The state Gaming Commission approved rules that will permit betting at 4 upstate casinos — likely in time for NFL season
ALBANY — Gambling regulators in New York have voted to allow sports betting at four upstate casinos.
The state's Gaming Commission approved regulations Monday that will permit wagers at Resorts World Catskills in Monticello, Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, Tioga Downs in the Southern Tier and Del Lago Resort and Casino in Seneca County.
Bets won't start until the facilities receive their wagering licenses, however, which is likely to be later this summer. The state's tribal casinos plan to allow wagers too.
The commission initially endorsed the idea of allowing sports wagering at the four facilities earlier this year. Legislation that would authorize wagers at sporting venues or on mobile devices has been introduced but has so far not received a vote in the Legislature.
In May, del Lago began construction on its Draftkings Sportsbook, expecting the regulation to pass. The 6,000-square-foot lounge on the casino floor would be where people can watch games and place bets.
"We don't really look at it as a standalone generator of either income or revenue," said Mark Juliano, del Lago general manager, "but we look at it as an amenity that people will come to enjoy, and while they are here hopefully also enjoy other parts of the casino, other parts of the hotel, our restaurants."
It should be in place in time for the biggest wagering period of the year — when the NFL kicks off in September.
New York has trailed some states that acted soon over the Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting. New Jersey, for instance, saw nearly $90 million put down on games during just the first month of the 2018 NFL season.
A state law passed in 2013 declared some sports gambling in certain venues would be permitted if the federal ban on such gambling were ever overturned. The U.S. Supreme Court did indeed throw out the federal sports betting ban with a decision in May of 2018. But the betting could not begin without a regulatory framework in place, which happened Monday. Among other stipulations, the regulations mandate that gamblers must bet on sporting events in person, not on the internet or on the phone, in designated, licensed wagering lounges.
The 2013 legislation did not mention the state’s racetracks such as Batavia Downs or Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack in Farmington — which is just a 27-mile drive away from del Lago — or New York’s numerous off-track betting parlors, so the new regulations do not apply to them.