DraftKings Partners With Del Lago, But No Clarity On When Sportsbook Will Launch

Posted on July 19, 2018

The top daily fantasy sports operation in the country is looking to open another sportsbook. This time in Upstate New York.

DraftKings and the del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, New York announced a deal that will bring a DraftKings-branded and operated sportsbook open up inside the Upstate New York casino.

During the last session of the New York legislature in June, lawmakers discussed a law authorizing sports betting at all New York racetracks, casinos, and off-track betting parlors discussed. It did not pass though.

On May 14, the US Supreme Court lifted a federal ban on sports betting. New York lawmakers drafted potential sports betting legislation in the wake of that decision. New Jersey passed similar legislation and launched legal and regulated sports betting in June.

In fact, DraftKings inked a similar deal last month for a sportsbook Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, New Jersey.

New York sports betting laws

In the meantime, the 2013 law authorizing the opening of four new commercial casinos in the Empire State reportedly allows the casinos to run sportsbooks. Native American casinos in the Western and Central parts of the state are also reportedly authorized to run sportsbooks. However, there has been no indication they are prepared to do so.

The New York State Gaming Commission indicated in May it is drafting regulations to govern sports betting in the state. However, these regulations have yet to be completed, delaying the opening of the state’s first legal and regulated sports betting operations.

There is no word on when the Gaming Commission will complete the regulations, or the first sportsbook will open. The commission did confirm the drafting process is ongoing at a meeting this week.

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DraftKings and del Lago at the ready

Meanwhile, Del Lago and DraftKings say they are ready to flip the switch as soon as the regulations are complete.

Having DraftKings as a partner is certainly pleasing to del Lago co-chairman Brent Stevens:

“We see DraftKings as a fantastic and strategic partner in our sportsbook operation at del Lago Resort & Casino, and this deal represents a tremendous move forward for our property in general.”

Details regarding the size and scope of the DraftKings-branded sportsbook at del Lago are unavailable. However, officials at both companies are hopeful mobile and online sports wagering will ultimately be a part of the equation. Of course, that would require the passing of new online sports legislation first.

DraftKings CEO and co-founder Jason Robins said in New York, the company has its sights set on adding a sports-betting app with a web-based platform to its daily fantasy sports offering.

In the meantime, he sees New York as a very large opportunity:

“New York is one of the largest revenue opportunities for future sports wagering operators. We are thrilled to partner with del Lago Resort & Casino to offer sports fans a unique and novel sports betting experience, both at a physical sportsbook and on mobile when permitted.”

Del Lago Resort & Casino

Del Lago became the second commercial casino in New York when it opened between Syracuse and Rochester on Feb. 1, 2017.

New York lawmakers made the decision to expand casino gambling outside of Native American casinos and local racetracks in 2013. It initially granted licenses to three new casino developments in 2014.

However, the state granted a fourth license to Tioga Downs racetrack owner Jeff Gural after he petitioned for it. Tioga Downs Casino Resort became the first commercial casino operation to open up in New York in December 2016.

Rivers Casino and Resort in Schenectady opened up a week after del Lago. Resorts World Catskills in Monticello opened a year later, in February 2018.

However, first-year revenues at del Lago and Rivers fell well below projections. In the interim, both casinos have lobbied the state government for some kind of tax relief. The state has yet to provide any.

In June, Gural inked his own deal with Betfair US. The agreement will ultimately see Betfair US run live, online, and mobile sports betting operations at Tioga Downs as well as Gural’s Meadowlands Racetrack property in New Jersey.

Prior to signing the deal, Betfair US agreed to merge operations with the country’s second leading fantasy sports operator, FanDuel. FanDuel Sportsbook opened at Meadowlands Racetrack on July 14.

Photo by EQRoy / Shutterstock.com

Martin Derbyshire Avatar
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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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