As DraftKings expects to use its New Jersey success to expand across the U.S., the daily fantasy sports and sports gambling operator isn’t wasting any time launching new operations. As of Friday (23), the del Lago Resort and Casino in upstate New York will be home to a new DraftKings sportsbook, ready to go before the start of the NFL regular season. The sportsbook becomes the fifth to be offered in New York.
According to Syracuse.com, the sports gambling venue will offer 6,000 square feet with 23 gambling kiosks and cashier stations. It will also provide a full service bar and restaurant that can accommodate up to 200 people. A 1,000-square-foot LED screen and another 16 TVs will allow patrons to catch all the action and watch as their wagers turn lucrative or fall flat.
Attending tomorrow’s grand opening will be local officials, representatives from both DraftKings and del Lago, as well as Donovan McNabb. McNabb was a star when he played for Syracuse University and became an even bigger star when he quarterbacked for several teams in the NFL from 1999-2011. He led his teams to five division championship wins and one Super Bowl appearance. McNabb is expected to place one of the first bets during the inaugural ceremony.
Sports gambling in New York is being viewed as a potential game-changer for the state’s gambling industry. It has suffered since launching, with revenues not reaching the levels anyone had expected. With the launch of the del Lago/DraftKings sportsbook, it will compete against Rivers Casino, Tioga Downs and two tribal casinos for customers. The only other commercial casino, Resorts World Catskills, doesn’t have a sportsbook and most likely won’t anytime soon. The casino is barely treading water and has just been bailed out by its largest shareholder, Genting Malaysia.
The sports gambling space in New York is going to continue to tighten, as well. The two tribal casinos offering sportsbooks are operated by the Oneida Nation, which has plans to open a third – at Yellow Brick Road – before the end of the year. Another sports gambling operation is expected to come to the Akwesasne Mohawk tribe’s casino near Hogansburg by year’s end, as well. Fortunately for del Lago and DraftKings, the del Lago casino is the closest to cities like Buffalo and Rochester.