Caesars and Oneida Indian Nation Announce Deal For New York Sports Betting
“The Lounge with Caesars Sports” will open sometime in 2019 after review by a federal agency and issuance of state gaming regulations, the Oneida Indian Nation announced on Jan. 2. The deal will bring sports betting in 2019 to Turning Stone Resort and Casino in Verona, NY, and also in the Empire State to the Yellow Brick Road Casino in Chittenango and Point Place Casino in Bridgeport.
“When it comes to sports betting, Caesars is in a class of its own,” said Ray Halbritter, Oneida nation representative, in a statement. “We are pleased to be joining forces with this world-renowned gaming leader. Like Oneida Nation Enterprises, Caesars has built its business on exceptional service, as well as a dedication to constant innovation. These shared values create the perfect synergy for a meaningful long-term partnership.”
The deal is pending approval by the National Indian Gaming Commission, and regulations from the New York State Gaming Commission.
Two other New York casinos previously announced an agreement to partner with sportsbooks. Del Lago Resort & Casino, in Waterloo, N.Y. reached a deal with DraftKings to create an on-site sportsbook, and presumably online when regulations permit. Tioga Downs, in Nichols, N.Y. has a deal in place with British gaming company Paddy Power Betfair, which owns FanDuel, which means FanDuel Sportsbook will enter the property and head online in New York, likewise, when regulations permit.
Caesars lagging behind in New Jersey
Caesars Entertainment is one of the country’s biggest gaming and entertainment companies, with 30 casinos in the U.S. The company started offering sports betting in neighboring New Jersey in September.
In the latest revenue numbers released last month in New Jersey, DraftKings ($7.33 million) and FanDuel ($7.04 million) thanks in large part to the revenue generated from mobile wagering. Caesars, which also runs Harrah’s and Bally’s sportsbooks in Atlantic City, came in well behind the top two. At the physical sportsbooks, Bally’s Wild Wild West brought in $178,489 in revenue but Harrah’s finished in the red, losing $124,260. The Caesars online sportsbook isn’t doing much better.
New York sports betting still facing obstacles
While casinos are moving forward with partnerships, there’s the small obstacle that sports betting still isn’t fully legal in New York. Just like everything else politically in New York State, sports betting is complicated.
Technically, sports betting is already legal at the four commercial casinos in New York. A 2013 voter referendum authorizing the construction of those casinos also included provisions for sports betting, pending a change in federal law. That change came in May when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned PASPA.
While no legal hurdles remain for those four casinos, but so far regulators have not yet issued regulations to allow those casinos to launch. In 2019 lawmakers intend to executed a new, broader so that all casinos, including the tribal casinos, can move forward. The state gaming commission is scheduled to meet on Thursday Jan. 3, but sports betting is not on the agenda.
Online gambling could delay legislation
Comprehensive regulations for sports gambling could be adopted in the state budget in 2019, according to incoming Senate Racing, Gaming & Wagering Committee Chair Joe Addabbo. While he’s hopeful regulation will come this year, Addabbo did acknowledge that online gaming is going to be the real issue moving forward.
The New York State constitution doesn’t allow for online gambling. This could force a ballot referendum to effect an amendment to the state constitution, which may not be possible until 2020.
So, will sports betting become fully legal, online and in retail beyond the commercial casinos, in New York this year? Given the state’s history of snail-like politics, you may want to bet the OVER on that one.