• Rivers Casino and Resort Schenectady will be the first sportsbook to launch in the state of New York.
  • Tioga Downs Casino Resort is set to start accepting sports wagers on Wednesday.
  • Sports betting in New York is restricted to land-based establishments, as mobile betting was not approved in this year’s legislative session.

Schenectady, N.Y. – The wait is finally over. Pending New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) approval, Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady plans to be the first gaming venue in the state of New York to start accepting sports bets on Tuesday, July 16, following a ribbon-cutting ceremony at 10 a.m.

The event will feature state and local officials, local VIPs, and appearances by former New York pro football and baseball players.

The sports betting area is adjacent to Van Slyck’s Lounge, located directly off the casino gaming floor. The area encompasses a total of 5000 square feet, can hold up to 80 guests at a time, and features dozens of LED screens for viewing the most updated odds boards and live sporting action.

Mobile sports betting in New York did not pass in this year’s legislative session, however, the sportsbook at Rivers Casino Schenectady offers visitors 14 betting kiosks and six betting windows to place all their sports wagers.

Their NY sportsbook lounge officially began construction back in May of 2019 but has had to wait for the NYSGC to finalize regulations for the activity. They weren’t the only ones waiting.

Tioga Downs Casino Resort is also expected to launch a soft opening of their FanDuel powered sportsbook on Wednesday, July 16 before holding an official ribbon-cutting ceremony of their own on Friday, July 19. New York State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo will have the honor of placing the first bet on Friday.

“I am confident it will be a great amenity to our facility and I’m looking forward to officially cutting the ribbon on Friday,” said Jeff Gural, owner of Tioga Downs and the Meadowlands Raceway in New Jersey.

The sportsbook at Tioga Downs casino will feature eight betting windows, 14 self-service betting kiosks, and seating for more than 50 customers. Because the sportsbook is powered by FanDuel, the odds set at Tioga Downs will closely mirror those set at their Meadowlands Racetrack location in New Jersey.

Rivers Casino and Tiago Downs are two of four commercial gaming venues approved by New York voters to operate sportsbooks during a 2013 voter referendum. The other two locations that will eventually offer legal sports betting include del Lago Resort & Casino and Resorts World Catskills.

An exact timeline for when they will launch sportsbooks has yet to be announced.

Sports betting in New York was also approved for Tribal casinos. On Monday, the Oneida Indian Nation announced their plans to launch sports betting at their Turning Stone and Point Place casinos on August 1, 2019. The Oneida Nation originally announced a partnership with Caesars in anticipation of this.

With so many sports teams and fans in New York, sports betting is expected to be a highly competitive marketplace. The need to get out ahead of the competition is crucial which is why Rivers Casino Schenectady and Tioga Downs are so eager to start their operations, despite being in the dog days of Summer.

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