The sports gambling landscape changes daily and with many U.S. states looking to get into the thick of the things, casinos and betting locations are all vying for an opportunity to make some serious revenue.
The latest example came on Tuesday, when Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady launched the very first legal place for sports betting in New York with the opening of its new Rivers Sportsbook lounge.
Rivers did not stand alone for long. The other casino that was vying to win the rights to be the first launched sports betting lounge was Tioga Downs, which scheduled its ribbon-cutting ceremony for Friday, newyorkupstate.com reported.
And now sportsbooks at two Oneida Indian Nations casinos, Turning Stone and Point Place, are set to launch Aug. 1, according to syracuse.com. Both are partnering with Caesar's Entertainment.
Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort in Hogansburg is another casino on tribal land which will offer sports betting later this year, in partnership with sportsbook provider The Stars Group.
Del Lago Resort & Casino and Resorts World Catskills have plans to open sports betting lounges in their respective casinos but nothing has come to fruition just yet.
"We're so proud to be the first gaming operator in New York to take legal sports bets," Rivers Casino & Resort Acting General Manager Justin Moore told PR Newswire. "Many people worked very hard to make legal sports wagering a reality in New York State, and we thank all of them for their tireless efforts and dedication. Sports fans and bettors from across the Capital Region and beyond will be thrilled with our new state-of-the-art Rivers Sportsbook lounge. We look forward to having them as guests at Rivers Casino & Resort and the City of Schenectady."
Rivers Casino will be working with Rush Street Interactive LLC, which has been a huge piece to the puzzle in Pennsylvania and will provide the sportsbook to the Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady as it does in Pennsylvania.
Rivers Casino Pittsburgh and Sugar House Casino in Philadelphia make up for a tad bit more than 50 percent of the entire retail sportsbook handle since the state legalized sports betting in Nov. 2018.
The new Rivers Sportsbook, on the main casino gaming floor, contains a luxury sports lounge and occupies just over 5,000 square feet. Club chairs and table seating hold roughly 80 guests and have five private booths with TVs. The lounge also includes 18 individual VIP seats and 32 seats at tabletops.
The Rivers Sportsbook also has a state of the art 53-foot by 9-foot LED wall that will sit in front of the sportsbook viewing area and provide video. On top of that, there will be 22 more TVs, 14 betting kiosks and six windows with staff waiting to take bets.
The law that went into effect only allows for wagers to be placed by customers in physical locations that are within these sports lounges. However, there is not an online or mobile betting market that is legalized by New York law just yet. College sporting events inside New York are off-limits for betting.
The launch of an in-person sports betting option is better than what New York had previously and gamblers will gladly take it. But in time, most bettors will want the conveniences of betting online through a laptop or mobile device in New York.