DraftKings Will Partner with del Lago Casino for Sports Betting in New York
On Monday, the del Lago Resort and Casino and DraftKings Inc announced they will work together to offer a sports betting operation at Finger Lakes casino. This operation will hinge on legislators in New York state, since as of yet, there have been no regulations laid out to permit legal sports betting. When the state Gaming Commission formalizes the rules, though, the casino will be ready, along with three other upstate casinos.
The del Lago Casino
The $420 million casino, which is located in Waterloo, New York in the Finger Lakes region, will work with the daily fantasy sports giant, but no one is sure what that will look like. According to del Lago’s co-chairman Brent Stevens in an article by Democrat & Chronicle:
“We see DraftKings as a fantastic and strategic partner in our sports book operation at del Lago Resort & Casino, and this deal represents a tremendous move forward for our property in general.”
Del Lago became New York’s second commercial casino on February 1, 2017. The region is beautiful, but is pretty much in the middle of nowhere. The nearest mid-sized city is Syracuse, and people from there tend to head to Turning Stone for their gambling needs.
The daily fantasy giant was struggling just two short years ago to be able to offer daily fantasy sports in New York, but with the latest Supreme Court ruling, it has a deal to offer online sports betting with del Lago Resort & Casino. The deal will cover both online betting as well as the retail location at the casino, as long as the state authorizes both.
Jason Robins, the CEO and co-founder of DraftKings, talked about the partnership and future in New York according to Legal Sports Report:
“New York is one of the largest revenue opportunities for future sports wagering operators and we are thrilled to partner with del Lago Resort & Casino to offer sports fans a unique and novel sports betting experience…”
This could potentially be the first brick-and-mortar DraftKings Sportsbook in the United States. The company already has a deal in New Jersey with land-based partner Resorts in Atlantic City.
The Sports Betting Law in the United States
New York’s Gaming Commission said in May that it is working on regulations to permit sports betting, and said Monday that deliberations are continuing. The U.S. Supreme Court made a ruling in May stating that the law banning sports betting outside of Nevada was unconstitutional so now it’s up to each individual state to lay out regulations surrounding the issue. So far, there are no sportsbooks operating in New York. The closest opportunity for New Yorkers is to travel to New Jersey (Monmouth Park, Ocean Resort Casino, Borgata, and The Meadowlands). Bally’s, Caesars, and Harrah’s in New Jersey are slated to open sports books by mid-August, and there are several other locations like Golden Nugget, Freehold Raceway, and Hard Rock AC that will announce their launch dates soon.
Sports Betting Regulations in New York
The condition of legal sports betting in New York can be described as being in a state of flux right now, including the prohibition of online wagering. A 2013 law referendum allowed for sports betting at four upstate casinos, contingent on a change in the federal ban, and once legislation is finalized that’s where they will start. Native American casinos will also be allowed to start offering sports betting, specifically in central and western New York, but there has been no mention as of yet if or when they will start.
The New York State Gaming Commission met July 16, and at the top of the proceedings they briefly discussed sports betting. The regulators are still working to draft a framework that will make the betting industry legal.
The Commission seems to be held up with a lot of questions. For example, will they allow online wagering without new statutory enactments, and if so, if casinos will have to access official league data or subscribe for the resolution of proposition wagers.
Ron Ochrym, the Acting Executive Director of the New York State Gaming Commission, said in a conversation with Legal Sports Report that stakeholders will probably be consulted in order to obtain industry comment.
“We want to make certain that the regulations, when proposed, make sense.”
Future Betting in New York State
As soon as the Gaming Commission pushes through regulations, there are four main locations waiting to offer sportsbooks: the Resorts World Catskills in Monticello (which will open this summer), Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady, Tioga Downs in Nichols, and del Lago Resort & Casino. Other stakeholders like off-track betting parlors, racinos, and racetracks are expected to jump in on the action once lawmakers get their stuff in order.
Mobile/Internet Sports Betting
As mentioned above, regulators haven’t said much about mobile/online sports betting. The existing law states the Commission is to write rules appropriate for the gambling industry, without any further details as to what that should look like. No one is sure at this point if the group will indeed allow mobile/Internet betting, but it looks likely.
The state already has online horse betting industry, and neighboring states already allow remote betting. This will provide an incentive for the Commission to keep pace; it wouldn’t do the state any good if residents went across the border into nearby states in order to make legal wagers online. As for now, though, there will only be in-person betting at the commercial casinos.
The New York Sports Betting Market
According to the American Gaming Association, Americans bet $154 billion on sports in 2016. Almost all of this was done through illegal means, like offshore websites and personal bookies. By population, that means the residents of New York probably bet around $9.38 billion on sports in 2016. That could bring in a tidy profit for New York State once it’s made legal.
As of August 3, 2016, daily fantasy sports was made legal and regulated in the state of New York. From September 2016 through January 2017, daily fantasy sports operators generated $18.62 million in gross gaming revenue in New York alone. The state gathered almost $2.8 million in taxes from DFS operators during that time frame. That amount can be extrapolated to estimate that New York can collect around $6.7 million in taxes based on daily fantasy sports each year. With that said, can you imagine how much more money New York will collect in tax revenue from sports betting?
It really is a surprise that one of the world’s foremost locations for culture, sports, arts and politics is still so far behind on sports betting.
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