Sports betting in New York is expected to begin on Tuesday, with the first of four upstate casinos set to win official approval from the State Gaming Commission.
Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady spokesman Al Roney said the OK is expected before the ribbon cutting Tuesday morning.
The hotel’s 5,000-square-foot Rivers Sportsbook betting lounge has room for 80 people, including an 18-person VIP seating area, 14 gambling kiosks and six betting windows.
Still, it’s a slow start for New York, which is launching sports betting a year after New Jersey.
Also, unlike New Jersey, New York will not allow mobile sports betting.
New York City sports gamblers would have to trek more than three hours and 170 miles to place a bet in person at Rivers Casino.
“I’m glad we’re breaking grounds on sports betting, but it would’ve been nice to have the mobile component. But it’s a baby step,” said state Sen. Joe Addabbo (D-Queens).
Addabbo claims the Empire State is losing out on tens of millions in cash to New Jersey as a result of the Garden State’s mobile sports betting.
But Gov. Andrew Cuomo is not a fan of that, and has argued that a change to the state Constitution would be necessary to allow it.
Rivers Casino executives are hopeful that New York City sports bettors — who have to travel only a few miles across the Hudson River to place wagers on smartphone apps — will make the trip upstate.
“We’re really not that far from New York City or certain places in Massachusetts and Connecticut. We have a beautiful hotel and property. People will want to come up and spend [money],” Greg Carlin, CEO of Rush Street Gaming and Rivers Casino Schenectady, told The Post.
Upstate bettors can place wages on pro football, basketball, baseball, hockey, soccer, college sports and more, Rivers officials said.
Gamblers can place straight bets, parlays, totals and in-game bets.
Besides Rivers, in-person sports-betting regulations are approved at the Del Lago, Resorts World Catskills and Tioga Downs casinos, as well as tribal casinos. But those facilities must first submit individual applications.
Cuomo said Monday that gambling is a necessary evil to aid the upstate economy.
“I’m not a great fan of the gaming industry, but it’s here, it’s real,” he said on Albany’s WAMC radio.
“States all around New York are doing it; we’ve lost a lot of revenue to the surrounding states.”
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