SCHENECTADY — Look out Las Vegas, New York is now taking sports bets. For the first time in history, Rivers Casino in Schenectady officially began accepting legal sports bets Tuesday morning at a brand new sports lounge that has the look and feel of ones found in Las Vegas casinos.
New York now joins neighboring states New Jersey and Pennsylvania that began taking sports bets in the past year. Only New York’s four commercial upstate casinos and Indian reservations are allowed to take sports bets at this time. For gamblers in the New York City area and Long Island, they will need to drive upstate or visit the legal sportsbooks in New Jersey to bet games.
Rivers Casino in Schenectady, about three hours north of New York City, is owned by Rush Gaming, which also owns Rivers Casinos in Pittsburgh and Des Plaines, IL. Rush recently purchased Sugarhouse Casino in Philadelphia, which will change its name to Rivers Casino Philadelphia later this year.
“We’re so proud to be the first gaming operator in New York to take legal sports bets,” said Rivers Casino & Resort General Manager Justin Moore. “Many people worked very hard to make legal sports wagering a reality in New York State, and we thank all of them for their tireless efforts and dedication. Sports fans and bettors from across the Capital Region and beyond will be thrilled with our new state-of-the-art Rivers Sportsbook lounge. We look forward to having them as guests at Rivers Casino & Resort and the City of Schenectady.”
“We couldn’t be happier for our great community partner Rivers Casino & Resort,” said Schenectady Mayor Gary McCarthy. “It is indeed an historic day not just for the state of New York, but for the City of Schenectady. As Rivers Casino grows, so does its positive impact on our community. The opening of Rivers Sportsbook will surely attract even more guests to the property and to our great city. Looking ahead, we are also hopeful that our leaders in Albany will see how hard Rivers Casino is working to keep up with growing regional competition and recognize how important it is for them to address structural tax disadvantages in the market.”
The new Rivers Sportsbook, which was designed by DMAC Architecture of Chicago, is a luxury sports lounge and occupies just over 5,000 square feet. Brand new club chairs and table seating accommodate approximately 80 guests and include five private booths with TV monitors – each accommodating up to 6 people. The lounge also includes 18 individual VIP seats and 32 tabletop seats.
Rivers Sportsbook has an impressive state-of-the-art 53’ x 9’ LED video wall that anchors the sportsbook viewing area, along with 22 additional TV monitors. The sportsbook also includes 14 self-serve betting kiosks and 6 staffed betting windows to accommodate guests. Rivers Sportsbook is located directly off the casino’s main gaming floor – adjacent to Van Slyck’s lounge.
The Rivers Sportsbook hours of operation will be Monday – Thursday, 10:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m.; Friday, 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.; Saturday, 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 a.m.; and Sunday 9:00 a.m. to 12:00 a.m., but are subject to change during various sports seasons.
There is a $5 minimum wager amount and all bets are cash only. Betting sheets with odds will be printed and available at Rivers Sportsbook. Must be 21 years of age or older to access the gaming floor and wager at Rivers Sportsbook.