Despite New York dragging its feet in legalising sports betting, casinos in the state are busily finding ways to improve their business.
One of these is Empire Resorts, which recently announced a “strategic alliance” with a subsidiary of global gambling giant Bet365. The alliance will see Bet365 partner with Empire Resorts and offer sports betting and online gambling for at least 20 years.
The deal is of a similar nature to many other signed by casino companies in the states, partnering with international platforms, who can help provide the infrastructure for a regulated sports betting and iGaming industry.
Empire Resorts runs the Resorts World Catskills, a $1.2 billion commercial casino venture located in Monticello and appears to be a great fit for Bet365, the latest UK online sports betting operator seeking to penetrate into the US market, after it recently entering into an alliance with Hard Rock Atlantic City.
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Unlike the partnership with Hard Rock, which is a straight branding agreement, the one with Empire has a broader scope.
The alliance will allow Bet365 to power the retail sportsbook on the property and the statewide online and mobile sports betting platform.
It also has an online gambling aspect but this will be dependent on the legislation including online casinos.
The executive chairman of Empire, Manny Pearlman said joining forces with one of the biggest online gambling operators in the world was the correct strategic vision for his company.
“Bet365’s global expertise in effectively developing and executing world-class sportsbooks [and they] strongly complements Empire’s leadership in commercial casino operations in New York,” he said.
“This collaboration, which will enable Resorts World Catskills to be a leading destination for sports wagering in New York State, highlights our commitment to the continued growth of Resorts World Catskills, as well as our dedication to working with the best, most innovative pioneers in the industry to provide world-class gaming options.”
On the financial part of the deal, Empire and Bet365 will share profits accrued through the partnership evenly. Bet365 will have to invest $50 million in Empire Resorts to become its second-largest shareholder.
Through a voter referendum in 2013, New York legalised sports betting at four commercial casinos. Since the Supreme Court’s repeal of PASPA, the four casinos on the state have found themselves a sports betting partner. Del Lago is with DraftKings, Tiago Downs with FanDuel while Rivers Casinos and Empire have partnered with with Bet365.