Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong Sr., opened the new Seneca Allegany Sports Lounge and placed the first sports bet Tuesday morning.
The opening of the sports lounge “opens a new chapter” in the Seneca Nation’s development of the local gaming experience, Armstrong said at a ribbon-cutting ceremony inside the Seneca Allegany Resort and Casino, The Salamanca Press reports.
It follows the opening of sports betting at the Buffalo Creek Casino in Buffalo a few days earlier. The Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino is expected to open soon.
Armstrong said patrons will be able to experience televised sporting events like the Buffalo Bills, Sabres and Bandits. Yankee baseball games will also be broadcast on giant flat-screen televisions as well, the president said. There is a wall of touchscreens where patrons can place bets, or a guest desk where sports bets can be made with attendants.
“I’m proud to see how this area has grown over the past 15 years,” Armstrong told those attending the ribbon-cutting ceremony. “The Seneca Nation is proud to be a leader in growth in Western New York.”
Holly Gagnon, president and CEO of Seneca Gaming Corporation, was very excited about the opening of the Sports Lounge. She said the sports betting “is uncharted territory,” but that the betting at the Buffalo casino was better than initially expected.
The new sports betting is in person only at the present time. The computer infrastructure used for the in-person sports betting is the same software that can run a mobile program, Gagnon explained. “We’ll be ready if we get that (mobile betting) approved.”
The new sports lounge has numerous tables and chairs with good views of the flat screen televisions. Food and beverages are also available.
“This is monumental for our gaming entertainment,” Armstrong said. Especially Bufflalo sports fans. “Mobile betting will be a big deal,” the Seneca president said.
The state Legislature may address the issue in the coming session, but the roll-out could be another year away.
Pagula Sports is a partner in the Seneca Allegany Sports Lounge. Sabres mascot Sabretooth and Sabres alum Don Luce were also on hand for the ribbon-cutting.