Surprise! Online sports betting officially has a start date in the Hudson Valley.

We told you earlier this week that the New York State Gaming Commission has still failed to give its final approval to the sports betting law that's already been passed in New York State. There were hopes that a meeting would take place in December, but that never happened.

On Tuesday, New York State Senator Joseph Addabbo Jr. told NY Sports Day that he anticipated an approval soon, but didn't expect it to happen in time for kickoff this weekend.

I remain hopeful that New Yorkers will finally be able to partake in mobile sports betting around mid-January.

Well, it turns out that things have quickly changed since then. Online sports betting will officially begin this Saturday, just in time for the NFL playoffs, which kick off next weekend.

Draft Kings' Director of Race and Sportsbook Operations also happens to be a Hudson Valley native. The spokesperson could hardly contain his excitement for the news on Thursday.

Growing up in New York and having spent the last 30-plus years in Las Vegas, I am thrilled that my worlds are finally set to collide.

Fans over the age of 21 and located in New York State will be able to bet on professional sports teams online starting January 8. Betting on college games, however, remains forbidden.

Up until now, Hudson Valley residents were only able to place sports bets at a limited amount of physical locations in the state, including the sportsbook at Resort Worlds Catskill.

Will you be betting online this weekend? Let us know your thoughts about the news on our Facebook page or in the comments section below.

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