Empire City Casino Ninth Annual Toy and Coat Drive

Christmas came early at Empire City Casino with the presentation to Catholic Charities of nearly one thousand toys and coats collected during the casino’s Ninth Annual “Christmas Spirit” Toy and Coat Drive. The donations will ensure that New Yorkers in need have a warm coat this winter and a toy or two to put under the Christmas tree for their children. Timothy J. Rooney, president and CEO of Empire City Casino, presented the annual donation to Monsignor Kevin Sullivan, executive director of Catholic Charities of the Archdiocese of New York but also surprised the service organization with a surprise gift…a donation of $10,000 to assist them in continuing to provide vital services to New York families in need. This year’s “Christmas Spirit” Toy and Coat Drive began November 9th and generous donors have given over 600 toys and more than four hundred coats. The toys and coats will be distributed through Catholic Charities community agencies to families in need. The toy and coat drive has become a holiday tradition at Empire City Casino and thousands of toys and coats have been donated since 2007 when the campaign was first launched.

New Year’s Eve Celebration at Empire City Casino

Empire City Casino is the winning destination to ring in 2016 in style with a wide variety of New Year’s Eve party packages and musical performances throughout the evening on Thursday, December 31. Players can also try a hand on the newly-added electronic blackjack or three-card poker tables, or sit down at a slot machine for the chance at a jackpot to celebrate the arrival of the New Year. Both the (trackside) Empire Terrace Dining Room and The Good Time Room will offer special dinner packages that include live entertainment, while the Entertainment Lounge, Dan Rooney’s Sports Bar and Alley 810 will each provide musical interludes throughout the evening.

9th Annual Toy & Coat Drive Kicks Off to Help Families in Need

For the ninth consecutive year, Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway and Catholic Charities will team up to make the holiday season a little warmer and a little brighter for families in need. Empire City will host the “Christmas Spirit Toy and Coat Drive” Tuesday, November 10 through Wednesday, December 9. Empire City will be accepting donations every day throughout the month-long drive at the main promotions booth. Patrons are asked to bring new, unwrapped toys and/or new or gently used coats anytime during that period. The items will be delivered to Catholic Charities-supported agencies for the Christmas holidays.

State-of-the-Art Blackjack & 3-Card Poker Arrive in New York

High-tech electronic Blackjack and Three Card Poker tables are making their debut at one of New York’s most successful entertainment destinations, Empire City Casino. A provision in New York State’s budget was approved April 1st, setting the stage for Empire City to add state-of-the-art, electronic Blackjack and Three Card Poker tables, two of the most popular casino games. Empire City has been aggressive in its roll out of the new machines in an effort to boost revenues and help retain the billions New York residents spend at casinos in neighboring states. Blackjack fans are enjoying the advanced technology offered by more than 165 new Blackjack seats at Empire City. Nearly 200 positions will be available in the coming months, with an additional 300 added in the near future. Players confirm that this new, high-tech Blackjack allows for a faster pace of play without the intimidation of live tables yet plays exactly as traditional casino Blackjack, sans handheld cards and chips. The game sets up betting stations with a virtual dealer offering electronic cards, and players make decisions such as whether to hit or stand via touchscreen.

Tim Rooney, Owner of NY’s Empire City Casino to be Recognized as One of State’s Top Leaders in Corporate Social Responsibility

On Tuesday, October 20th, Timothy J. Rooney, son of Steelers founder Art J. Rooney, Sr. and president & CEO of Empire City Casino, will be honored at City & State Magazine’s Corporate Social Responsibility Awards (CSR) Breakfast, which will recognize leaders in the Hospitality, Gaming and Tourism industries. Rooney will be the recipient of the Special Award for Excellence in Workforce Diversity, Corporate Giving & Community Engagement. As the owner of the largest private employer in the fourth largest city in New York, Rooney employs nearly 1,300 employees, representing 14 different unions, with an annual payroll of over $45 million. As a family-run business, Rooney considers each employee to be a member of his extended family and works to create and maintain a diverse workforce. Nearly two-thirds of the current workforce identifies as either minority or female, and over half of the management team does as well.


Last week, the 10 greatest trotters in the world were on the historic Yonkers Raceway oval for the revival of the Yonkers International Trot. This Sunday, October 18th, the great field behind the starting gate will be much larger – 2,000 strong – on the track for an important international cause – the “Walk to Cure Diabetes.” Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway Vice President and COO Bob Galterio’s daughter Cara was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes at age 9, and the longtime executive immediately was compelled to take action to fight the disease. So, “Cure for Cara” was born. That was 15 years ago, and on October 18th, the several thousand Empire City employees, volunteers and participants will gather to take action in the Walk to Cure Diabetes for JDRF. Galterio will serve as captain of the “Cure for Cara” team. Cara is now 25, and will be married later this month.

Arrival of 7 Europeans & 1 American at JFK Garners International Attention

An international flight touched down at John F. Kennedy Airport Thursday morning, carrying very special cargo – eight of the world’s finest harness horses. The high-performing athletes will compete to win a $1 Million purse in the International Trot being held at Yonkers Raceway on Saturday, October 10, 2015. A world-class event, the International Trot returns after a 20-year hiatus. Horses and drivers representing Norway, Sweden, Italy, France, Canada and the United States will compete to win the richest purse in the history of the famed Yonkers Raceway. Originally hosted at Roosevelt Raceway for nearly thirty years, the International Trot was taken over by Yonkers Raceway when Roosevelt permanently closed its doors in 1988. Yonkers Raceway president and CEO Tim Rooney, a passionate operator, horse breeder and owner, took over as host for harness racing’s global classic that year, bringing Roosevelt’s Lew “Tootie” Barasch aboard to spearhead the effort. Yonkers staged the International for seven years thereafter.


Platinum turned to gold last night! A New York City resident hit a six figure jackpot on Sunday night at Empire City Casino. Leslie S. scored for $105,921.52 on the Quick Hit Platinum slot machine in the Gotham Palace at 6:08 PM. The Quick Hit is a penny-denomination slot, and the winner made a $3 wager to hit the jackpot. A life-changing million dollar jackpot – currently worth $1,400,049 and growing – is still up for grabs on the popular Wheel of Fortune Triple Stars slot machine at Empire City. It ballooned past the $1 million mark on April 15, which has guests coming to the Westchester casino from far and wide to try their luck.

As Students Head Back to School, an Historic Source of Education Funding Continues to Provide

As New York’s 2.7 million students head back to their classrooms, they’ve got school supplies and homework on their minds. It’s unlikely anyone in the state, from Allegany to Suffolk counties, is thinking about the downstate destination that continues to fund New York’s education coffers. Similarly, fall means football to many. And while football fans across the state know the Rooney name from the legendary Pittsburgh Steelers, few likely know it is the investment of Tim Rooney, son of Steelers founder Art J. Rooney, Sr., they can credit for generating nearly $25 million a month for New York State’s schools. Tim Rooney owns and operates Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway in Westchester County.

New York’s Best Totters and Pacers Go Head-to-Head in ‘Night of Champions’ with $1.8 Million in Purses on the Line

On Saturday, September 12th, the best trotters and pacers bred in New York State will descend on the historic Yonkers Raceway at Empire City Casino for the first of the two-part annual New York Night of Champions. The competition was inaugurated in 1990 by the New York Sire Stakes (NYSS) and celebrates its 26th anniversary this year. For the first time, the competition will be held on two nights. On Saturday, September 12th, the Empire State’s best three-year-olds will compete in four Sire Stakes finals, each racing for a purse of $225,000. Part two of the competition will take place on Saturday, September 26th, with New York’s premier two-year-old trotters and pacers taking center stage in four races, going after their share of $900,000. Total purses for the two nights are $1.8 million, with all eight races again sponsored by prominent Empire breeding farms.