The Seneca Nation of Indians recently announced that they expect to have their sportsbooks fully operational in its three Western New York properties before 2020. Though no specific dates were provided, the Seneca Nation of Indians said sports betting will be offered in their three casinos before the end of 2019.
The three New York state Seneca casinos — Seneca Niagara Casino in Niagara Falls, Seneca Allegany Casino in Salamanca and Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino in Buffalo — are all in various stages of construction with their retail sportsbook lounges, Spectrum News of Upstate New York reported.
Seneca Casinos formed a partnership with Kambi Group to be their sportsbook operators. Once fully operational, the sportsbook lounges will allow players to bet on the NBA, NHL, NBA and NFL, among other professional sports and leagues, 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.
In June 2019, the New York State Gaming Commission officially set their guidelines for sports betting, sending most tribal-operated and non-Indian casinos in a frenzy to debut their respective sportsbooks. However, Seneca Nation of Indians appeared to be taking its time for a rollout.
There was also the matter of a pending dispute between the Seneca Nation of Indians and New York, which was recently settled.
On Nov. 8, a federal court ruled in favor of New York versus the Seneca Nation, stating that the tribe must pay the state at least $225 million in previously withheld casino revenue payments. Seneca had halted making payments to New York in 2017 and now must pay the state approximately $100 million a year until the debt is settled.
At the time of the ruling, it was unclear if Seneca was going to pursue launching sportsbooks for their casinos, though that question has now been answered.
While Seneca’s sportsbooks will likely miss all of the NFL regular season and some of the playoffs, they should debut in time to allow sports bettors to lay action on the Super Bowl, the biggest gambling event in U.S. sports. Several New York tribal casinos already operate sportsbooks as do four commercial casinos in the state, but there is no mobile option in the state.
On Monday, it was announced that Seneca Casinos are the official sportsbook for the Buffalo Sabres of the NHL. The Sabres are owned and operated by Pegula Sports and Entertainment, the same organization that owns and operates the Buffalo Bills of the NFL.
”We are so excited to further expand our partnership with Pegula Sports & Entertainment by becoming the Exclusive Sportsbook Partner of the Buffalo Sabres,” said Melissa Free, Seneca Gaming Corporation’s senior vice president of marketing, Spectrum News reported. “Sportsbook will bring so much more excitement to the fans and Seneca Resorts & Casinos is thrilled to be in the epicenter of all that energy.”