From Sports Betting Simulcasts To Potential Betting Lounge, Madison Square Garden All In On NY Sports Betting

Written By Mike Mazzeo on February 10, 2022
NY Sports Betting Knicks

Madison Square Garden sees a bright future in the online sports betting business.

“There’s upside here,” MSG president Andy Lustgarten said Wednesday on the company’s latest earnings call.

MSG, the New York Knicks and New York Rangers have partnerships with BetMGM and Caesars. They also could look to add another partner, Lustgarten said.

Sports betting simulcasts lined up for Knicks games

MSG Networks will debut a sports betting-focused simulcast of two upcoming Knicks games this week — Thursday night against the Warriors and Saturday night against the Trail Blazers — on MSG+.

This comes as part of the network’s “Bet-A-Palooza” as presented by DraftKings. The weeklong lineup features various shows focused on NY sports betting, including several focused on Super Bowl betting.

The Knicks simulcasts serve as alternative broadcasts on MSG+, which, according to a release, “will include MSG Networks’ sports betting talent and other special guests.”

“Both partners and anyone else we’ve been talking to are very focused on how do we reach our fans through on-ice, on-court signage, digital assets, virtual, through our social platforms, official team destinations, hospitality has been a very big part of it. Being the fixed base for their online gaming players and our database of fans,” Lustgarten said.

“So while we’re not going to be open to every partner, we do think there is space to potential add another at the right time who has the same vision for us and how we should drive this business.”

Could Madison Square Garden have a sports betting lounge?

The company sounded very open to the possibility of adding a sports betting lounge at MSG.

Sen. Joe Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow have introduced matching bills trying to get kiosks in arenas, stadiums and tracks in the state.

“New York State has been one of the more restrictive states in terms of tax rate and certain rules around gaming. And so in the news you might have read about conversations about kiosks, lounges, other possibilities. Any of those would be incremental revenue for us and a win-win for our partners,” Lustgarten said. “We have great assets that enable our partners to blanket the market through the Garden, though hospitality here at the Garden and Tao. On MSG Networks, Moynihan (Train) Hall, our relationship with MSG Sports, and we think we’re able to help a partner really capitalize on mobile sports gaming as well as any other changes that could come into the market.

“And here at the Garden we’ve always been a strong believer in this and so if and when those laws do change we’ll be on top of it and moving very quickly to capitalize so we think there’s a lot of opportunity here and we think it’s an evolving category involving business that’s very good for both us and our partners.”

Photo by AP / Brittainy Newman
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo is a contributing writer for PlayNY, reporting on legal sports betting in New York while covering the potential legalization of NY online casinos and poker. He previously wrote for ESPN, the New York Daily News and The Ringer, among others.

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