In a vote held on Monday, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) unanimously approved final rules and regulations required to launch legal New York retail sports betting this summer. The move was more than a year in the making, following the U.S. Supreme Court’s landmark ruling last May to strike down the federal ban on sports wagering in every state except for Nevada.
New York anticipated that ruling years before. In the wake of 2013’s voter approved referendum to allow four casinos upstate, the General Assembly followed up by passing a bill allowing those casinos to offer onsite sportsbooks provided the federal Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 was eventually repealed.
That law lay dormant for the last 13 months. However, when every member of the NYSGC signed off at Monday’s hearing, the four casinos below were officially invited to apply for an official New York retail sports betting operator’s license:
Resorts World Catskills (Monticello)
Rivers Casino and Resort (Schenectady)
Tioga Downs (Southern Tier)
del Lago Resort and Casino (Finger Lakes)
With such an extended runway to yesterday’s approval, that licensing procedure is merely a formality. All four venues have already partnered with bookmakers to run the backend of their planned sportsbooks.
Including the state’s seven tribal casinos, New York retail sports betting outlets are expected to go live in time for this Fall’s NFL football season.
New York joins the rapidly lengthening list of states to either launch or legalize sports betting since the Supreme Court ruling.
Only two months after the Supreme Court ruling was handed down, del Lago Resort and Casino inked a deal with daily fantasy sports (DFS) and sportsbook operator DraftKings.
The DFS titan turned sportsbook would launch its first venues, both online and brick and mortar, in New Jersey by late 2018.
When the del Lago partnership was announced, DraftKings founder and chief executive officer Jason Robins issued a press release praising New York as the East Coast’s next sports betting hotspot:
“New York is one of the largest revenue opportunities for future sports wagering operators and we are thrilled to partner with del Lago Resort & Casino to offer sports fans a unique and novel sports betting experience, both at a physical sportsbook and on mobile when permitted.”
Brent Stevens – co-chairman of del Lago – followed up with his own statement celebrating DraftKings as the perfect sports betting partner:
“We see DraftKings as a fantastic and strategic partner in our sportsbook operation at del Lago Resort & Casino, and this deal represents a tremendous move forward for our property in general. Our partnership with DraftKings combines one of the most recognizable brands in sports with the top resort and casino brand in New York and represents an incredibly important moment for gaming in the Upstate region.”
Continuing, he added: “We look forward to working closely with DraftKings to create a dynamic, engaging and innovative sports betting experience for New Yorkers.”
Justin Moore – general manager of Rivers Casino & Resort – has told local media outlets that his venue’s parent company Rush Street Gaming is already hard at work building an onsite bet shop:
“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. 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.”
Governor Andrew Cuomo is already on record as stating that the 2013 law wasn’t written widely enough to allow online / mobile wagering.
Cuomo isn’t opposed to the online / mobile vertical, but he’s encouraged lawmakers in the General Assembly to clarify matters by sending a bill to that effect his way.
That may not happen in time, however, as the legislative session is scheduled to conclude next week on June 19.