Tech Partnership Shows NY Restaurants Also Want In On Sports Betting

Posted By Mike Mazzeo on October 5, 2021

Restaurants also want in on the sports betting action coming to the Empire State. 

The New York State Restaurants Association has entered into a Memorandum of Understanding with Elys Game Technology Corporation, the sides announced this week

According to the news release, the sides partnering “expresses a joint interest in promoting and facilitating opportunities for food and beverage establishments to participate in the NY online sports betting industry. 

It’s not exactly clear how restaurants and bars would fit into the structure that NY lawmakers put into action earlier this year, however. All sports wagers must take place via servers at one of the four commercial upstate casinos. Whether satellite betting kiosks at such establishments could be a part of the infrastructure is not clear.

It’s also not clear if there would be interest from any of the parties that are bidding to operate online sports betting in the state.

The release continues:

“Elys and NYSRA will endeavor to work together to develop and establish policies and procedures to advance sports wagering-related opportunities for food and beverage establishments,” the release continues. 

“The joint efforts are expected to include, but are not limited to, collective advocacy on the benefits and security of offering leisure betting entertainment within small business venues, and intent to maintain a product and/or service that meets or exceeds all business and industry standards.” 

Elys Is Already At A DC Bar

Elys is no stranger to this space. 

The tech company provided kiosks and its digital sports betting system to Grand Central Restaurant & Bar in the Adams Morgan neighborhood of Washington, DC.  It’s a popular bar for Bills’ fans living in the area. 

Monday, Oct. 4 will mark the first time patrons can place sports bets on the restaurant’s premises. Grand Central received a Class B operating license from DC’s Office of Lottery and Gaming to operate a sportsbook at its restaurant. 

Sportsbooks Could Help Struggling Restaurants  

NY restaurants devastated by the coronavirus pandemic could certainly use the financial boost that on-site sportsbooks could provide them. 

Grand Central co-owner Brian Vasile told Eater: “I can’t put a dollar amount on it, but I can absolutely say it should rival the food and beverage sales.” 

The bidding process for online sports betting in NY is currently in the hands of the NY State Gaming Commission, which has until before Dec. 6 to select applicants for licenses. The licenses would then be awarded at the NYSGC’s next meeting. 

The hope is that everything is up and running by Super Bowl LVI on Feb. 13, 2022, though legal experts expressed skepticism on that optimistic time frame. 

Photo by Mark Lennihan / The Associated Press
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Mike Mazzeo

Mike Mazzeo has covered New York sports since 2010, previously working as a beat writer and columnist for ESPN (Nets), Yahoo Sports (NBA/MLB) and the New York Daily News (Yankees). His work has also been published in the New York Times, New York Post, Forbes and The Ringer.

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