Tioga Downs prepares for legalization of sports gambling

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Things usually quiet down at Tioga Downs Casino after the rowdy Belmont Stakes weekend, but that might not be the case this year. 

After the Supreme Court ruled in early May to overturn a federal ban on sports gambling, there’s been a lot of buzz surrounding the possibility of its legalization in New York. 

And Tioga Downs is ready to take the leap.

 “Pending legislation, we’ll be ready to go with this. So we’re excited,” Jim Weed, Tioga Downs Marketing Manager said.

Yesterday the casino secured a deal with betting operator Paddy Power Betfair, so now it’s just a matter of time and legislation before patrons can bet on any sport. 

“It’s going to be very similar to Las Vegas, so if you’ve done sports wagering in Vegas…all the prop bets, whether it’s wins/losses, things as simple as the outcome of the coin toss for the Super Bowl,” Weed said. 

Management confirms that both in-house and online gambling would be permitted. 

There’s already a law in place that allows for sports gambling in New York, but it still has some kinks that need to be worked out. Under that law, which was passed in 2013, Tioga Downs is 1 of only 4 casinos in N.Y. that are permitted to have a sports betting license. New legislation is needed to allow more.

Casino owner Jeff Gural has spoken with state legislators to push for legalization. 

“We’re confident that this thing is gonna happen, now it’s just a matter of when…the whole tri-state area is going to go after it, so it’s just a matter of who gets it first,” Weed said. 

If the legislation doesn’t pass, it’s back to business as usual. The hope at Tioga Downs is that sports gambling is up and running by the fall – just in time for football season. 

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