• The FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs is slated to launch Friday afternoon.
  • FanDuel is hoping to replicate the success of its New Jersey Meadowlands sportsbook in New York.
  • With no online component, FanDuel has gone all-in on its Tioga Downs sports betting lounge.

NEW YORK – The wait is finally over for New York sports betting, as the Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady officially took its first public wagers on Tuesday. This makes New York the tenth US state to offer legal sports betting.

While this is a watershed moment for the state, it’s not even the biggest New York sports betting event this week. That distinction belongs to the Tioga Downs Casino Resort, which will be launching its sportsbook on Friday afternoon.

Tioga Downs is scheduled to take its first bet at 2:30 p.m. on Friday, July 19. New York assemblywoman Donna Lupardo is slated to place the ceremonial wager.

Though the Rivers Casino may have been first to market, it’s the Tioga Downs sportsbook that has people talking. This is primarily due to its FanDuel partnership, with the bookmaker owning fully half the market in neighboring New Jersey.

FanDuel Tioga Downs GM Sam Cawthray believes his brand can dominate New York with the same success it’s found over the border in East Rutherford as the in-house book at The Meadowlands.

“Having Meadowlands as a base is an advantage like no other. We are able to take key learnings from the largest sportsbook on the East Coast and apply them to our new venture at Tioga Downs,” said Cawthray.

Cawthray believes that the FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs is situated to be “the Jewel of the Empire State.”

As for opening the book in July during a decided lull in popular betting action, FanDuel sees an advantage there, too.

“July is a great time to open,” said Cawthray. “It gives our staff plenty of preparation time before the start of football.”

It will also give bettors time to get comfortable with the layout and amenities of the FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs. Of course, given the luxurious installation of the dedicated sports betting lounge, that shouldn’t take too long.

What To Expect At The FanDuel Sportsbook At Tioga Downs

When patrons step into the Tioga Downs Casino, they’ll see the FanDuel Sportsbook featured prominently near the main entrance.

The venue will include the typical array of cutting-edge tech, and if you’ve ever been to the flagship FanDuel book at The Meadowlands, you’ll feel right at home.

The Tioga Downs betting lounge takes up 2600 square feet of floor space and features 27 HDTVs, a huge video wall, eight ticket windows where you can place wagers with casino attendants, and 14 self-service kiosks for placing live bets quickly and easily.

The venue also includes room for up to 50 customers, has lounge seating and high tables for small parties, and offers tableside drink service. There are also two drink rails available for those bettors who are – understandably – a bit too excited to sit down.

What About The Other New York Casinos?

With the Rivers Casino launching sports betting Tuesday and Tioga Downs following suit on Friday, eager bettors in New York might be wondering about the state’s other two commercial casinos.

Whether or not these venues – the del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo and the Resorts World Catskills in Monticello – will open their sportsbooks in time for football season remains to be seen.

Currently, the upstate casinos have not yet received licensing approval from the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC). However, both are currently building out their sports betting lounges and should be ready to take wagers by early September.

Per New York law, the state’s seven tribal casino operations can also open sportsbooks now that commercial sports betting has formally launched. While there is no advertised timeframe for when that might happen, at least two tribal operators have recently signed deals with mainstream sportsbooks.

By NFL season, sports betting should be reasonably available statewide. Online and mobile betting, unfortunately, will have to wait until at least next year.

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