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Virtual golf and other casino news


MONTICELLO, NY — The powers that be at Resorts World Catskills continue to open new attractions to lure customers to the growing casino complex. The latest announcement is that a new hotel called Alder with 101 rooms will open later this month. The Alder will feature a virtual golf facility called TopGolf Swing Suite.

The suite will be 350 square feet, filled with two bays, which can hold up to eight people each. According to a press release, the suites feature “Full Swing Golf simulators, which are the same as those used by Professional Golfers Association (PGA) Tour professionals Tiger Woods, Jordan Spieth and Jason Day for off-course practice. Aspiring golf pros and amateurs alike will be able to hit the virtual greens all year round.”

Statistics on the company’s website says that in 2017, 37,000 people per day visited one of its facilities and 51% of the visitors were non-golfers. The company makes a point of saying people other than golfers will enjoy the suites just as much as experienced duffers. Word from one blogger bears that out. After visiting a TopGolf facility in Laurel, NJ, in November Mark Matthews of the website 42Freeway (tinyurl.com/ybrfna4y) wrote, “The key thing here is… while golfers will definitely find a home at TopGolf, the designers of TopGolf have succeeded in making this a fun trip out for everyone.”

TopGolf was formed in England in 2006 and has quickly expanded throughout the U.S. The company now has 50 venues, 46 in the U.S., three in England and one in Australia.

Virtual golf is not the only new attraction coming to the casino complex. The Alder Hotel will also feature a restaurant called Dos Gatos Cantina (two cats bar). The bar is described as “an upscale cantina-style eatery offering classic Mexican fare with a fresh twist... it will feature a full service bar with more than 120 types of tequila and margaritas on tap.”

Alder promotional materials say TopGolf and Dos Gatos Cantina are opening in late December, but say the Alder is accepting reservations for January 4 and beyond.

Resorts World Catskills, meanwhile, awaits action by the New York State Gaming Commission to finalize rules on sports betting in the state. In May, the Supreme Court of the United States struck down a national law dating to the early 1990s that banned most sports betting in all states except Nevada. New Jersey, where the Atlantic City casinos are struggling, brought a lawsuit and the high court agreed that states are free to decide if they want to allow sports betting or not. Now, about 30 states are moving to cash in on sports betting.

Even though sports betting is not yet legal in New York, Resorts World Catskills is taking advantage of its expected arrival by teaming up with the online British sports betting giant bet365. The company announced in November that it will buy up to $50 million worth of shares of Empire Resorts—the parent company of Resorts World Catskills—in exchange for having the profits from sports betting over a 20-year period.


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