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NY casinos prepare for sports betting launch


New York’s first legal wagers are set to be placed this week, with Rivers Casino in Schenectady and Tioga Downs in Nichols poised to launch their sportsbooks on 16 July and 17 July respectively.

While each venue is yet to be awarded a licence by the New York Gaming Commission, both have scheduled launch events for later this week. Rivers has an opening day planned for July 16, for its new sports lounge. The lounge will feature an LED video wall and 22 additional TV monitors, as well as 16 betting kiosks and six staffed betting windows.

“We couldn’t be happier to start construction on our new sportsbook and we’re looking forward to opening one of the first licensed sportsbooks in the state of New York at Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady,” said Rivers Casino & Resort acting general manager Justin Moore.

“We think sports fans and sports bettors throughout the Capital Region and beyond will be thrilled with the new sportsbook and are looking forward to welcoming them into the casino to place legal wagers for the first time.”

Tioga Downs, meanwhile, aims to soft launch its FanDuel branded sportsbook on July 17, with an official ribbon-cutting ceremony set to take place on July 19. New York State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo will place the first bet.

Under rules approved by the state Gaming Commission in June, New York casinos will be able to take bets on sports in their facilities. However, mobile betting remains illegal as a bill from Senator Joseph Addabbo failed to pass through the Assembly. Per the regulations, operators will pay a 10% tax on sports betting revenue.

Land-based sports betting was legalized in New York through a 2013 law permitting the establishment of additional commercial casinos in upstate areas. Though the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was still in place at the time, the bill included an amendment to give New York the right to regulate wagering should it be struck down.

Tribal gaming operator the Oneida Indian Nation also plans to enter the state’s sports betting market, launching its new Caesars Entertainment-powered sportsbook at two properties on August 1, with a third to follow in September.

The Lounge with Caesars Sports is planned to open at  Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona and Point Place Casino in Bridgeport, while the sportsbook will open at Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango, NY for the start of the NFL regular season in September.

Turning Stone Resort Casino is the oldest of the three Oneida Indian Nation Casinos, founded in 1993 and has a 100,000 square foot game floor. Yellow Brick Road casino followed in 2015 and Point Place in 2018. All three are located in central New York.