Saratoga Casino Hotel Saddles Up For Gambling Expansion With New Sports Bar

Posted on November 8, 2019

While it could be years before New York legal sports betting expands past the status quo if ever, one gaming license holder in the Empire State is getting ready regardless. A new Saratoga sports bar stands ready for such a day.

The newly renovated space in the Saratoga Casino Hotel in the town that shares that name has all the trappings of retail sportsbooks without the sportsbook. If/when the facility can add that crucial element, wagering should quickly follow.

Details on the sportsbook, err, new Saratoga sports bar

Aesthetically speaking, there isn’t much difference between this space and other retail sportsbooks. The bar that opened Nov. 1 has two tiers of television monitors.

On those devices, patrons watch myriad sporting events. The full bar has an elevated pub-food style menu as well.

The Mane Bar, appropriately named for its primary offering right now, is open from 9 a.m. to 4 a.m. daily. The bar sits right off the main casino floor.

It’s more than simply a place to dine and watch sporting events. Patrons will also be able to place bets on horse racing there.

While the new bar is part of a larger renovation project for the entire casino, there’s no disguising the eventual purpose of the space. The state’s government has yet to accommodate those wishes, however.

Why the Saratoga Casino Hotel can’t accept wagers now

Currently, the law in New York limits legal sports betting to the four upstate commercial casinos. There is an effort to change that, though.

New York Sen. Joseph Addabbo is again pushing a bill that would allow facilities like Saratoga to acquire sports betting licenses. Unfortunately, there are many obstacles in place, like a shortened legislative calendar.

If Saratoga would get cut in, the conversion to a full sportsbook might not take long. Betting kiosks and windows could easily be erected and some of the 24 television monitors could be repurposed as odds tickers.

Actually, there’s nothing stopping Saratoga from forming a partnership with a future potential sportsbook operator partner right now. It isn’t illegal for New York casinos to prepare to accept wagers on sports.

It appears the future potential to accept wagers is one of the reasons for the renovation of the Mane Bar. Additionally, it gives the casino a new marketing angle in an industry that thrives upon advertising.

To continually draw patrons, entertainment businesses like Saratoga need to stay fresh. The latest renovations serve that purpose.

If the law ever allows the casino to get in on sports betting in New York, Saratoga appears primed and ready to embrace the opportunity.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a freelance journalist who resides in Kansas City, Mo. He is a 2013 graduate of the University of Iowa and covers the intersections of sports with business and the law.

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