On January 8, 2022, mobile and online sports wagering opened in New York State, but only for state-licensed operators. With it came many questions, including “What does this mean for the Seneca Gaming Corporation (SGC) and our existing sports wagering operations?”
SGC currently has three sportsbook lounges located on Nation Territory inside Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino and Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino. The company’s sportsbook betting counters are open daily and self-service kiosks are available 24/7. Since opening in late 2019, the sportsbook lounges have exceeded our expectations, and the response and excitement from our guests have been tremendous.
Since New York licensed operators for mobile and online sports wagering earlier this year, most of us have seen the barrage of advertisements from those companies. We understand that this new competition could impact our revenues and operations.
However, the New York bid process did allow us to secure a revenue sharing agreement with one of the strongest consortiums bidding for New York licenses, consisting of FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM andBally Bet. Under our agreement, SGC will receive payments based on the revenue generated by this consortium. It is important to note that our business agreement is with these four companies. It is in no way an agreement with New York State, nor does it obligate us to New York in any way.
It is also important to note that, although we will receive revenue share payments under this business agreement, these companies remain our competition. SGC continues to encourage our guests to come wager with us in a fun, social environment, where they can interact with other sports betting fans and enjoy all the games in real time on dozens of screens. Additionally, we pay winnings in cash instantly and believe this – along with all of our other gaming options and resort amenities – will continue to fuel our Seneca Sports Lounges for future success.
In regard to SGC’s ability to provide mobile and online gaming outside Nation Territory, federal law is currently the most significant obstacle for the Nation and all of Indian Country to participate in this space. Simply put, federal law currently limits SGC’s ability to take bets from patrons who are physically located off-territory. The issue of off-territory mobile and online sports betting is currently subject to legal challenges in Florida, and we are closely monitoring those developments. Legislative fixes have also been proposed at the federal level, but have not yet been successful. SGC will continue to plan and position ourselves to take advantage of other gaming opportunities as they become available to us.