Amidst ongoing debate as to which online sports betting model will work best for New York, operators are wasting no time securing market access. Barstool (via partner Penn National Gaming) and Golden Nugget Online Gaming both inked deals this week that will lay the groundwork for a sports betting launch if and when New York allows it.
Golden Nugget And Tioga Downs
Today, Golden Nugget secured New York access via a partnership with Tioga Downs Casino in Nichols. On the heels of a successful 2020 in New Jersey and a fresh launch in Michigan, Golden Nugget Online Gaming now has an avenue to launch sports betting in the Empire State. If New York eventually regulates its sportsbook market, GNOG can launch a platform under the Tioga Downs license as part of the 20-year agreement announced today.
Thomas Winter, President of GNOG, stated, “We are very excited to sign this long-term partnership with Jeff Gural and Tioga Downs. New York is key to our growth strategy and we look forward to the state embracing online gaming. We will remain focused on securing new market access partners in more US states. With its iconic brand, superior product, and award-winning operations, GNOG is uniquely positioned to take advantage of the exponential growth of online gaming in the US.”
Penn National Gaming And Rivers
Earlier this week, Penn National Gaming signed a similar deal with Rivers Casino & Resort. Penn Interactive expects to launch its Barstool sportsbook in New York once regulations allow as part of the 20-year agreement.
“Gaining potential access to what could become one of the nation’s most lucrative sports betting markets has been a major priority for our Company,” said Jon Kaplowitz, Penn National’s Sr. Vice President of Interactive Gaming. “We are hopeful that the New York State Assembly will follow those leading revenue-producing states that allow for multiple skins for mobile sports betting. A state the size of New York certainly warrants open competition and a free market approach.”
New York Sports Betting In Flux
These years-long deals in New York could be jumping the gun. New York has yet to legalize sports betting, partially because two competing models are up for consideration in the state. Governor Andrew Cuomo wants a lottery-run sports betting model, which would create a pseudo-monopoly and allow one (possibly two or three, depending on the regulatory framework) sportsbook to go live in partnership with the state lottery.
New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, on the other hand, have introduced legislation that would greenlight a casino-based model. This is similar to competing markets like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and Michigan. Casinos can partner with an online sports betting company to offer a digital sportsbook. This creates a competitive market with multiple license holders.
It remains to be seen which model will win in the Empire State. If Cuomo gets his way, both of these deals could be for naught. If the state legislators get their way, these agreements could prove to be an excellent headstart for Penn Interactive and Golden Nugget.