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Sports betting might be retail-only in New York, but the limitation isn’t scaring away some of the industry’s elite.
Resorts World Catskills announced Tuesday that its sportsbook would open on Thursday. It also announced an extended supply chain, adding partnerships with IGT and Betgenius to complement its existing alliance with bet365.
The well-timed announcement acts as an apparent precursor to the grand opening of the retail sportsbook on-property in Monticello.
Of the four commercial casinos approved to offer NY sports betting, Resorts World is the only one still racing to launch ahead of NFL season. And although all four are struggling with finances, it is also undergoing a change of ownership.
The new space, dubbed Sportsbook 360, hopes to see increased traffic from hungry bettors in the tri-state region. General manager and COO Kevin Kline worked to highlight the casino’s relative proximity to New York City in his statement:
“Resorts World Catskills is excited to partner with Betgenius and IGT PlaySports who are recognized as world leaders in sports betting technology and services. This partnership with Sportsbook 360 further positions us as the newest and closest fully integrated gaming resort destination to Manhattan.”
Resorts World sits in a quiet village tucked in the foothills some 85 miles upstate of the city.
Go live is 6:30 p.m. Thursday, with ceremonial first bets taking place at 7 p.m. Those bets will be placed by:
After that, betting will be good to go on the first game of the NFL season: the Green Bay Packers versus the Chicago Bears.
The involvement of Betgenius is perhaps the most intriguing component of the announcement. The young subsidiary of Genius Sports occupies an enviable position in the overlap between sports and gambling, straddling the industries with top-tier partnerships.
Its parent company is a data provider for several international sports leagues, including an official role with the NCAA and NBA in the US. Genius Sports uses Betgenius as its conduit to the betting world, with some of the world’s largest operators relying on its services to power their products.
The group’s list of sportsbook partners features DraftKings, William Hill, and SkyBet among others.
Betgenius is more than just a pipeline for data, though capable of providing a robust solution for sports betting. And it sounds like Resorts World will borrow on some of those services.
COO Jack Davison played up his company’s role in a joint press release:
“We are proud to play a key role in Resorts World Catskills’ new sportsbook offering. Utilizing Betgenius’ premium sports betting content in sportsbook management, Resorts World Catskills will offer its customers the most extensive and engaging sports betting experience.”
Those premium Betgenius features could include granular in-play markets and official league data.
The IGT component is equally important, albeit slightly less exciting. The supplier is one of the largest in the world, delivering products and services across sports betting, casino, and lottery verticals. It seems particularly keen on expanding its US sports betting footprint in the short term, also powering DraftKings’ retail operations at Scarlet Pearl in Mississippi.
While Resorts World might represent the most convenient “fully integrated gaming resort destination” to the Big Apple, there’s a reason for the multiple modifiers. Legal sportsbooks in New Jersey, both on-site at Meadowlands and online statewide, still represent a more convenient option for most New Yorkers.
Of note, bet365 also has access to the Empire State under the license of Resorts World, should online sports betting (or other forms of gambling) become legal. That alliance, originally pitched as a multi-channel partnership with equity, remains dormant since its inception last November.
With that apparent change of plans, Resorts is the last of the four commercial casinos to solidify its NY sports betting supply chain.
Rush Street Gaming owns Rivers Schenectady, and it handles most of its operation in-house. The company’s interactive division worked pieces of Kambi technology into the foundation of its new proprietary platform already in use in Pennsylvania.
DraftKings Sportsbook and FanDuel Sportsbook both secured their spot in the market long ago, too. The former is partnered with del Lago in central NY, the latter with Tioga Downs in the Southern Tier. Both are up and running with retail operations as of July.
The tribes are getting into the game, too.
Caesars operates sportsbooks on land in the middle of the state, which is owned by the Oneida, while The Stars Group is working on a Mohawk sportsbook along the northern Canada border. Despite an ongoing feud with the state, the Seneca also plans to open a few sportsbooks in western NY.
Like bet365, each of those operators would relish the chance to deploy its online/mobile sportsbook to bettors statewide. For now, though, retail sports betting is better than nothing in New York.
Photo: Erik Almas