With anticipation high that New York State will be placing sports bet by the first NFL snap of the regular season, the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort in New York announced it is partnering with The Stars Group to offer in-person sports betting.
Both parties are also keen to make mobile betting available.
The agreement also grants Stars Group, a Canadian-based gaming company affiliated with Fox Sports that formed sports betting company Fox Bet, an option to brand and operate poker and casino in the state. Those gaming rights are subject to license availability and approvals.
"We are excited to announce this agreement with Mohawk, which further strengthens our market access as we work to build our FOX Bet business into one of the leaders in the emerging U.S. online betting and gaming market," said Robin Chhabra, CEO of FOX Bet, the new U.S. sports betting brand of The Stars Group.
The Saint Regis Mohawk nation have agreed to run a sports lounge with The Stars Group, the Stick’s Sports Bar & Sports Book that will feature an HD video wall and 25 additional TV screens plus dining and a bar. It is scheduled to open sometime in the fall.
"We are thrilled to elevate the sports betting experience for our guests in our new sports lounge, a 5,200 square foot sports betting hub that will be ready during the NFL season. Once permissible in the state, we will be prepared to accept sports wagers through our new kiosks,” Todd Papineau, General Manager of the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort, said in a news release.
“With its online betting and gaming solutions and FOX Bet and PokerStars brands, we believe The Stars Group is the ideal partner for us and it is positioned to become a leader in the U.S. online betting and gaming industry. We are delighted to work with The Stars Group, one of the world's largest, most licensed online gaming companies, to leverage the opportunity presented by online betting and gaming in the State of New York," he continued.
The new Akwesasne sportsbook lounge is one of eight expected at various upstate New York facilities. The expansion was prompted by the New York Gaming Commission’s approval of sports betting regulations that allows wagers at four commercial state casinos and at casinos operated by the Mohawk, Seneca Indian and Oneida nations.
The partnership has high hopes for this joint venture, that they indicate will eventually include mobile betting. Just last month, New York lawmakers failed to approve mobile measure during its legislative session. Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who has expressed concerns about mobile expansion, has long said that it would take an amendment to the state Constitution to allow online sports betting, which sets it back more than two years.
Other tribal-run casinos, too, are moving forward with sportsbook construction including the Oneida Nation at Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona and Point Place Casino in Bridgeport. They also plan eventual construction at Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango, according to NYup.com. The Seneca group have yet to make any announcements regarding sportsbook partnerships or construction.
For a full account of how sports betting is tracking across the nation, check SBR’s USA’s Sports Betting Legislative Tracker.