• Tioga Downs is converting their existing racebook area to a comprehensive sports betting hub.
  • The renovations should be complete within the two-month “public review” window for New York’s sports betting laws.
  • The Tioga Downs sportsbook will be operated by FanDuel.

NICHOLS, N.Y. – Tioga Downs, one of New York’s four upstate casino venues, is beginning construction on its sports betting lounge. New York has finally posted its sports wagering rules and regulations for public review, and sportsbooks could be up and running by late May.

After first being technically legalized by public referendum in 2013, legal sports betting has taken years to materialize in the Empire State. That’s thanks to the erstwhile federal sports wagering ban not being overturned until May 2018.

Now, with the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA, 1992) a thing of the past, New York’s legislators have been hard at work to get the industry regulated with a comprehensive set of rules.

Those rules have now been posted for public review, officially kicking off the home-stretch for the launch of sports betting in the state.

You can find New York’s sports betting mandates here. This collection of laws is commonly known as “PART 5329” and would be added to Title 9 of the New York Codes, Rules and Regulations (NYCRR).

While the law is up for public debate in this two-month window, there is no palpable opposition to any of the proposed regulations, and the review process should be smooth sailing.

Though there are lobbyists working to get online sports betting and mobile sports betting legalized in New York, this current slate of standards cannot and will not be modified to include such. New York considers Internet-based sports betting to be an expansion of gambling.

Tioga Downs Will Be Ready For Launch By May

In anticipation of sports betting approval at the end of the 60-day review session, Tioga Downs has undertaken to renovate its existing horse betting area into an all-purpose sportsbook and racebook lounge.

Per 12 News WBNG, venue owner Jeff Gural is pleased with the schedule, and he believes that Tioga Downs will be ready to open its doors to the New York sports betting public as soon as the state gives it the green light.

“Our racing starts in the middle of May, so if we could have the sportsbook going by the end of May, early June, that’d be great,” said Gural.

As for what the book will offer once it’s open to the public, you can expect it to boast all the bells and whistles of any top-tier sports wagering operator. Tioga Downs marketing direction Jim Weed minces no words when discussing what the sportsbook will have on hand.

“[Our book will be] very similar to what you see in Las Vegas. [Casinos] have a designated sportsbook, and that’s where people will make their wagers on any sport you can think of.”

One caveat to the above is that NCAA gambling will be subject to New York Gaming Commission oversight on a case-by-case basis. This means that you may not be able to wager on every collegiate contest featuring New York-based teams (or games being played within state borders).

Otherwise, it does seem that the Tioga Downs sportsbook – which will be managed by FanDuel – will offer action on all major national and international sports and sports leagues. Turnout should be strong upon launch, but reliable handle and revenue numbers will have to wait until the NFL betting season kicks off in September.

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