New York State’s Oneida Nation Forms Sports Betting Partnership with Caesars Entertainment
Caesars has struck a deal with the Oneida Nation to bring sports betting to the tribe’s three Upstate New York casinos later this year. That’s provided the deal is approved by National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) and New York signs off some form of wagering regulations in 2019.
In an official statement, the tribe described the partnership as a “licensing and branding alliance,” that will see the establishment of “The Lounge with Caesars Sports” sportsbooks at its Turning Stone Resort Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino, and Point Place Casino properties near Syracuse.
The tribe’s closest commercial competitor, the Del Lago Casino Resort, already has a deal in place with FanDuel and will be ready to roll out sports betting as soon as it gets the green light.
Bone of Contention
Sports betting is nominally legal in the state of New York, having been approved by voters at a 2013 referendum when residents also voted to amend the state constitution to authorize commercial casino gaming. Currently, only the four commercial casinos whose licenses were created by the referendum would be permitted to offer sports betting once the New York State Gaming Commission draws up a framework of regulation and taxation.
State lawmakers have indicated the legislature will need to pass additional legislation before the state’s tribal operators and racetracks can roll out their sports books — something they’re expected to tackle early in the new session.
But the Oneida Nation has previously said it doesn’t need to wait for a new bill to be passed because it is permitted to offer class III gaming — which includes sports betting — under the terms of its existing compact, provided it is offered elsewhere in the state. This may set it on collision course with the legislature.
Supply and Demand
Caesars appears to be ploughing the same furrow through the emerging sports betting market as MGM. The two casino giants have realized that the key to dominating the market lies not in simply operating sports books at their own properties, but also as suppliers, providing sports betting services and technology to casinos across the US.
Just over half of those casinos are run by tribal operators, with whom Caesars and MGM will be clamoring to form strategic partnerships in states that are shortly expected to introduce sports betting.
New York — as a sports betting market giant in waiting — is a great place to start. Should all of the state’s gaming operators participate, it has been estimated the market could quickly be worth $500 million — that’s roughly twice the size of Las Vegas’.
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