- The del Lago Resort and Casino in Waterloo has started building its on-site sports betting lounge.
- The DraftKings Sportsbook will be a 6000-square-foot lounge with all of the typical amenities.
- The venue should complete construction by early summer.
NEW YORK – Construction of New York’s first sports betting lounge is underway at the del Lago Resort and Casino in Waterloo.
None of the four upstate casinos has received the green light to launch their sports betting products. Still, the del Lago Casino has already started work on its on-site DraftKings Sportsbook.
Computer mockups show what customers can expect of the 6000-square-foot venue. The facility will feature wall-sized displays, betting kiosks, and lounge seating. The book will also offer tableside food and drink service.
For those familiar with the premises, the del Lago DraftKings Sportsbook will replace the Vine Restaurant and Bar.
In preparation, the del Lago Casino received an exemption from the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) last month. This exemption allowed the venue to reduce the number of slot machines and table games on its main floor. The goal was to help make room for the new sports betting facility.
By New York law, the del Lago Casino must have 1,950 slot machines and 84 table games. However, after Moody’s downgraded the facility for the second year in a row, the casino sought a reprieve from the NYSGC.
As a result, the del Lago Casino got rid of roughly 300 poorly performing slots and its 18 least popular table games. The gambling house hopes a bigger sports betting footprint will help reverse its fortunes.
The state Senate also passed SB 17 through committee on Monday, keeping alive the potential to legalize online betting this year.
Under SB 17, the del Lago Casino would be able to operate an online sportsbook.
By comparison, neighboring New Jersey sees roughly 80 percent of its betting traffic take place over the Internet. With similar increased volume, online betting could be a positive boon for the struggling del Lago venue.
That said, Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration is on-record that any gambling expansion in the state would be subject to a voter referendum. As a result, even if SB 17 does pass, the current regime would likely veto or otherwise challenge the law.
USAOnlineSportsbooks.com thinks that while online sports betting is definitely coming to New York in the future, it seems unlikely that such will roll out at this early stage. For the time being, New Yorkers will be limited to their upstate land-based options.