Sports wagering will be a legal pastime in New York later this summer after gambling regulators voted to allow sports betting at four upstate casinos. Resorts World Catskills in Monticello, Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, Tioga Downs in the Southern Tier and Del Lago Resort and Casino in the Finger Lakes can all begin offering bets once they are licensed.
Up to seven tribal casinos will also likely open up sportsbooks, but as yet there is nothing built into the legislation to allow mobile betting, leaving New Yorkers lagging behind their New Jersey neighbors when it comes to gambling from the convenience of their smart phones. Operators will pay a 10% tax on revenue from sports wagering which is permitted on all sports except for collegiate match-ups.
Commercial partnerships have already been struck between casinos and sportsbook providers. Rivers has partnered with Rush Street Interactive, while bet365 will power Resorts World Catskills’ sportsbook. Del Lago has chosen DraftKings and Tioga Downs has a tie up with BetFair US sportsbook FanDuel.
Prior to yesterday’s vote the backer of the state’s sports betting bill Senator Joseph Addabbo, had filed a revision to the legislation that would allow in-person wagering in counties that don’t have gambling venues. This would pave the way for venues including Yankee Stadium, Madison Square Garden and the Barclays Center which would essentially become affiliates to casino operations.
Interviewed on WCBS-880 radio, Daniel Wallach, co-founder of the Sports Wagering & Integrity Program at the University of New Hampshire Law School, described the revision as a “win-win” for New York. He commented: “That’s your core audience, not your slot machine players, not craps players, not blackjack players. Your core audience are those people who spend money consuming sports.”
As for what happens next, the big questions remains as to whether or not New York will have a form of mobile sports betting in the near future. And that question has to be decided within the next few days. There is a mobile bill being pored over, but with the legislative session due to end on June 19 time is running out and, as yet, there is no official word that it will even be voted on.
It will need a softening of approach from state Governor Andrew Cuomo who has consistently displayed little short of contempt for mobile wagering, regardless of the potential revenue it could deliver. This one looks like it will go to the wire.