WATERLOO, NY — Legal sports betting comes to the Finger Lakes Friday with the opening of the DraftKings Sportsbook at del Lago Resort Casino just off the New York State Thruway.
Del Lago’s sports betting lounge will be the fourth to open in Upstate New York this summer. Sportsbooks are already open at Rivers Casino Resort in Schenectady; Tioga Downs west of Binghamton in the Southern Tier and at two casinos operated by the Oneida Indian Nation: Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona and Point Place Casino in Bridgeport, Madison County.
The DraftKings Sportsbook at del Lago is a 6,000-square-foot lounge with 23 self-serve betting kiosks and cashier stations, plus a full service bar and restaurant with seating for 200. Sporting events will be shown live on 1,000 square feet of LED videoscreens, including 16 TV sets. There are also odds boards and a scrolling ticker showing live scores, stats, injury news and additional player information.
DraftKings is best known as a major provider of daily sports fantasy leagues, but has also partnered with other casinos for sportsbooks around the country.
The celebrity guest for the grand opening is former Syracuse University and NFL football star Donovan McNabb. He’ll join local officials and representatives of del Lago and DraftKings at the noon ribbon-cutting anf placing of the first bets.
As with the other sportsbooks authorized to open in New York this year, players must be physically present in the sports lounge to place a wager. There is no online or mobile betting in New York.
Bettors in New York are also not allowed to place bets on college teams located within the state (such as Syracuse University), or on any collegiate events that take place within the state.
De Lago last week announced that one its original partners, Rochester developer Thomas Wilmot’s company Wilmorite, is selling its share in the casino located off Thruway Exit 41 in the town of Tyre. The 50 percent owned by Wilmorite will be sold to California-based Peninsula Pacific, which was an original partner in the casino that already owns the other 50 percent.
Like the three other non Indian nation owned casinos that opened in Upstate New York in the last two years, del Lago has struggled to earn the gaming revenues it promised the state when seeking its license. Rivers and Tioga Downs are two of those, and Resorts World Catskills near Monticello in Sullivan County is the third.
Sports betting is expected to provide some boost to the casino’s bottom line, mostly by luring in new customers.
Del Lago’s sportsbook opening leaves only Resorts World Catskills without an open sports betting lounge among the non Indian casinos. Resorts World Catskills, which has a sports lounge under development, recently said in a financial statement that it may need to declare bankruptcy and reorganize to improve its finances.