Goal is to substantially bolster marketing program and competitive position in response to gaming in Pennsylvania

Empire Resorts will significantly expand its use of “free play” credits for players at Monticello Casino & Raceway, the company said.

The credits can be used by customers at the more than 1,300 slot machines at the Catskill-based casino.

It is expected that this program will substantially bolster its marketing program and competitive position in response to the expansion of new casinos and aggressive marketing programs in Pennsylvania.

“The primary purpose of the enhanced free play marketing program is to gain market share back from Pennsylvania casinos,” said Charles Degliomini, executive vice president, Empire Resorts. “Free play is a potent marketing tool, along with other programs such as advertising and promotion. Players will begin to see a much larger use of coupons and credits to keep them coming back to Monticello. Pennsylvania has a different legal and regulatory structure for its casinos and these differences have given Pennsylvania casinos an advantage in their use of free play.”

Monticello Casino & Raceway President and General Manager Cliff Ehrlich said Monticello looks forward to rewarding customers with extra playing time and an improved gaming experience. “With our new management and marketing input from Delaware North Companies, this enhanced marketing program will help us level the playing field,” he said.

As approved by the New York State Lottery, the free play program will have an initial pilot period of 12 months, with a performance evaluation after six months.