N.Y. Casinos Sign Up DraftKings, Fan Duel
Legal sports betting is still at the dream stage in New York, but that isn’t stopping two of the state’s new casinos from partnering with fantasy sports leaders DraftKings and FanDuel to manage their bookmaking operations once it becomes reality.
When that will happen, though, is still anybody’s guess at this point.
The legislature declined to act on either of two legalization bills in the Senate and Assembly before adjourning for the year on June 20, leaving lawmakers in both houses to speculate that regulation remains a 2019 story.
Or maybe not. The 2014 amendment to the state Constitution that brought commercial casinos to New York for the first time—seven in all, four of which are up and running—also authorized them to operate sports books, provided a longstanding federal ban was repealed, which happened in May in a landmark challenge by the state of New Jersey before the U.S. Supreme Court.
What that means is the state’s Gaming Commission could promulgate rules for the casinos to begin taking bets. Conceivably, that could happen this year, although the commission has been mum so far on what, if any, action it plans to take.
Perhaps because there is no shortage of competing and influential interests at stake, the tribal casino and racing lobbies mainly, and that makes sports betting an intensely charged issue politically, especially when it comes to the complexities posed by online and remote betting. Nor has it helped that Governor Andrew Cuomo, who supported the expansion of commercial casinos and now is locked in a costly dispute with the Seneca Indian Nation over revenue-sharing, has remained decidedly on the fence.
Given the potential dollars at stake experts say New York could be the second-largest betting market in the country after California it’s hardly surprising that the casinos are making their preparations however the political winds blow. Del Lago Resort & Casino recently announced a deal with DraftKings to run its sports book. Tioga Downs Casino Resort has secured a similar arrangement with FanDuel. Rivers Casino and Resorts World Catskills have not announced any sports betting partners at this time.