Rivers Casino Named Official Casino Partner Of Belmont Stakes: ‘Fits Perfectly’

Written By Grant Lucas on April 30, 2024
Exterior of Rivers Casino Schenectady for a story on it become an official casino partner of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival

The road to horse racing’s Triple Crown obviously runs through the Belmont Stakes. And that final jewel now has a bit of Schenectady flair.

Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady and the New York Racing Association, Inc. (NYRA) announced on Tuesday an agreement that brings in Rivers as an official casino partner of Saratoga Race Course and the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival. Rivers will also serve as the presenting sponsor of the Grade 1, $750,000 race.

“We’re incredibly honored to be an official casino partner with NYRA for the Belmont Stakes and the Saratoga Race Course summer meet,” Joe Lodise, general manager at Rivers, said in a statement.

“This partnership celebrates the rich heritage of the track and the Belmont Stakes, and fits perfectly with our commitment to provide the very best in gaming and entertainment. We’re beyond thrilled to have Rivers Casino showcased throughout the iconic grounds and look forward to all the exciting racing.”

Details of Rivers Casino agreement to sponsor Belmont Stakes

The agreement with NYRA allows the New York presented by Rivers Casino to headline the second day of the Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, scheduled for June 7. The race will feature an increased purse of $750,000.

On top of that, Rivers Casino Schenectady will become the presenting sponsor of The Backyard, which will feature “branding and activiations” that highlight the gaming and entertainment options at Rivers, located less than 30 miles south of Saratoga Race Course.

If that weren’t enough, Rivers will also serve as the presenting sponsor of Military Appreciation Day on August 22, an annual event that honors the service of active and retired military members, who will receive free admission to Saratoga. Finally, Rivers will sponsor a “premium giveaway item” offered to fans during the 2024 summer meet. The NYRA will announce the season’s giveaway items at a later date.

“NYRA thanks Rivers Casino and Resort for its support of New York horse racing,” Tyler Lippard, NYRA’s director of corporate partnerships, said in a press release.

“This will be a truly historic summer season Upstate, and Rivers Casino & Resort is a Capital Region partner well aware of the reach and impact of Saratoga Race Course. We look forward to a strong partnership.”

Saratoga Race Course looking to make a splash with Belmont Stakes

The 156th Belmont Stakes, the featured race and final leg of the Triple Crown, is scheduled for June 8. Of course, for the first time since 1967, the Belmont Stakes will not take place at Belmont Park. The historic track handed over hosting duties to Saratoga Race Course as the former undergoes much-needed renovations.

Saratoga, hosting the major event for the first time in its 160-year history, certainly looks forward to putting on the four-day Belmont Stakes Racing Festival, which will feature 24 stakes races and purses exceeding $10.1 million, the highest purse levels and number of races offered since the multiday festival began in 2014.

The NYRA has already tabbed DraftKings as an official betting partner of both Saratoga Race Course and the festival. As a result, the DK Horse betting app will “play a prominent role” during the festival and serve as a presenting partner of the Acorn, which anchors the second day of the festival.

Photo by Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady
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Grant Lucas

Grant Lucas is the managing editor for PlayNY. A longtime, award-winning sports writer, Grant has covered gambling and legal sports betting since 2018, when he got his start reporting on the New Jersey and Pennsylvania industries. He now oversees PlayNY as New York expands legalized gambling to sports betting and online casino gaming.

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