Sports betting in New York is in its second week. FanDuel Sportsbook opened up shop at Tioga Downs in southern New York on Friday.
FanDuel sportsbook at Tioga Downs Casino & Resort opened on the heels of the first sports wagers being made earlier in the week at Rivers Casino Resort in upstate New York.
With sports betting on the menu, a sizable economic boost to the region is expected – facilitated in part by bettors traveling across the state line from Northern Pennsylvania.
“It’s one of the first retail locations in New York and we couldn’t be more excited about it,” FanDuel senior director of retail operations Jeff Lowich told Forbes magazine. “I think this sportsbook is going to do really well. There’s not a lot of competition close by.”
Tioga Downs Resort sits between the Susquehanna River and the border of New York and Pennsylvani. PA offers sports betting at seven venues in the state plus four mobile betting opportunities. FanDuel officials expect gamblers will travel to Tioga Downs from Scranton, which is 90 minutes away, and Wilkes Barre just a bit farther, according to published reports.
The closest wagering competition in Pennsylvania is in Hershey, about 200 miles south of Tioga Downs, making the New York venue “almost local.”
Legal sports betting is another layer of entertainment to draw customers to the Tioga Downs Resort, which has a golf course, harness racing, nearly 900 slot machines, 28 gaming tales and a poker room.
“As we continue to expand our sportsbook operations across the U.S. the opening of our FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs Casino Resort is a history-making moment for the FanDuel Group,” said Keith Wall, vice president commercial retail for FanDuel Group. “Jeff Gural (owner of Tioga Downs and N.J.’s Meadowlands) has been an incredible partner in New Jersey, and joining forces with him and the team at Tioga Downs allows us to bring sports betting to New York sports fans while delivering new jobs and tax revenue to the Empire State.”
The sportsbook at Tioga Downs casino encourages wagering in a social and relaxed environment. The sportsbook provides eight betting windows, nearly 40 video displays and a large video wall for sporting event viewing, 14 self-serve betting kiosks, multiple sports tickers, a dozen lounge seats, drink rails, high tables, providing seating for more than 50 customers.
"Many people will come here and will want to stay," said state Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo, who placed the first official wager at Tioga Downs.
Tioga Downs Casino and Resort owner Jeff Gural, agrees with that assessment and cites the Meadowlands as a successful comparison.
"I think what we have seen at the Meadowlands is that food and beverage sales went up," said Gural. "Sports betting appeals to younger people also."
The FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs Casino Resort marks FanDuel Group’s fourth retail operation. The company opened the first-ever FanDuel Sportsbook located at New Meadowlands Racetrack last July, followed by The Greenbrier in West Virginia last fall and most recently at the Valley Forge Casino Resort in Pennsylvania.