Could Sports Betting Help Niagara Falls?

Dyster says sports betting exclusivity could get more players into casino

Tom Puckett
June 20, 2019 - 4:00 am

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Niagara Falls, NY (WBEN) As it stands right now, the Seneca casinos would have exclusivity to sports betting in Western New York, if it holds, will it be a big payoff for Niagara Falls?

"Assuming we get paid by the Senecas, we think it benefits the Seneca Niagara Casino," says Niagara Falls Mayor Paul Dyster. The Senecas are embroiled in a dispute with the state over slot revenue payments, and a recent arbitrator panel's ruling saying the Senecas must continue making payments.

"It seems as though from our research a lot of money changes hands for sports betting, but the casino's take is not that large a percentage. But the thought is, if certain casinos have exclusivity, then that will draw more people to the casino," says Dyster, which in turn means more players playing games like slots, where a share of the revenues goes to the city.

"Generally, people who go to the casino spend their tourism dollars at the casino," notes Dyster. "But getting more people involved in any form is good for the tourism industry." He adds if it can increase direct revenues for the city, then the city can reinvest that into other tourism projects.

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