Betfair To Power Tioga Downs Sports Betting, Should It Ever Happen In NY

Written By Eric Ramsey on June 15, 2018
horse and jockey racing

When New York is ready for sports betting, Tioga Downs will be ready, too.

Betfair US has agreed to provide the retail, online and mobile wagering solutions for both Tioga Downs in NY and Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey. The US-facing arm of bookmaker Paddy Power Betfair (PPB) issued a press release last week confirming the long-term deal.

”We could not be more excited to partner with Jeff Gural and his partners for sports betting in New Jersey and New York,” said CEO Kip Levin.

Gural, who serves as chairman for the two properties, called sports betting “a great opportunity” for both.

“We are eager to get started with our partners with whom we have had a long relationship for racing with TVG, on this exciting venture.”

Betfair brings sports betting know-how

Betfair US was a strong pick.

PPB is a heavyweight international bookmaker primarily serving Europe and Australia. Its US division operates the Betfair online casino in NJ, plus the horse betting platform TVG in 35 states. The group also owns daily fantasy sports sites Draft and FanDuel.

“We went through a diligent process,” Gural said, “and reviewed several options to provide customers with the best sports betting experience possible.” Competing bookmakers should be a little concerned about PPB’s growing foothold the US market.

Under the agreement, Befair US will provide “a full suite of cutting edge sports betting products to customers in New Jersey and New York pending legislative and regulatory authorization.”

Authorization is already in place in one of those two states as of this week. NJ sportsbooks began accepting wagers on Thursday, and Meadowlands could enter the market as soon as July.

Things are a little more complicated when it comes to Tioga Downs and NY sports betting, though.

Tioga Downs + Betfair

Located along NY’s southern border, Tioga Downs is one of four commercial casinos authorized by voters in 2013. The referendum also included approval for sports betting at those casinos, pending a change in federal law.

Change came last month when the US Supreme Court overturned the federal ban known as PASPA. New York is now among the small group of states poised to join Nevada in the sports gambling industry. Delaware and NJ already have.

Operators and platform providers are scrambling to partner up, and Tioga Downs has found a stellar solution for its sports betting future.

“In the end,” Gural said, “Betfair’s world leading products and experience proved the best choice.”

Although sports betting is legal at the new NY casinos, it’s not clear when they’ll start taking bets. The law is narrow, omitting race tracks and tribal casinos from the industry. Lawmakers are scrambling to broaden the provisions before next week’s scheduled adjournment.

Even if the session ends without progress, however, regulators could move forward under the existing law. They could, but it’s not clear if they will.

FanDuel poised for NY sports betting

Paddy Power Betfair serves its products to more than five million active customers around the world. It says it handled more than $15 billion in wagers last year.

Other than TVG, however, its primary brands — Paddy Power and Betfair — aren’t really established in the US. The NJ online casino is its only eponymous platform.

It sounds like it’ll stay that way. Levin indicated the group is “very likely” to use FanDuel as its primary brand for US-facing sports betting products. PPB acquired the site last month in a deal worth several hundred million dollars.

FanDuel does have some decent brand recognition in the US, particularly among the demographic likely to bet on sports. During the transaction, it disclosed that it has around seven million total customers, with 1.3 million active. PPB believes the site controls 40 percent of the DFS market in the US.

The PPB/FanDuel deal should close during Q3, so a branded platform could be in place by the time NY sports betting goes live. The tech is ready to go, at least.

FanDuel’s primary DFS competitor, DraftKings, is also preparing to launch sports betting from its new headquarters in New Jersey. Its application is already on file with the gaming office.

Photo by Cheryl Ann Quigley /

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Eric Ramsey

A New York native, Eric Ramsey serves as a data analyst for PlayNY. He has worked with the site and the entire network of Play-branded sites since 2017. Eric began as a reporter for Legal Sports Report before becoming the managing editor for Online Poker Report. His background is rooted in the poker world, as he formerly wrote for PokerNews and the World Poker Tour. Prior to assuming the data analyst role, Eric regularly reported on the legislative process of states to legalize sports betting. By tracking hundreds of bills across the country, by listening to hours of legislative testimony, Eric has evolved into one of the leading analysts for legal sports betting and gambling in the US. His work has been cited in a number of industry, local and national publications and referenced by scholars and policymakers.

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