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Tioga Downs begins construction as sports betting takes next steps in New York

NICHOLS (WBNG) — Sports gambling one step closer to being allowed in New York casinos, which includes Tioga Downs Casino and Resort in Nichols.

Tioga downs is transforming its horse betting area into a sports gambling hub.

“We’re still in the early stages, we’re just trying to prepare the area for a sports book,” said Jim Weed, marketing manager at Tioga Downs.

Tioga Downs is one of four private casino’s in Upstate New York approved to regulate sports wagering once it becomes legal.

On Wednesday, the New York State Gaming Commission formally posted its rules for sports betting, opening up a 60-day public comment period. It says Memorial Day Weekend is a possible opening date.

“The timing of it is great, our racing starts in the middle of may so if we could have the sportsbook going by the end of may, early june, that’d be great,” said Weed.

The owner of Tioga Downs, Jeff Gural, says there’s a checklist to clear before any betting can happen.

“They need 60-days for the review, so then we would need the gaming commission to to meet and enact he rules and regs… and then we’d have to get a sports betting license and they would come and see that we’re ready to go,” said Gural.

Weed says FanDuel will ultimately be running the sports book and the company will work in conjunction with Tioga Downs on the property.

“[It will be] very similar to what you see in Las Vegas, people have a designated sports book, and that’s where people will make their wages on any sport you can think of,” said Weed.

Until then, construction work will continue to keep the opening date on track.

“We’re just trying to stay ahead of it so when we finally do get those regulations and they say go here’s the green light, then we’re ready to go, said Weed.

The gaming commission will set the official start date once sports betting is officially legalized.

Jackie Prager

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