The president of Delaware’s highest-grossing casino says today’s gambling market cannot support two new gaming venues in the First State.
In fact, William Fasy says it can barely sustain the three casinos already in existence: his own Delaware Park, along with Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway. His opinion is shared by the owners of the other casinos based in the other two counties.
“It should be noted that in 15 years we haven’t lost money – up until November,” Fasy said in response to proposed legislation that would allow new casinos in New Castle and Sussex counties. “November, December and January were the first three months we lost money since slots were installed.”
Fasy blames the economy and a glut of new casinos that opened recently in Pennsylvania and Maryland for Delaware’s struggles. And he can’t understand how adding two more venues would help.
“The market’s not there,” he said. “They opened up all the Pennsylvania casinos, two casinos in Maryland. The market hasn’t grown, it’s gone down. Look at Atlantic City and look at us. We’ve had three straight years of negative declines.”
And there’s something else Fasy doesn’t think is necessary: another committee. Unlike previous casino legislation, the latest bill would establish a commission to determine the location of the new casinos.
Fasy says the state already has a committee, the House Gaming and Pari-Mutuel Committee.
“I don’t understand why another committee appointed by one individual without the legislators represented at the table with them makes sense to the legislators.”
The proposed Lottery Redevelopment Committee, to be appointed by the governor, would include the Secretary of Finance, the Delaware Economic Development Office director, a retired judge, a retired law enforcement office and a retired banker.