NY sports betting is not live yet, but that did not stop a group of tribal casinos from announcing sportsbook plans.
The Oneida Indian Nation revealed Wednesday that it would partner with Caesars Entertainment to operate legal sports betting inside three New York casinos. Those plans remain subject to approval by the National Indian Gaming Commission (NIGC) and the issuance of NY sports betting regulations.
The Oneida Indian Nation plans to launch at some point in 2019, pending the above circumstances. Potential NY sports betting legislation also could factor into the nation’s announced timeline.
What the Oneida-Caesars plans would create
A statement, provided by the Oneida Indian Nation, lays out how it wants to roll out NY sports betting:
Oneida Indian Nation will be partnering with global gaming leader Caesars Entertainment to bring sports betting to Upstate New York with a licensing and branding alliance. “The Lounge with Caesars Sports” will open at Turning Stone Resort Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino and Point Place Casino in 2019.
All three tribal casinos sit within a short drive of Syracuse.
NY sports betting already legal, but …
New York residents voted to legalize sports betting via referendum in 2013, five years before the fall of PASPA made it possible.
Only four approved commercial casinos can offer legal sports betting under the terms of that measure — various efforts to approve NY sports betting statewide failed over the past half-decade, including a promising bill in 2018.
In the absence of broad legislation, the state gaming division has not issued regulations that would pave the way for the four commercial casinos to start sportsbooks. That also trips up tribal casinos planning to offer sports betting under the terms of their compacts with New York.
Good news for Caesars rewards members
The deal also includes some reciprocity for Oneida players and Caesars Total Rewards members. Per the statement:
Turning Stone, Yellow Brick Road and Point Place Casino players will be able to exchange and redeem their TS Rewards loyalty points, as well as have their player tier levels matched, for Total Rewards Points at all Caesars properties, with the same exchange available for Caesars players at Oneida Indian Nation properties.
What they’re saying about the deal
Oneida Indian Nation Representative and Nation Enterprises CEO Ray Halbritter:
“When it comes to sports betting, Caesars is in a class of its own. We are pleased to be joining forces with this world-renowned gaming leader. Like Oneida Nation Enterprises, Caesars has built its business on exceptional service, as well as a dedication to constant innovation. These shared values create the perfect synergy for a meaningful long-term partnership.”
Caesars Entertainment EVP of Gaming and Interactive Entertainment Christian Stuart:
“We are eagerly awaiting the National Indian Gaming Commission’s review of this innovative new partnership involving a licensing and branding arrangement. The Oneida Indian Nation has already established Turning Stone as the preeminent New York gaming destination, which makes the property and its sister casinos fitting partners for Caesars. When it comes to partnerships, Caesars seeks collaborators who share our commitment to exceeding guest expectations, and we are confident that “The Lounge with Caesars Sports” at Turning Stone, Yellow Brick Road Casino and Point Place Casino will be a top sports betting destination in New York.”