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Niagara Falls hotel/casino boosts Seneca Gaming profits Profits doubled in fourth quarter

Seneca Gaming Corp.'s new hotel and casino in Niagara Falls already is paying off.

The tribal-owned casino operator's fourth-quarter profits doubled as the opening of the company's 604-room hotel and casino accounted for most of Seneca's 25 percent increase in revenues.

The new hotel, which opened partially last December and completely at the end of March, "has allowed us to more aggressively market to, and attract higher-value gaming patrons," said John Pasqualoni, Seneca's president and chief executive officer.

The hotel also has allowed Seneca to broaden the area that the Niagara Falls hotel and casino draws its customers from and to get those patrons to stay longer, he said Tuesday.

Seneca's profits jumped to $41.7 million during the quarter that ended in September, slightly more than double the $20.7 million it earned a year earlier, before the new Niagara Falls hotel and casino had opened.

The company's revenues grew by 25 percent to $150 million from $119.9 million a year ago. Most of the increase came from a 23 percent increase in Seneca's gaming revenues, which rose to $139.4 million from $113.5 million, mostly because of the impact of the new gambling complex in Niagara Falls.

The Niagara Falls hotel and casino accounts for almost two-thirds of Seneca Gaming's total revenue. The complex brought in $96.9 million in gaming revenue during the fourth quarter, up 32 percent from $73.5 million a year earlier.

Total revenues at the Falls complex, which include hotel and food and beverage sales that are largely offset by the cost of promotions offered to patrons, grew by 35 percent to $105.7 million from $78.1 million.

The company's Seneca Allegany Casino increased its gaming revenues by 6 percent to $42.5 million from $40 million. Seneca expects to open a new casino at its Salamanca site later this month, followed by the opening of a new 212-room hotel, costing between $156 million and $167 million, by the end of March. Total revenues grew by 6 percent to $44.3 million from $41.8 million.

e-mail: drobinson@buffnews.com

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