Sports betting

Bet365 enters NY betting market with Empire deal

Operator to acquire $50m of Empire shares in 20-year agreement to provide betting and gaming at NY State casino

Bet365 has entered into a 20-year deal to provide land-based and online sportsbook and gaming services to Empire Resorts-owned casino Resort World Catskills in New York State.

As part of the contract, both parties will share profits 50/50 and bet365 will acquire up to $50m of Empire shares, making the Stoke-on-Trent-headquartered firm Empire’s second largest shareholder.

Resorts World Catskills is one of four NY State casinos authorized by statute to offer retail sports betting, with regulation to legalize sports betting more widely, including online, still pending in the state.

Manny Pearlman, executive chairman of Empire Resorts, said: “Joining forces with bet365 positions Empire and our flagship Resorts World Catskills to lead a potentially enormous new market.

“Bet365’s global expertise in effectively developing and executing world-class sportsbooks strongly complements Empire’s leadership in commercial casino operations in New York,” Pearlman said.

President of bet365’s Hillside New York arm, Simon Betteley said: “This landmark agreement combines Empire’s gaming operating skill with our expertise in providing best-in-class online sports betting.

“[It] allows bet365 to tap into what we believe will be one of the most significant online and sportsbook markets in the United States.”

The state is home to some 20 million people.

The deal marks bet365’s entry into the NY State sports betting market, with regulation in the state to be discussed at its next legislative session in January.

The operator had previously been spending a significant amount on lobbying in the state.

Democratic Assemblyman Member J. Gary Pretlow told Sports Handle recently he believed New Yorkers would be able to bet legally by 2019.

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