On Tuesday, New York became the latest state to offer legal and regulated sports betting.
Bettors in the Empire State can now place sports bets at the Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady, the first licensed New York casino to accept sports wagers.
Several casino representatives, local politicians and athletes attended the ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Rivers sportsbook.
State Assemblyman Gary Pretlow placed the inaugural bet at the River Sportsbook on Tuesday morning.
Speaking at the ceremony, Rivers Casino & Resort general manager Justin Moore said: “Many people worked very hard to make legal sports wagering a reality in New York State, and we thank all of them for their tireless efforts and dedication.”
Schenectady’s Mayor, Gary McCarthy, who also spoke at the ceremony said: “The opening of Rivers Sportsbook will surely attract even more guests to the property and to our great city. Looking ahead, we are also hopeful that our leaders in Albany will see how hard Rivers Casino is working to keep up with growing regional competition and recognize how important it is for them to address structural tax disadvantages in the market.”
More sportsbooks coming
Rivers won’t be the only sportsbook for Empire State bettors. Three other casinos in upstate New York, as well as a handful of tribal casinos, have plans to launch sports betting operations in the coming weeks.
On Wednesday, the FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs in Nichols began live testing and is expected to complete testing on Friday.
Earlier this week the Oneida Indian Nation announced that its joint venture with Caesars, The Lounge at Caesars, would be launching very soon.
The Lounge at Caesars at the Turning Stone Resort in Verona and Point Place Casino in Bridgepoint are set to launch on 1 August.
The Caesars branded sportsbook at Yellow Brick Road Casino is expected to launch in time for the start of the NFL season.
No mobile betting in NY
At this moment in time, betting in New York is limited to in-person sports wagering at one of the four licensed upstate venues or an authorized tribal casino.
The legislature’s attempts to legalize mobile and online sports betting in New York were unsuccessful this year.
As a result of this, the state could miss out on a significant amount of revenue as punters are likely to travel across state lines to place a quick mobile bet rather than travel to one of the upstate venues.
Lawmakers are likely to attempt to modernize New York’s sports betting law and legalize online and mobile betting in 2020.
The journey to legal betting in NY
Six years ago, the state of New York legalized land-based sports wagering through the 2013 New York Economic Gaming Act.
The law essentially allowed four upstate casinos in New York to offer sports betting if the federal law prohibiting the activity was amended or overturned.
After the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was struck down in 2018, lawmakers began work on sports betting in New York.
Now, six years after the passage of the Economic Gaming Act, New York has legal and regulated sports betting.