Six years after voters approved legal sports betting in the Empire State, the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) has finalized regulations for retail bet shops operated onsite in casinos.

The NYSGC vote on June 10th was unanimous, allowing any of the four commercial casinos listed below to apply for a sportsbook operator’s license:

  • Resorts World Catskills (Monticello)
  • Rivers Casino and Resort (Schenectady)
  • Tioga Downs (Southern Tier)
  • del Lago Resort and Casino (Finger Lakes)

Each of these upstate casinos, along with several of New York’s tribal casinos, are already hard at work building sportsbook facilities in cooperation with third-party bookmakers.

NY Catching Up After Being Ahead of the Curve

The U.S. Supreme Court paved the way for states to legalize and regulate sports betting last May, via a 6-3 decision to repeal a federal ban on the industry everywhere but Nevada.

But lawmakers in New York have long anticipated that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 would eventually be struck down. They put the measure to voters in a 2013 ballot referendum, before passing a pre-PASPA repeal bill that same year.

Nonetheless, seven states – Delaware, New Jersey, Mississippi, West Virginia, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island – have beaten New York to the proverbial punch by going live with legal wagering.

And the list will swell in the months to come, as similar bills have been approved in Arkansas, Montana, Indiana, Iowa, Tennessee, and Washington D.C.

Now that the NYSGC has officially signed off on brick and mortar sportsbooks, bettors have been told to expect a full-scale launch in time for the start of the upcoming National Football League (NFL) season this September.

Casinos Already Gearing Up to Add Sports Betting

Last July – with the sports betting regulation gold rush already in full swing in neighboring New Jersey – del Lago Resort and Casino formed a partnership with DraftKings.

After successfully diversifying its daily fantasy sports (DFS) product to manage sportsbooks – both brick and mortar and online/mobile – in the Garden State last year, DraftKings signed on to manage del Lago’s backend bookmaking when wagering in New York goes live.

In a press release issued at the time, Jason Robins – the co-founder and CEO of DraftKings – hyped New York as the next emerging market for sportsbook operators to pounce on:

“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 of del Lago echoed those sentiments by framing DraftKings as the best partner based on brand awareness alone:

“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.

We look forward to working closely with DraftKings to create a dynamic, engaging and innovative sports betting experience for New Yorkers.”

All four of the state’s commercial casinos have secured similar arrangements, including Tioga Downs’ deal with DraftKings DFS rival FanDuel.

That partnership – minted last June between FanDuel parent company Betfair and Tioga Downs – will likely see New Jersey’s revenue duopoly between the two DFS titans continue on a larger scale.

Tioga Downs LLC chairman Jeff Gural has high hopes for FanDuel affiliation after the company helped make his Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey the state’s undisputed market leader:

“Sports betting is a great opportunity for Meadowlands and Tioga Downs.

We went through a diligent process and reviewed several options to provide customers with the best sports betting experience possible.

In the end, Betfair’s world-leading products and experience proved the best choice.”


Scroll to Top