater Capital Region Building Trades Council;
- Tracy Terry, VP of Sales, Digital XPress;
- Philip Morris, CEO, Proctors;
- Jennifer Lawrence, executive director, SEAT Center; and
- Steve Doty, director of media relations, AGA.
Ray Gillen, chairman of the Schenectady Metroplex Development Authority, introduced the panel and highlighted AGA’s American Gaming Small Business Jobs Tour, which showcases gaming’s strong partnership with small businesses.
Mary Cheeks, general manager of Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady, welcomed attendees to the event and highlighted how Rivers has trained hundreds of local employees throughout the region since Rivers opened its doors earlier this year.
Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy touted the economic benefits his community has seen from the opening of Rivers earlier this year, while praising the property for being a “game changer” for the region.
Jeff Stark is the president of the Greater Capital Region Building Trades Council, where he works with project owners, contractors, and construction managers to keep construction costs down, as well as helping to resolve employee related issues. He highlighted the good-paying, high-quality jobs created by the casino.
Jennifer Lawrence is the executive director of the SEAT Center, which provides education and training programs for underrepresented populations, businesses, and communities. She noted “the breadth of jobs” that the casino has helped to create.
Several small business representatives highlighted the positive impact that Rivers had on their business. Philip Morris, CEO of Proctors, helps to book events that take place at the casino. He highlighted that his business has expanded because of his partnership with the casino. Tracy Terry, VP of Sales at Digital Xpress, has a printing business that works with the casino. She said that she’s been able to grow her business and said it’s been a “great partnership.”
Several New York publications covered the event. The Daily Gazette (NY) previewed the roundtable: “Schenectady panel to focus on casino impacts on small business.” CBS Albany also highlighted the event. CDC Gaming Reports wrote that the casino has helped “to revitalize [the] Schenectady economy.”
The American Gaming Small Business Jobs Tour is part of AGA’s Get to Know Gaming (G2KG) campaign, a multiyear, integrated public affairs campaign rooted in authoritative research which touts the value of gaming nationwide. We’ve had many events across the country this year, and have several more in store for the rest of the year.
We will continue to travel to communities all across the country to highlight gaming’s positive story.