Del Lago Resort & Casino Builds Sports Betting Lounge

Del Lago Sports Lounge - DraftKings Sportsbook New York

Del Lago signed a deal with DrafKings, while the Oneida Nation signed with Caesars Entertainment.

Del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo started building a sports betting lounge, even if New York has not legalized betting at sportsbooks yet. The Del Lago Sports Lounge fills the space where the Vine Restaurant & Bar once occupied, near the entrance of the Vine Showroom.

Once New York State legalizes sports gambling, Del Lago will operate itsĀ sportsbooks alongside DraftKings. DraftKings is the Boston-based daily fantasy sports company with over 11 million DFS accounts.

When the US Supreme Court legalized sports betting last year, DraftKings launched land-based sportsbook services and a live in-play sports betting app.

Del Lago’s decision to build a sportsbook before legalization happens is a sign of trust in the process. The New York State Legislature might pass a bill as early as June, but gambling laws have foundered in the legislature in recent years. The New York Gaming Commission also could change policies.

Commercial Casino Sportsbooks

Due to a 2013 law, sports betting technically is legal in New York. It is limited to the 4 land-based casinos approved in December 2014: Del Lago, Rivers Casino in Schenectady, Resorts World Catskills, and Tioga Downs. By extension, New York’s seven tribal casinos should receive the right to open sportsbooks, but regulators must set the policies before anyone can open a bookmaker operation.

The Gaming Commission published a set of laws and policies that would govern sports betting. The period for public comment on those policies ends on May 30. If not major snags occur, the Gaming Commission could open the application process by the end of the summer.

2013 Sports Betting Law Expansion?

Meanwhile, lawmakers are debating changes to the 2013 law that could open sports betting to more operators. One proposal would license sportsbooks through the states racinos (Aquaduct, Yonkers Raceway) and the many off-track betting (OTB) facilities around the state.

Another possible expansion includes mobile sports betting through Android phones and iPhones, or through sports betting kiosks at sports stadiums like Madison Square Garden. As readers can see, the expansion could become quite expansive indeed. Or rivalry and mutual greed could make it a big legislative mess, like California online poker bills became over the years.

Oneida and Caesars Sportsbooks

If the legislature does not pass a new law by the end of its June session, it is likely the Gaming Commission’s policies will take effect. Among New York’s tribal gaming authorities, the Oneida Nation are the only ones who’ve embraced sports betting so far.

The Oneida’s signed a deal with Caesars Entertainment to manage their sportsbooks at three tribal casinos: Turning Stone in Verona, Point Place in Bridgeport, and Yellow Brick Road in Chittenango.

New York Tribal Sportsbooks

Many reasons exist to believe the Empire State’s leaders will pass sports betting, but nothing is certain. Commercial casinos, racetrack casinos, and tribal gaming ventures all compete for business — and each has their own unique legal issues to consider.

Tribal sports, in particular, must consider federal gaming laws. The cornerstone of the tribal casino industry is the landmark 1986 US Supreme Court case, Cabazon v. California. The case established tribal sovereignty, which means Native American tribes can build casinos on federally-recognized reservation lands (within certain guidelines). The 1988 Indian Gaming Regulatory Act stemmed from Cabazon v. California and codified the tribal casino law.

Because tribal gaming’s premise is sovereignty, legalizing sports betting on tribal lands is more complicated. It usually means the state/tribe gaming compact must be amended, which could take many months or even years. Native American tribes might cede a years-long head start to commercial casino sportsbooks, so in states like Michigan they’ve opposed sports betting laws.