Industry Reports

New York’s Budding Sports Wagering Sector Jeopardized by Fantasy Sports

New York might be deeply immersed in the ongoing launch of sports betting offerings across eleven casino venues, but there are other concerns extending several years back.

Rivers Casino & Resort saw its efforts against Daily Fantasy Sports nixed by an Appellate Division’s recent ruling. It could be recalled that the casino resort made an attempt at fighting a 2016 law legalizing the popular offering across New York State.

Daily Fantasy Sports is among the most popular gaming offerings across the states and it is a common group experience for people willing to take a step in the gaming world. It is not uncommon for groups of coworkers or friends to participate in it and work on their teams, eyeing a grand payout and a better life. Ever since its legalization in 2016, the conversation around it has been more than heated.

Rivers Casino Concerned by DFS

The end of 2018 saw Acting Supreme Court Justice Gerald Connolly rule that the law allowing the offering is in fact breaching the existing State Constitution. The state judge made it clear that DFS contests are a form of gambling by definition, instead of games of skill.

This meant that the gaming offering is in direct breach with the gambling regulations within the state and therefore should be considered illegal. Rivers Casino jumped on board of this ruling and eyed a great benefit to its future operation.

FanDuel and DraftKings are the two giants in the Daily Fantasy Sports world eyeing the permission to operate within the state. The casino resort wanted to make sure it eliminates potential cannibalization within the field.

In its claim, Rivers Casino argued New York State Attorney-General’s position that a constitutional amendment is now needed for the launch of DFS. It all comes down to what constitutes a game of chance and a game of skill. The Schenectady casino resort’s attorneys argued that the New York State Constitution features a broader definition of gambling, which has not been taken into account.

What is truly concerning to Rivers Casino is that it has already commenced legal sports wagering operation and hundreds of individuals are eager to make their way there and bet. Projections are that its gaming revenue is going to increase substantially over the following months. However, people interested in betting on live events are also known to be drawn to DFS as well, complicating matters even further.

At the end of the day, the casino resort could see a negative impact on its future sports wagering operation, as players could prefer the fantasy sports teams over traditional teams and live events. The ultimate decision of the Appellate Court came as a surprise to many experts in the field, but there might be a good reason for that.

A brief denial might be caused by the casino resort arguments that could hint economy factors are driving. Rivers Casino Resort was the first New York State location to welcome wagers and local politicians were the first to place a bet. Gary Pretlow, chair of the state Assembly Racing and Wagering Committee supported the Seattle Mariners, whereas Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy placed a bet on the Boston Red Sox.