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Rivers Casino, in Schenectady, launched its sportsbook with a grand opening ceremony including athletes and politicians.

Rivers Sportsbook becomes the first location for NY sports betting, though it likely will be joined by a number of others in the coming weeks. FanDuel Sportsbook at Tioga Downs in Nichols opened Wednesday morning and should finish its live testing period Friday.

Sports betting in New York is authorized under a 2013 voter-approved referendum. That measure limits legal sports betting to four upstate casinos, and state regulations also permit tribal casinos to offer sports wagering as well.

New York sports betting remains limited to in-person wagers at the upstate facilities. Neighboring states New Jersey and Pennsylvania legalized mobile sports betting and realized far greater revenue because of it. However, New York failed to modernize its law in this year’s legislature.

That bill represents only the most recent stalled effort to clean up NY sports betting law. Expanded sports betting in New York faces opposition from Gov. Andrew Cuomo, as well as questions over the constitutionality of placing bets off casino grounds.

Sen. Joe Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow remain committed to clearing mobile sports betting at next year’s legislature. They might ultimately need to push for another referendum to go before voters if Cuomo maintains his opposition to a legislative solution.

LEGAL SPORTS REPORT story, Edited by HRI Staff

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