New York Sportsbooks Will Open This Month, But Not With Online Betting Options

Written By Derek Helling on July 8, 2019 - Last Updated on November 30, 2022
NY retail sportsbook launch

The wait is nearly over for New York residents ready to legally bet on professional sports. New York sportsbooks are coming.

Retail and tribal casinos will allegedly open their sportsbooks this month. The plan is to be operating before the coming National Football League season.

Which New York sportsbooks will open this month?

Although no retail sportsbooks have announced opening dates, several should open soon.

Casinos like del Lago near Waterloo began construction on their sportsbook spaces in May. For most of them, the projects were renovations of existing spaces. Expect the sportsbook spaces to resemble sports bars.

Other facilities that could open this month include:

It’s in the sportsbooks’ best interest to begin operating as soon as possible, as the busiest time of the year is quickly approaching.

Cutting it close to NFL season

Sportsbooks at casinos had to wait for their applications for licenses to be approved. That process couldn’t begin until the New York Gaming Commission (NYGC) finalized its rules.

That didn’t happen until June 10. NYGC was waiting to see if the state government would pass new laws affecting sports betting.

When the Legislature failed to pass any new bills, NYGC finalized its rules based on an existing law enacted in 2013.

The Buffalo Bills, New York Giants, and New York Jets won’t begin their next seasons until Sept. 8. That should give sportsbooks time to work out any bugs.

What about betting at other venues like off-track betting sites?

The most recent bill that died in the New York House would have allowed off-track betting sites, racetracks and stadiums to offer sports betting as well.

Since that bill failed to pass, only the state’s retail and tribal casinos are authorized to legally accept wagers. The Legislature could take up a new bill in the next session.

The issue that killed that bill wasn’t about racetracks or stadiums. The debate centered around NY online sports betting.

Will online sportsbooks ever be legal in N.Y.?

Online fantasy games and sportsbook operators DraftKings and FanDuel will have a presence in the state. FanDuel will operate physical sportsbook at Tioga Downs while DraftKings is doing the same at del Lago.

That’s the extent of their presence in the state on the sports betting side right now, however. Mobile sports betting in New York remains illegal unless the law changes.

As previously mentioned, a new bill could be proposed in the next legislative term. That begins in January, and it’s likely online betting would again be the focus of such a bill.

There’s no guarantee that a new bill will be introduced, however. There’s also no guarantee it will include online betting. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo still has reservations about its constitutionality.

It could be years before sports betting at sites other than casinos is legal in New York. Those casino sportsbooks are set to open very soon, however, and will enjoy their monopoly on legal sports betting for now.

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Derek Helling

Derek Helling is a lead writer for PlayUSA and the manager of BetHer. 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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