The Sports Lounge at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino debuted Friday, with similar venues planned for Salamanca and Niagara Falls this month.
Seneca Nation President Rickey Armstrong Sr. put down $40 for the Buffalo Bills to beat the Steelers at Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino on Friday.
Armstrong kicked off a string of wagers placed on December 13th, the day sports betting debuted at the Buffalo-based casino. Patrons can bet on sports ranging from football to hockey to mixed martial arts, but wagering on horse racing is not permitted.
The Sports Lounge at Buffalo prefaces Seneca Gaming Corp.’s plans to make sportsbooks available at its Niagara Falls and Salamanca casinos in New York State. Those locations are forecasted to open this month; grand opening celebrations were strategically staggered.
New York state law exclusively permits sports bets be placed in person via a betting window or kiosk located inside a casino. Online and mobile sports betting are currently prohibited in the state. New York also allows bets on all professional sports — football, basketball, baseball and hockey — as well as college sports, as long as those collegiate sports bets do not involve New York collegiate teams.
“Brick and mortar [betting] is going to be substantial profit, but we’re also waiting for [online betting] to come in, maybe next year through legislation,” Armstrong told the Buffalo News.
In the interim, patrons can initiate their bets offsite via their mobile devices, then receive a QR code to complete their bets on-site at the Buffalo casino’s electronic kiosks or staffed teller windows.
Seneca’s real-time wagering boards and betting kiosks will operate 24/7. More than 30 people will staff sportsbook operations across its three locations — a figure anticipated to increase as sports betting gains traction.
The Seneca Nation is the official casino partner of the NFL team the Buffalo Bills as well as the NHL team the Buffalo Sabres.
“I think we really expect for Buffalo to be much more active than some of the other markets [in the state] because Buffalo is such a great sports town,” said Holly Gagnon, Seneca Gaming CEO.
The Seneca Nation signed a deal with Kambi to bring sports betting kiosks and player account management to its three casinos in upstate New York. Kambi established itself as a top B2B sportsbook provider in Europe and Latin America before entering the U.S. market, starting with New Jersey and Pennsylvania.