Two New York State casinos began accepting legal sports bets in July.
The New York Gaming Commission awarded betting licenses to Rivers Casino and Tioga Downs one month after the commission unanimously approved regulations at all four of the state’s commercial casinos.
The new sportsbook at Rivers (Schenectady County) opened on July 16. FanDuel Tioga Downs (Tioga County) soft-launched on Wednesday, July 17 before an official ribbon cutting on Friday, July 19.
New York State Assemblywoman Donna Lupardo placed the first bet at Tioga Downs — a futures bet on Cori “Coco” Gauff to win the US Open (+3600).
“We can’t wait to finally open our sportsbook on Friday to the public,” said Sam Cawthray, general manager of FanDuel Tioga Downs, days before the opening. “It was a huge team effort and we aim to be the jewel of the Empire State.”
What can bettors expect to find at FanDuel Sportsbook Tioga Downs?
TheLines.com was given an exclusive tour of the new FanDuel sportsbook the week before it opened its doors for the first time. The 2,600 square foot space is located near the main entrance of the Tioga Downs Casino in Nichols, NY, located about 30 miles south of Binghamton.
FanDuel Tioga Downs will include:
- Eight betting windows
- 27 video displays, including a large video wall
- 14 self-service betting kiosks from IGT
- 12 lounge seats
- Seven high tables
- Two drink rails
- Seating for more than 50 customers
Some images from the venue:
FanDuel Sportsbook will provide its risk and trading platform and manage the location in partnership with Tioga Downs Casino Resort. Sports betting technology will be provided by IGT PlayDigital, which already serves as FanDuel’s sports betting platform provider in New Jersey at the Meadowlands Racetrack.
Sports betting odds at Tioga Downs will mostly mirror FanDuel’s odds in New Jersey, according to Cawthray.
“Having Meadowlands as a base is an advantage like no other,” he told TheLines. “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.”
Most of the New York City-based gamblers are likely to continue crossing into New Jersey to place bets at Meadowlands and on mobile devices rather than make the three-plus hour long trek to Nichols. But Cawthray expects locals to begin packing the place in after the sportsbook launches this week.
“The aim is to be a huge part of the local community and we can’t wait to welcome sports fans from Ithaca, Binghamton, Scranton and the Southern Tier area to the FanDuel Sportsbook for the start of the NFL season, the college football season and the MLB playoffs.”
Which sports can you bet on in New York?
The FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs will accept bets on all major professional US sports, including:
- … and much more
The mid-July opening at Tioga, right in the middle of the summer doldrums in sports, wasn’t necessarily by design, but will provide FanDuel with more than a month to get ready for what will be a busy football season.
“July is a great time to open,” says Cawthray. “It gives our staff plenty of preparation time before the start of football.”
Unfortunately for college sports bettors, New York gaming regulations prohibit any bets on amateur athletics for teams located in the state along with any events taking place in New York. Colleges in NY include Syracuse, Buffalo, Cornell, St. John’s and Army.
Still waiting on NY sports betting online
While the launch of the new retail sportsbooks is music to the ears of many gamblers in Upstate New York, betting on mobile devices will not be available to bettors across the state for at least another year. State lawmakers were unable to expand the current law to include online betting this year.
When mobile betting does become legal in NY, FanDuel Sportsbook projects to be one of the leaders in the space. In New Jersey, FanDuel leads all online sports betting operators in handle and revenue in 2019. Among those trailing in NJ is rival DraftKings, which has partnered with del Lago in New York and is likely to launch its own retail sportsbook in the Empire State by the end of this year.