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DraftKings Signs Sports Betting Deal with del Lago Casino in Upstate New York

DraftKings and the del Lago Resort & Casino announced Monday that they would partner on a sportsbook operation at the upstate New York casino.

Gamblers prepare to place bets at a sportsbook ahead of the 2004 Super Bowl between the Carolina Panthers and the New England Patriots. (Image: Joe Cavareta/AP)

The partnership wont allow the resort to start operating a sportsbook immediately, as New York regulators still need to publish a set of rules governing sports betting at the four commercial casinos in the state.

DFS Giants Turn to Sports Betting

Both DraftKings and FanDuel have made it clear that they want to add sports betting to their current daily fantasy sports offerings. Both companies have a built-in customer base of sports fans with an interest in wagering on games, potentially giving them each a leg up over more traditional bookmakers in the US market.

DraftKings finalized its first betting partnership last month, when it signed a deal with Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City to operate a sportsbook at the resort. Meanwhile, FanDuel – through its new owner, Paddy Power Betfair – opened its own sportsbook at the Meadowlands last week.

Now both companies are looking to get a foothold in New York, which could prove to be one of the most lucrative sports betting markets in the United States. FanDuel is partnering with Tioga Downs – owned by Jeff Gural, who also operates the Meadowlands Racetrack – while DraftKings has signed on with del Lago.

“New York is one of the largest revenue opportunities for future sports wagering operators,” DraftKings CEO Jason Robins said in a statement. “We are thrilled to partner with del Lago Resort & Casino to offer sports fans a unique and novel sports betting experience.”

New York Waiting on Regulations

New York is currently in a state of limbo when it comes to sports betting. When the state constitution was amended to allow for commercial casinos in 2013, the language used allowed for any such casinos to offer sports betting should the federal ban on that form of gambling be lifted. That occurred in May, when the Supreme Court ruled that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was unconstitutional.

However, regulations are still required before the four upstate casinos in the state would be allowed to start taking bets on sporting events. The New York State Gaming Commission has been working on developing those rules, but as of its last meeting on Monday, deliberations were still ongoing as to how the body wants to regulate the industry.

Current laws also only allow for betting at the resorts themselves. The state legislature considered legislation that would have allowed for mobile wagering, as well as betting at other venues like racetracks and off-track betting parlors, but no vote was held in the most recent legislative session.

For del Lago, the hope is that bringing in a sportsbook could help turn around the languishing casino. While New York’s upstate casinos in general have disappointed when it comes to their revenues, del Lago – located in the Finger Lakes region – has particularly struggled, with owner Tom Wilmot seeking tax breaks and other assistance from state officials.