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Schenectady bets on making history, Rivers Casino set to launch New York’s first sportsbook Tuesday

Outside the Rivers Casino

The Place Beyond the Pines will no longer be reserved for a Ryan Gosling movie title after Schenectady — derived from a Mohawk word meaning “beyond the pines” — makes history tomorrow by launching the first sportsbook in New York.

Rivers Casino & Resort is set to open its first legal sportsbook Tuesday, July 16 in downtown Schenectady. The upstate casino will open its sports betting lounge and plans to accept the state’s first-ever legal wager at 10 a.m. ET, pending license approval from the New York Gaming Commission on Monday.

Although Rivers is scheduled to open its sportsbook tomorrow, State Gaming Commission spokesman Brad Maione said there is “no formal timeline” for approval of any sportsbooks in New York casinos.

If the commission gives Rivers permission to offer sports betting, they will be the first of the four upstate casinos authorized under the 2013 law should the federal ban one day be lifted.

Other sportsbooks currently under development include Resorts World Catskills, Tioga Downs Casino Resort, and Del Lago Resort & Casino, along with three books at Oneida Indian Nation casinos and another at a Mohawk nation casino.

Residents and visitors who are at least 21 years of age will be able to place bets on all professional sports and non-New York college sports. Wagers can be made on the outcomes or in-game props in the form of straight bets and parlays.

Tioga Downs expects to open their sportsbook Wednesday, July 17. Del Lago and Resorts World do not have a date set for their sportsbooks.

New York hopes to capitalize on the sports betting market the way New Jersey has in their first year, which saw the Garden State handle $3.2 billion in total wagers during that time.

Of NJ’s $273.2 million handle for June 2019, $226.7 million (83%) came from online and mobile apps — something New Yorkers won’t have access to until 2020 at the earliest. S 17D failed to pass on the final day of the 2019 legislative session.

Despite not having sportsbook apps available on smartphones and tablets, New York could still generate huge returns on their gambling investment upstate.

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