Penn National inks New York market access deal with Rivers Casino owner

Penn National Gaming could gain access into New York’s proposed online gambling market thanks to its latest partnership.

Penn National Gaming has secured market access for New York’s proposed sports betting and online casino markets after striking a partnership with the Rivers Casino owner Capital Region Gaming.

The market access deal

Yesterday, Penn announced that its subsidiary Penn Interactive has signed a 20-year “strategic partnership” with Capital Region Gaming for “second-skin access” into New York’s proposed online gambling market.

The deal will see Penn offer its online gambling products under Capital Region Gaming’s licence.

Penn’s entry into the market is subject to the necessary legislation being signed into law and receiving regulatory approval.

Jon Kaplowitz, Penn National’s Sr. Vice President of Interactive Gaming, said: “Gaining potential access to what could become one of the nation’s most lucrative sports betting markets has been a major priority for our Company.

“We are hopeful that the New York State Assembly will follow those leading revenue producing states that allow for multiple skins for mobile sports betting. A state the size of New York certainly warrants open competition and a free market approach.”

In its announcement, Penn explained that it currently plans to launch its online sports betting app in at least 10 states by the end of 2021. Kaplowitz said that Penn had been encouraged by its strong performance so far in the state of Michigan

Kaplowitz said: “We’re very encouraged by the initial results we’ve seen in Michigan, as we registered over 48,000 new customers and generated total handle of $27.5m during the first 10 days of operation.”

Is online sports betting coming to New York?

The Empire State legalized land-based sports wagering through the 2013 New York Economic Gaming Act. The passage of this law allowed four upstate casinos in New York to offer sports betting if the federal law prohibiting the activity was amended or overturned.

New York launched legal and regulated sports betting in July 2019, with the opening of the sportsbook at the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady.

In January, New York’s Governor Andrew Cuomo, who once opposed the introduction of online gambling, announced his support for the legalisation of online sports betting as a means of bolstering the state budget.

New York’s legislators are considering legislation that would allow for true state-wide mobile betting in the state. Meanwhile, Cuomo is pushing for a sports betting model in which one or more sports betting providers would be selected through a request for proposal. 

Last month, Spectrum Gaming Group published its study on the expansion of gambling operations in the state of New York and suggests that mobile sports betting in the Empire State could generate between $816m and $1.14bn in annual gross gaming revenue.

The report was originally commissioned by the New York State Gaming Commission in 2019 and was scheduled to be delivered in December 2019. However, the study was pushed back to June 2020 before being delayed indefinitely as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

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