Online gambling in New York state is still somewhere between “pipe dream” and “a few dozen legislative hurdles,” but gaming companies are continuing to pour money and time into the Empire State in an effort to position themselves for future success.
The latest? Golden Nugget, which just signed a 20-year agreement with the Tioga Downs casino racetrack to provide online casino gambling if and when New York legalizes online gaming.
Tioga Downs previously signed a similar agreement with FanDuel to provide online sports betting options. Currently, FanDuel operates the retail sportsbook at Tioga Downs.
“We are very excited to sign this long-term partnership with Jeff Gural and Tioga Downs,” Thomas Winter, the president of Golden Nugget, said in a press release. ”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 U.S. 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 U.S.”
Golden Nugget, which is routinely the monthly leader in online casino gaming in New Jersey, recently launched in Michigan with less-than-stellar results, coming in seventh out of nine online casinos in amount won in the first 10 days.
Second big announcement this week
Under terms of the agreement with Tioga Downs, Golden Nugget will pay a percentage of its gaming revenue — subject to a minimum royalty — to Tioga Downs, one of seven commercial or tribal casinos in the state.
This is the ninth state Golden Nugget has gained market access in over the last few months, with Pennsylvania, Illinois, West Virginia, Nevada, Mississippi, and Louisiana among the others.
“Tioga Downs is excited to partner with one of the best performing online gaming operators in the U.S.,” said Jeffrey Gural, owner of Tioga Downs, in the same release. “GNOG has one of the most experienced online teams, a historied U.S. casino brand and a proven track record in our neighboring state of New Jersey. I’m confident GNOG will bring an exciting product to my home state of New York and together we will generate excellent new revenue streams for GNOG, Tioga and the state of New York.”
This is also the second big New York announcement this week, as Penn National Gaming, with its Barstool Sportsbook, signed a similar 20-year agreement with Capital Rivers Gaming (Rivers Casino Resort) that would enable it to operate both an online casino and sportsbook in the state.
How is $PENN getting market access in NY not front page news on every trading platform?*
*I own a shit ton of Penn stock and am not a financial advisor pic.twitter.com/CfNBSwOYnA
— Dave Portnoy (@stoolpresidente) February 22, 2021
Step one? Legalization
Of course, the first necessary step in all of this is online casinos and sportsbooks actually being legalized in New York, something Gov. Andrew Cuomo has long been against. His position has softened in recent months as COVID has blown a hole in the state budget.
Cuomo is on record as preferring a lottery-run, single-operator system in the state, while legislators have introduced a bill to make New York’s online gaming world look more similar to New Jersey’s multi-operator system.