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New York Approves Sports Betting Rules; Wagers May Start By Aug. 1

The New York Gaming Commission approved in-person sports betting regulations Monday, paving the way for The Empire State to accept wagers at four upstate casinos later this summer.

Rules related to licenses and operation of sportsbooks were approved unanimously, 6-0.

New York becomes the 14th state (15 counting Washington, D.C.) to legalize sports betting since the Supreme Court a little more than a year ago struck down a federal law that prohibited sportsbooks outside Nevada.

Among the rules OK’d today are:

  •     Bettors cannot place wagers on in-state collegiate sporting events or on any college team from New York State.
  •     Bettors must place wagers in-person at the sports lounges at four commercial state casinos or at one of the seven tribal casinos

“Our lawyers say you can’t do anything on sports betting other than in brick and mortar casinos,” Commission member Jerry Skurnik told The New York Post.

Mobile betting is still prohibited but state Sen. Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, have introduced a measure that would allow mobile and online betting. The legislative session ends June 19.

They hope to win Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s approval, however, he has long contended it will take an amendment to the state constitution to make mobile betting legal – a process that could take up to three years.

Betting is expected to begin possibly by Aug. 1 ahead of the start of the NFL season, at Resorts World Catskills in Monticello, N.Y., Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, N.Y., Tioga Downs in the Southern Tier and Del Lago Resort and Casino in the Finger Lakes.

At Del Lago, construction work will turn a former bar and restaurant into its sportsbetting lounge that will host the sportsbook run by its partner, DraftKings.  

"We look forward to some exciting summer baseball and the 2019 NFL season, as well as scores of other sporting events on which our customers have been eager to place a wager," del Lago spokesman Steve Greenberg told the Auburn (N.Y.) Citizen.

Construction has begun as well on betting lounges at Oneida Nation-run facilities, who will partner with Caesars Entertainment. The first tribal casinos to be ready for bets will be the Point Place Casino in Bridgeport, N.Y., and the Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, N.Y. Betting will come later to the Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenago.

Soon after the gaming commission vote, the Oneidas announced a director of sportsbook operations, Justin Arnett. He managed books at both The Venetian and The Palazzo in Las Vegas.

"Our new sportsbooks will exceed the already high standards of excellence that have established our venues as New York's preeminent gaming destinations," Oneida Indian Nation Representative Ray Halbritter told the Citizen.

The Seneca and Mohawk tribes have yet to announce their plans, according to NYup.com.