A new FanDuel Sportsbook opens this week in New York State. Nonetheless, it is of interest to customers and the sports betting industry in Pennsylvania.
The book’s location borders Northern Pennsylvania, an area of the Keystone State without access to a brick-and-mortar sportsbook. It also marks the long-delayed launch of neighboring New York’s sports betting.
FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs Casino Resort formally opens Friday with a ceremonial wager at 2:30 p.m., but began its soft open on Wednesday afternoon.
Sportsbook aims to appeal across borders and fill a void
The book there is managed by FanDuel in partnership with Tioga Downs.
Tioga’s owner also holds the Meadowlands Racetrack in New Jersey, where FanDuel provides the retail sportsbook.
FanDuel also has an online and mobile book in New Jersey, which is not allowed under New York regulations. And FanDuel runs the book at Valley Forge Casino.
The closest retail sportsbook in Pennsylvania is in Hershey, more than 200 miles south of Tioga Downs, leaving the entire less-populated northern tier of the Keystone State without a brick-and-mortar sportsbook location.
Kevin Hennessy, the spokesman for FanDuel, said they see the new sportsbook location reaching Pennsylvania customers.
Scranton is 90 minutes away, Wilkes Barre a bit more, and there are many other smaller communities in Northeast corner of the Keystone State which FanDuel hopes to tap.
Four retail sportsbooks coming to New York, but no online betting
The Tioga County location is the second of four approved retail sportsbook locations in New York, all coupled with the Empire State’s four commercial casinos. Rivers Casino Schenectady took the first bets earlier this week.
The existing law from 2013 authorizes in-person betting at the four upstate casinos, but constitutional concerns over expanded gambling have so far kept mobile betting off the books.
The FanDuel location is just over the New York state line. There’s even a road named State Line in the host community of Nichols, a town of about 2,500.
Tioga Downs already offers gaming, a six-story hotel, a golf course, and harness racing. The three-year-old casino has 892 slot machines, 28 table games, and a six-table poker room.
The 2,600 square-foot sportsbook adjoins the resort, which sits between the Susquehanna River and the border of New York and Pennsylvania.
Details of the new book at Tioga Downs
The sportsbook facility features:
- Seating for more than 50 customers
- Eight betting windows
- 14 self-service betting kiosks
- 27 video displays
The wagering technology is provided by IGT PlayDigital, which serves as FanDuel’s sports betting platform provider at the Meadowlands, the largest East Coast sportsbook. Jeff Gural, Tioga Downs’ owner, also owns the Meadowlands.
The book at Tioga Downs will accept bets on all major professional US sports, including but not limited to :
With no college betting in NY, PA bettings app could be the answer
But New York gaming regulations prohibit bets on amateur athletics for teams located in the state, and also for college sporting events taking place in the state.
That means no wagers on popular college teams and venues such as Syracuse, Buffalo, Cornell, St. John’s, and Army.
However, a quick drive over to Pennsylvania and all sorts of college athletics wagering is available on both New York and Pennsylvania colleges.
There are currently three PA sports betting apps available for download in the Keystone State:
As of Wednesday, BetRivers and Parx are available via browser for users on iPhones and iPads in addition to their Android apps. Parx is available on Android, but currently lacks an option for iOS customers.