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Tioga Downs prepares for sports gambling

NICHOLS, N.Y. - Tioga Downs Casino is prepared to offer wagers on professional sports now that the Supreme Court has legalized sports gambling.

As Elizabeth Worthington of our sister station WETM reports, all they need is for New York State to okay it.

Things usually quiet down at Tioga Downs Casino after the rowdy Belmont Stakes weekend, but that might not be the case this year.

After the Supreme Court ruled in early May to overturn a federal ban on sports gambling, there's been a lot of buzz surrounding the possibility of its legalization in NY.

And Tioga Downs is ready to take the leap.

"Pending legislation, we'll be ready to go with this. So we're excited," said Jim Weed.

Monday the casino secured a deal with betting operator Paddy Power Betfair, so now it's just a matter of time and legislation before patrons can bet on any sport.

"It's going to be very similar to Las Vegas, so if you've done sports wagering in Vegas...all the prop bets, whether it's wins/losses, things as simple as the outcome of the coin toss for the Super Bowl," said Weed.

Management confirms that both in-house and online gambling would be permitted.

There's already a law in place that allows for sports gambling in NY - but it still has some kinks that need to be worked out. 

Under that law, Tioga Downs is one of only four casinos in NY that are permitted to have a sports betting license. 

New legislation is needed to allow more.

Owner Jeff Gural has spoken with state legislators to push for legalization.

"We're confident that this thing is gonna happen, now it's just a matter of when...the whole tri-state area is going to go after it, so it's just a matter of who gets it first," said Weed.

If the legislation doesn't pass, it's back to business as usual.

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