Cool betting sports in the Catskills

Dec 11, 2019 3:00 AM

Just under 100 miles and just a tad over two hours from Newark Liberty International Airport sits Resorts World Casino and Resort situated in the beautiful Catskill Mountains of Sullivan County in Monticello, N.Y.

Anything you can possibly ever want in relaxation, dining, entertainment, lodging (two hotels at complex) is all in one pristine complex, including a brand-new sportsbook called Sportsbook 360, which started taking sports bets a little less than four months ago on August 21.

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With that in mind, I decided to take a drive up last Thursday for the Dallas Cowboys-Chicago Bears game to check out the complex and the betting establishment itself.

Tucked in the right corner of the over 100,000 square-foot casino floor, Sportsbook 360 offers a 360-degree bar surrounded by 35 75-inch flat screen televisions, a large stage with a 9x16 digital screen, seating for 100, three live teller windows, 14 24/7 self-betting kiosks (IGT and Genius Sports), all on 6,000 square feet of the casino floor.

All four upstate casinos including Rivers Casino (Schenectady), Tioga Downs (Fanduel, Nichols) and Del Lago (DraftKings, Tyre) now offer sports betting on site, and Resorts World Catskills is the closest among them to the New York City area. The Oneidas in central New York also offer sports betting at their casinos, including Turning Stone. However, New York continues to not allow mobile betting, which is legal in neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

“Our handle has increased week-by-week and our live, in-game play from the kiosks alone is about 25 percent of the total handle we take in,” said John Collins, Sportsbook 360's operations director, who has had over 31 years of experience in casino table games throughout upstate New York and California, before coming over to manage this new endeavor. “We are so young and learning as we go along that we are just taking it as it goes to see where this will take us. From that, it will tell us where we want to go. Right now, we are another amenity to all the other amenities that are showcased here to our customers.”

Last week, the sportsbook made $145,234 in sports wagering revenue, which was the fifth highest week it has generated six figures since its opening (15 weeks to date).

All of this is happening with marketing and promotion of the sportsbook yet to begin.

“We just completed the baseball playoffs and are now finishing up with pro and college football," Collins said. "The start of some seasons have just occurred with hockey, pro and college basketball.

“We are trying to see how things go with each season and then plan out how we want to attack promotion and marketing. This will be our first go at it with NFL playoffs and the upcoming NCAA Tournament (in March). I want to see the crowds that come in for that. If its anything like what we have had here on NFL Sundays, it should be a good experience from both the bettor and business side of things.”

With the attention to detail and customer service that Resorts World Catskills already exudes in catering to its clientele on an individual and daily basis, Sportsbook 360 could be blossoming for months and years to come. If you're in the area, it's definitely worth the visit.

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