he New York Gaming Commission unanimously approved Monday 6-0 rules and regulations for licensing, opening and operating sports betting facilities across Upstate New York. That makes it the 14th state to legalize some form of sports betting.
Most estimates say the New York sportsbooks should be operating by about August 1, ahead of the upcoming NFL football season. The rules approved Monday at the commission’s meeting in New York City have some limits: players can only make bets in person in the sports lounges at the state’s four new commercial casinos, or potentially at the region’s seven full-service Indian nation-owned casinos. Bettors are also prohibited from placing wagers on New York college teams, or on collegiate events taking place within the state.
“Our lawyers say you can’t do anything on sports betting other than in brick and mortar casinos,” Commission member Jerry Skurnik, according to the New York Post. The commission finished drafting rules governing sports betting in January, and the voted on the final product Monday following a public comment period. The new rules allowing sports betting do not take effect until they are published in the State Register, which could happen as early as June 26.
State lawmakers are working on some bills to revise the rules, most significantly a proposal to allow online betting through mobile devices or home computers. But that must be approved by June 19, when the 2019 state Legislature session ends for the year, and win approval from Gov. Andrew Cuomo.
Those changes appear unlikely this year, as Cuomo has indicated he believes online gambling would require an amendment to the state constitution, a process that could take two to three years.
The four commercial (non-Indian) casinos that would be allowed to host sports books are Resorts World Catskills in Sullivan County; del Lago Resort & Casino near Waterloo in the Finger Lakes; Tioga Downs west of Binghamton in the Southern Tier, and Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady. Some of those lounges are already under construction.
The Oneida Nation has started construction on its lounges, to be located in its big Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona and the Point Place Casino in Bridgeport, and later in the Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango. The Senecas and Mohawks have not yet announced their plans.
Del Lago general manager Mark Juliano said the exact timetable for applying for and obtaining a license to operate is still a bit uncertain. “But we have been tracking with (the state), keeping them aware of what we’re doing,” he said, New York Upstate reported. He believes that communication should help the licensing process proceed smoothly.
Del Lago will operate the sports book in partnership with DraftKings, the Boston-based daily fantasy sports company. It will be a 6,000-square-foor bar/restaurant setting, where fans can watch games on high-defintion LED terminals or on the floor-to-ceiling, video display walls. Players place wagers at 20 self-service betting kiosks or at one of the DraftKings cashier stations. Monitors provide continually updated odds and updates, allowing for for in-game wagers.
The Oneida Nation announced Monday it has hired Las Vegas sports betting veteran Justin Arnett as director of sportsbook operations at its three casinos. He has mostly recently managed racing and sports books at The Venetian, The Palazzo and Lagasse’s Stadium in Las Vegas.
The Oneidas are partnering with Vegas-based Caesars Entertainment to operate the sports lounges, which will also feature bar and restaurant service in addition to betting. Partners for other Upstate casino sports books are Resorts World Catskills with bet365; Tioga Downs with Paddy Power Betfair, and its daily fantasy sports arm, FanDuel Sports; Rivers Casino & Resort with Rush Street Gaming, its Chicago-based parent company.