DraftKings Inks Deal For New York Sports Betting With Del Lago Resort

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Just two years ago, DraftKings was fighting just to be able to legally offer daily fantasy sports in New York.

Now it has a deal to offer online sports betting in the state, as first reported by Bloomberg and then confirmed in a press release by DraftKings.

The deal is with Del Lago Resort & Casino, which is located in Waterloo, NY. The deal covers both a retail location and online, should the state authorize both.

“New York is one of the largest revenue opportunities for future sports wagering operators and 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,” said Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings.

This could be the first physical DraftKings Sportsbook in the country. DraftKings already has a deal in place to offer sports betting in New Jersey via land-based partner Resorts Atlantic City. DraftKings teased its sportsbook app last week.

Where we’re at on NY sports betting

New York sports betting is currently in a state of flux, and online wagering is not allowed in the state.

There is a chance that the state’s gaming commission will allow for land-based wagering at the state’s four commercial casinos, under existing law, although the status of that regulatory effort is unknown. That would include Del Lago.

DraftKings, though, is looking ahead to online wagering. Legislation to authorize mobile and online sports betting failed in the state legislature in 2018, but the bills considered would route such wagering through the state’s four commercial casinos, Del Lago being one of those four.

Competitor FanDuel — now owned by Paddy Power Betfair — has a sports betting deal in place with Tioga Downs. This weekend it opened the first-ever FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey.

DraftKings and FanDuel had to pull out of New York with their DFS operations for a time during a legal battle with former attorney general Eric Schneiderman. But the state enacted a law in the summer of 2016 that formally legalized and regulated DFS.

More about Del Lago

“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,” said Brent Stevens, co-chairman of del Lago and CEO of Peninsula Pacific.

“Our partnership with DraftKings combines one of the most recognizable brands in sports with the top resort and casino brand in New York and represents an incredibly important moment for gaming in the Upstate region. We look forward to working closely with DraftKings to create a dynamic, engaging and innovative sports betting experience for New Yorkers.”

Del Lago is located in the Finger Lakes region of NY. It became the state’s second commercial casino when it opened its doors on Feb. 1, 2017.

The Finger Lakes region is a beautiful part of NY, but from a tourism standpoint, del Lago is essentially in the middle of nowhere. Syracuse is the nearest medium-sized city, and folks there tend to head east to Turning Stone, instead.

Perhaps it’s not surprising, then, that del Lago has come up far short of its revenue projections. All four commercial casinos have, in fact. The situation for del Lago is so dire that executive have already gone to Albany seeking a bailout at least twice. Co-owner Thomas Wilmot simply says the property “needs some help.”

Lawmakers have so far scoffed at the idea of assisting.

Although it won’t be a significant moneymaker on its own, NY sports betting could provide the sort of boost to traffic del Lago is seeking.

Photo by Kschiefer used under Creative Commons Attribution-Share Alike 4.0 International license