he Oneida Indian Nation’s Turning Stone and Point Place casinos in Central New York plan to have a grand opening celebration of their sports betting lounges on August 1. They join a race in which at least eight Upstate New York casinos, and up to 11, are aiming to open the state’s first legal sports books this summer.
Rivers Casino & Resort in downtown Schenectady announced Friday it plans to open its betting lounge, Rivers Sportsbook, following a ribbon-cutting at 10 a.m. Tuesday. That would be the first in the state. Tioga Downs, west of Binghamton in the Southern Tier, said it is aiming to open its sportsbook as soon as Wednesday. Both Rivers and Tioga are still awaiting official license approval from the New York Gaming Commission.
The Oneidas’ Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona and Point Place Casino in Bridgeport new lounges will be followed by the sportsbook at Yellow Brick Road Casino to open later this summer, before the start of the NFL season. All will be operated by the Oneidas in partnership with Nevada-based Caesars Entertainment, under the name of “The Lounge at Caesars Sports.” They will combine food and beverage service in a sports bar setting with betting windows and kiosks.
The three Oneida Nation casinos are among the eight sports betting lounges currently under development across Upstate New York. It is expected that all will open this summer and before the upcoming football season. Under current New York law, the casinos will only take bets from customers physically located within the sports lounges, as there is no legal online betting. And bets cannot be made on New York college teams, or on any collegiate event held in the state.
Additional details about the August 1 grand opening festivities will be revealed next week.
“The Lounge with Caesars Sports” venues at the Oneida Indian Nation’s casinos will feature LED terminals with high-definition resolution, state-of-the-art odds boards that constantly update and offer opportunities for in-game wagers, as well as new full-service bars, ticket windows, ultra-comfortable seating, and VIP areas with their own dedicated TV screens.
At Turning Stone, the lounge will be prominently located at the resort’s main entrance. It will feature a massive 500-square-foot curved LED screen, with acuity similar to Times Square, visible from three sides and to visitors entering from the main entrance and the parking garage. Plus, there are additional 16 large LED TVs throughout the sports book, including a mix of 65-inch screens and 85-inch screens to put the viewers at the center of the sports action.
The new sportsbook at Point Place Casino will be in the newly expanded gaming floor, with the primary video wall featuring a 24-foot HD LED screen, plus an additional 30 LED TVs throughout the space, a mix of both 65-inch screens and 85-inch screens.
Sports fans also have an opportunity to join the Oneida Indian Nation’s just-launched Champions Fan Club to receive the latest sportsbook news and information about exclusive events and become eligible for special offers. The Champions Fan Club is completely free to join.
Champions Fan Club members who sign up before the grand opening on August 1 will be eligible for a selection of prizes and exclusive opportunities, including one lucky member who will win a Grand Opening Prize package. This prize package will entitle the winner and three friends to be among the first to enjoy the VIP experience at Turning Stone’s new sports betting lounge, including premium seating, $50 in food and beverage credit, a $100 cash voucher and much more. All Champions Fan Club members present at the grand opening will receive a free “The Lounge with Caesars Sports” t-shirt and a chance to win additional prizes during the day’s festivities.
Moreover, through this new relationship, Turning Stone, Yellow Brick Road and Point Place Casino players will be able to exchange and redeem their TS Rewards loyalty points, as well as have their player tier levels matched, for Caesars Rewards Points at all Caesars properties, with the same exchange available for Caesars players at Oneida Indian Nation properties. Caesars will also sponsor special player promotions and events at its new partner venues.