Bet365 has struck a deal with the Empire Resorts gambling group, its first US sports betting partnership since May’s PASPA repeal.

The European bookmaker’s US affiliate Hillside will acquire up to $50 million of Empire common stock at a price of $20 per share in two tranches, making it Empire’s second largest stockholder.

Issuing a market update, bet365 enters a 20-year agreement with Empire, which will see the online betting group become lead digital and land-based sports betting services provider for the Resorts World Catskills casino in upstate New York.

Manny Pearlman, Executive Chairman of Empire Resorts commented on the new deal: “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.

“This collaboration, which will enable Resorts World Catskills to be a leading destination for sports wagering in New York State, highlights our commitment to the continued growth of Resorts World Catskills, as well as our dedication to working with the best, most innovative pioneers in the industry to provide world-class gaming options.”

Hillside President Simon Betteley added: “This landmark agreement, which combines Empire’s gaming operating skill with our expertise in providing best-in-class online sports betting, allows bet365 to tap into what we believe will be one of the most significant online and sportsbook markets in the United States.”

The partnership will allow bet365 to expand into the New York sports betting market, as the venue seeks to utilise the operator’s renowned sportsbook offering to thrive as the market potentially opens up in 2019.

According to market estimates by Eilers & Krejcik Gaming LLC, the New York State sports wagering market is expected to be the single largest market jurisdiction for sports betting in the United States other than California, with projections for more than $1 billion in annual revenues from sports betting within five years of legalisation.