Sports betting is currently legal at the four upstate commercial casinos. Land-based sports wagering was approved in 2013. However, there are currently no legal New York sportsbooks open. While the four commercial casinos in New York are the only ones who can currently apply for a sports betting license, lawmakers are looking to expand the option to tribal casinos and off-track betting facilities.
Back in 2013, New York voters passed a referendum that allowed for gambling expansion in the state. The New York Gaming Economic Development Act allowed for the construction of four commercial casinos in upstate New York. As part of that Act, those casinos were permitted to allow sports betting, so long as each casino got approval from the state’s gaming commission.
The Supreme Court ruling in May of 2018 to remove the federal ban on sports betting has allowed for the state of New York to make steps towards launching sports betting at those casinos.
New York’s Four Commerical Casinos
Tioga Downs Casino Resort
Tioga Downs Casino was the first of the commercial casinos to open its doors in December 2016. A $134 million expansion turned this former horse track into a full-fledged casino. Tioga Downs Casino is owned by Jeff Gural, who also owns Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. Meadowlands Racetrack is home to FanDuel Sportsbook. We can logically expect to see Tioga Downs with a FanDuel New York sportsbook and potentially PointsBet Sportsbook as well.
Del Lago Resort & Casino
Del Lago Resort & Casino was the second commercial casino to open in New York in February 2017. del Lago is the largest of the four upstate commercial casinos, with 94,000 square feet of gaming area. del Lago has already formed a partnership with DraftKings Sportsbook to operate its sportsbook.
Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady
Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady opened a week after del Lago in February 2017. This $330 million property is owned by Rush Street Interactive, the same as Pennsylvania’s Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. You can expect a similar betting platform at Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady as the one at Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh. Mobile betting applications should be identical as well.
Resort World Catskills
Resort World Catskills is the newest of the four commercial casinos. This whopping $1.2 billion property opened its doors in February of 2018. They have already made their sports betting partnership as well, teaming up with European company Bet365.
Mobile Betting In New York
It was believed that an amendment to the New York State Constitution would be necessary to allow for mobile wagering. However, a number of top law firms in New York have said that no amendment is needed to allow for mobile sports betting. Once legislation passes, we will see how far DraftKings & FanDuel will push this theory. We have seen both companies be aggressive in New York City in the past.
For the state of New York to make the most out of sports betting, mobile betting is a must. It is estimated that 25 percent of the revenue generated in New Jersey from sports betting comes from New York residents.
Mobile sports betting has recently taken a step towards legalization. Earlier this month the New York Senate Racing, Gaming and Wagering Committee advanced a sports betting bill unanimously. The bill, S 17, will now head to the Senate Finance Committee. These are the easy hurdles for the bill, as the Senate has already included sports betting in their budget. The difficult hurdles for S 17 will be passing through the Assembly and eventually getting Governor Cuomo’s signature.
Senator Joseph Addabbo, chairman of the Senate Racing, Wagering and Gaming Committee introduced sports betting bill S 17. The bill would allow for mobile sports betting at commercial and tribal casinos. Under the bill, anyone over the age of 21 will be eligible to place a legal sports wager in New York.
Future of New York Sports Betting
With neighboring New Jersey, and soon enough Pennsylvania sports betting going live, mobile sports betting is a must. New York City, which has a population of 8.17 million is too far from the state’s commercial casinos. Residents of New York City won’t travel four hours to place a bet when they can simply cross into New Jersey and bet on their phones. With nearly 43 percent of the state’s population in New York City, it is crucial for New York sports betting to include mobile wagering. If not, those residents will continue to travel out-of-state to place their bets.
The current legislative session ends on June 19. Therefore, S 17 may be the state’s last chance to get legal sports betting this year. The clock is ticking in New York.