This summer, New York is welcoming its first sports betting bar and casino, Rivers Sportsbook Schenectady. The lounge, designed by DMAC Architecture, is approximately 1,800 square feet of comfortable chairs with charging ports, betting terminals and a gaming floor. With walls covered in high definition televsions, Rivers Sportsbook allows guests to place bets on several different games rather than just focusing on one.
The space, which can accommodate up to 60 people seated or 100 standing, was developed for sports enthusiasts who are more interested in the game than the food. Principal and Creative Director of DMAC Architecture, Dwayne MacEwen, says the venue includes large chairs to allow guests to stay comfortably for hours, rather than just staying for food and drinks.
Also, he says guests are able to access sports betting apps to place bets throughout each game. For example, instead of just betting on who will win a hockey game, MacEwen says people can bet on how long a penalty will last, which keeps people engaged throughout the entire game.
"The lounge is primarily for the sports enthusiast, but it will be for a mix of people who are just going out to have fun and people more on the gaming side who are out on the gaming floor placing bets," MacEwen says. "It just really activates the entire casino."
MacEwen says sections of the venue can be reserved for groups or on big game days. Though Rivers Sportsbook can accommodate groups, MacEwen says many people attend alone and engage with others on the gaming floor. "We're placing the screens so people can participate with other people as well as with the games and venue itself. It's not necessarily for the hardcore gambler but more of a fun activity type of space."
Having served as a railway yard, a rug shop, a night club and a casino, the space's new purpose has followed its natural evolution, MacEwen says. In designing the sportsbook, they're preserving the history by keeping momentos of its past lives. MacEwen says two chandeliers from the space will be kept in the new lounge in memory of its past.