The first legal sports bet in Buffalo, New York, was placed at the Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino. Operated by Seneca Gaming Corp., Buffalo Creek Casino remodeled a section of its estate into a sports lounge. In July, New York became the 10th state to legalize sports betting. The Rivers Casino Sportsbook was the first legal sportsbook in the state, followed by others. Buffalo Creek is the latest addition.
While sports betting is spreading across New York, there is still one major restriction frustrating players.
The primary restriction that irks many sports bettors is the lack of mobile betting in New York. Players must be at the sportsbook to place their wagers at either a betting kiosk or a teller window. Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino does offer BYOB, Bring Your Own Bet. With this system, players can choose their betting selection from the casino’s website and are then given a QR code. Bettors then must physically go to the Buffalo casino to have their QR code scanned for their wager to be accepted.
Sports bettors in Buffalo can now wager on a variety of sports and events, including the NFL, NBA and other sports. However, Buffalo Creek Casino will not accept wagers on horse racing.
The state also has tight regulations on betting on NCAA sports. Players are not permitted to bet on New York colleges or any college sporting events taking place in the state.
Rickey Armstrong Sr., Seneca Nation president, placed the first sports bet at Buffalo Creek Casino last Friday, wagering $40 on the Bills to beat the Pittsburgh Steelers, a successful prediction.
The Seneca Nation president described sports wagering as monumental for the casino, but said he wants sports betting options to be expanded in the state.
“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 said, according to The Buffalo News report.
According to Rivers Casino, 3% of its total gross gaming revenue came from sports betting beginning in July through November. That figure would likely be higher if it had mobile sports betting options in a state where even getting a sports betting study launched has been complicated.
However, Seneca Gaming CEO Holly Gagnon expects Buffalo to be a very passionate market given the city’s diehard sports fans.
“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,” Gagnon said.
Seneca Gaming Corp. will likely add sports betting at its Salamanca casino next week and at the Niagara Falls casino in two weeks, though no specific dates have been provided.