Tioga Downs Casino Anticipates Legal Sports Betting In New York
New York may have technically been one of the first states to legalize sports betting behind Nevada, but it has yet to authorize any operators to start accepting bets.
The current law permits existing commercial casinos to offer sports betting, and the marketing manager at the Tioga Downs Casino Resort has been vocal about his hopes for the future of legal sports betting in New York.
On Monday, Jim Weed spoke with the Binghamton Rotary Club #64 regarding the planned expansions to the gaming and amenities at Tioga Downs. While he mentioned hotel renovations and a new golf course, it was the opportunity to offer sports gambling that highlighted the discussion.
"The sports wagering, I think, it just adds a different level. So you're going to have some of your current customers that are also going to wager on sports, but you're also going to have new customers as well. So we're looking forward to seeing what it may bring," stated Weed.
Weed went on to add that the casino property has been patiently awaiting the arrival of legal sports betting in New York. Like other states with sports betting legislation, gaming operators worked toward launching their sportsbooks before the start of the 2018 NFL season.
As we enter Week 3 of the NFL season with the New York Jets at Cleveland Browns, there are no signs of sports betting regulation in the Empire State. Weed expressed that there have not been any updates as to when to expect lawmakers to take action, but the hope is that there will be progression by next year.
The problem with the current legislation, titled the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act Of 2013, is that it lacks regulatory details. The law tasks the New York Gaming Commission with promulgating procedures related to sports gambling.
Another point of contention is that the current law restricts sports betting licenses to just four commercial casino properties - Del Lago Resort & Casino, Tioga Downs Casino, Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady, and Resorts World Catskills. There are tribal casinos, racinos, and OTB facilities that also want to offer sports betting in New York.
The last major point that has yet to be addressed is mobile and online wagering. The Act does not specifically mention if either will be authorized, though New York does already have a mobile product for horse betting.
That being said, lawmakers in the state are working toward introducing new sports betting bills. Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, chairman of the Racing and Wagering Committee, most recently introduced A11144 which would expand sports wagering to any licensed off-tracking betting location or race track.
SportsBettingNewYork.com thinks it's clear that the New York Legislature will need to fine tune the details related to sports wagering, but authorizing legal sports betting was the first step. For now, Weed believes that all operators can do is wait for the legal process to unfold.
"We're hoping maybe shortly after the first year there will be something. But, again, we really don't know. We're hopeful. We know it's coming around and it's going to add another demographic to our client base and create more excitement out there for us.”
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