New York Online Gambling

New York gambling laws are a mixed bag. The state has plenty of land-based casinos and race tracks, but its legislature hasn’t passed sports betting or online poker. The lack of progress means the state government is missing out on hundreds of millions of dollars of revenue each year. New York charitable gambling is substantial, while the New York State Lottery was one of the first lotto games in the country.

New York has 4 commercial casinos and over a dozen tribal casinos. Because new developments like Del Lago Resort and Rivers Casino in Schenectady have struggled to meet revenue projections, some analysts believe the gaming market is oversaturated. Certainly, the Native American tribes who had casinos in New York long before the commercial operators believe the new casinos are a drag on their businesses.

If anything, New York City is underserved with gaming options. Resorts World Queens on the site of Aquaduct Raceway and Empire City Casino on the site of Yonkers Raceway are the only two gaming facilities in the greater New York metropolitan area. Every major US casino company would love to have a New York city casino, but the New York Gaming Commission does not want to place venues in the city, because it would hurt the Upstate New York casinos even further.

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New York State Gambling Laws

Laws That Pertain to New York Gambling

Like most states, New York defines gambling with fine language. New York’s legislature spent a lot of time on the concept of a “contest of chance”, with two separate passages dwelling on this definition.

Section 225.00(2)

A person engages in gambling when he stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.

The element of chance is a key factor in New York gambling. This partly is defined as an event not under a person’s control or influence. The making and settling of bets is important, as much language focuses on agreements and understandings between bettors.

Section 30-19.1(B)

“Contest of chance” means any contest, game, gaming scheme or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein.

A contest of chance might be a game of pure chance, or it might be a game based “in a material degree upon an element of chance”. An element of chance is much different than a game of chance. This means bets on games which has a high degree of skill — like poker, sports betting, or DFS — still are considered a contest of chance, because these games have some element of luck.

Sec 225.00(3)

A person who gambles at a social game of chance on equal terms with the other participants therein does not otherwise render material assistance to the establishment, conduct or operation thereof by performing, without fee or remuneration, acts directed toward the arrangement or facilitation of the game, such as inviting persons to play, permitting the use of premises therefor and supplying cards or other equipment used therein.

Social gaming is discussed under New York law. It appears that social casinos are specifically exempted from the gambling laws. A “social game of chance on equal terms” in which neither person works for the organizer is legal. Well, it’s legal if no “fee or remuneration” is involved. Slotomania, Zynga, Double Down, and Big Fish would be legal. PlayMGM might not be, because it involves player rewards at MGM Resorts casinos.

General Municipal Law sections 190-a(1) and 195-f(2)

Category 1: All raffles with anticipated net proceeds of over $5,000 for a single raffle and over $30,000 for cumulative raffles within a calendar year still require either a verified statement of raffle operations prior to the conduct of a raffle (GCVS1 for net proceeds of over $5,000 for a single raffle) or a license and financial reporting (over $30,000 net proceeds).

Category 2: All raffles with anticipated net proceeds under $5,000 for a single raffle or under $30,000 for cumulative raffles within a calendar year will require neither a license nor financial reporting.

New York has fewer charitable bingo halls, but instead its charitable gambling organizations rely more on raffles. In 2017, the legislature updated New York raffle laws. Many of these changes were increases in the maximum prizes to better reflect inflation since the laws originally were enacted.

New York Gambling Laws

Type of Gambling – Offered/Licensed? – Notes & Restrictions
  • Online Gambling – No – Online poker bills were defeated in 2015 and 2016.
  • Land-Based Casinos – Yes – 17 tribal casinos and a few commercial racinos.
  • Charitable Gaming – Yes – Raffles and bell jar games are prominent.
  • Lottery Betting – Yes – State Lottery (1967), Powerball (2010), Mega Millions (2002)
  • Minimum Gambling Age – 18 for Lottery, Bingo, and Pari-Mutuel Wagers. 18 to 21 for casinos.

Is Online Poker Legal in New York?

No, but not for lack of trying. Several times, State Sen. John Bonacic and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow have submitted online poker bills to the state legislature. Several times, the bills gained favor in the Senate and died in the General Assembly. On two occasions, online poker looked as if it had a real chance to succeed. It should be noted that online casinos have never been included in New York online gambling bills.

As 2019 opens, John Bonacic has retired and Joseph Addabbo has taken his place as the chairman of the Senate Racing, Gaming, and Wagering Committee. From that perch, Sen. Addabbo has sponsored a new online poker bill. With a new legislature, the bill might pass this time. Before we discuss the future, let’s take a look at the past.

New York Online Poker Laws

Name of Bill – Year Submitted – Lawmaker – Supported – Opposed
  • Senate Bill 18 (S18) – 2018 – John Bonacic – Gary Pretlow – Senate passed, House opposed.

State Sen. John Bonacic sponsored several versions of Senate Bill 18, which would legalize online poker but not online casinos. S 18 proposed to classify poker as a game of skill, which would make it legal in New York state. In 2015 and 2016, various versions of S 18 passed in the New York Senate, but failed in the General Assembly for various reasons.

Once, its main sponsor in the General Assembly, Gary Pretlow, got cold feet and wanted to speak with officials in New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement. The next year, Pretlow tried to pass the bill before a late June recess, but budgets talks consumed the remaining time in the session.

With John Bonacic’s retirement from the New York Senate in December 2018, online poker and sports betting legislation have losts it main proponent in the state. Gaming media sources speculate that Sen. Jospeh Addabbo, who is taking over Bonacic’s committee, will become the main sponsor of an online poker bill in 2019 and beyond (if needed).

2019 New York Online Poker Bill

On January 9, 2019, State Sen. Joseph Addabbo introduced Senate Bill 18, which would legalize online poker in New York state. This is the 7th straight year that the New York State Legislature has considered an online poker bill, so it is uncertain whether Abbaddo’s bill will be any different.

The New York legislature has changed a lot since the 2018 midterm elections, so the political dynamics are much different than they have been the past few years. The key passage of SB 18 states: “Allows certain interactive poker games be considered games of skill rather than games of luck; includes definitions, authorization, required safeguards and minimum standards, the scope of licensing review and state tax implications; makes corresponding penal law amendments.”

Is Sports Betting / Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in New York?

Sports betting is not legal in New York. Once again, Sen. John Bonacic filed S 7900 in the Senate in 2018. This bill failed to gain traction before the session ended, but more than one Las Vegas sportsbook operator has determined sports betting eventually will be legal in New York. Several facts point to that conclusion.

In December 2018, MGM Resorts announced its purchase of Yonkers Raceway, which contains Empire City Casino (racino). MGM Resorts spent $850 million on the race track-casino with the intention it Yonkers Raceway might eventually host a sportsbook on the outskirts of New York City.

Meanwhile, Caesars Entertainment signed a partnership deal with the Oneida Indian Nation (OIN) to operate a sportsbook at the Oneida tribe’s three New York casinos: Turning Stone, Point Place, and Yellow Brick Road Casino. Jeff Gural’s Tioga Downs has a deal in place with Paddy Power-Betfair to operate its sportsbook, if New York’s legislature ever passed a sports betting bill. Even Las Vegas Sands has begun making political friends in New York, in hopes of one day building a casino and sportsbook in the Albany area (according to New York media reports).

Does New York have land-based casinos?

Yes. New York has 17 tribal casinos owned by a variety of tribes, including the Seneca Nation and the Oneida Indian Nation. The tribal casinos are spread throughout the Upstate New York area. Nine race track-casinos or “racinos” exist in the state at places like Tioga Downs, Yonkers Raceway, and Aquaduct Raceway in Queens.

CASINOS

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Bridgeport Point Place Casino Route 31, Bridgeport, New York 13030 (315) 366-9610 500 Gaming Machines, 20 Poker and Gaming Tables
Buffalo Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino 1 Fulton Street, Buffalo, New York 14204-2248 (716) 299-1100 800 Gaming Machines, 18 Poker and Gaming Tables
Canastota SavOn – Canastota 356 North Peterboro Street, Canastota, New York 13032 (315) 829-8960 14 Gaming Machines
Chittenango Yellow Brick Road Casino 800 Genesee Street, Chittenango, New York 13037 (315) 366-9400 447 Gaming Machines, 14 Poker and Gaming Tables
Cuba Seneca Gaming and Entertainment – Oil Spring 5374 West Shore Road, Cuba, New York 14727 (716) 780-8787 111 Gaming Machines
Hogansburg Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort 873 State Route 37, Hogansburg, New York 13655-1800 (518) 358-2222 1,600 Gaming Machines, 5 Poker Tables, 27 Gaming Machines, 450 Bingo Seats
Irving Seneca Gaming and Entertainment – Irving 11099 Erie Road, Route 5, Irving, New York 14081-9566 (716) 549-4389 600 Gaming Machines, 650 Bingo Seats
Islandia Jake’s 58 Hotel and Casino 3635 Express Drive North, Islandia, New York 11749-5300 (631) 232-3000 1,000 Gaming Machines, Race Book
Jamaica Resorts World Casino New York City 11000 Rockaway Boulevard, Jamaica, New York 11420-1020 (718) 215-2828 4,400 Gaming Machines
Niagara Falls Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel 310 Fourth Street, Niagara Falls, New York 14303-1242 (716) 278-6300 4,500 Gaming Machines, 23 Poker Tables, 100 Gaming Tables
Salamanca Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel 777 Seneca Allegany Boulevard, Salamanca, New York 14779-1377 (877) 553-9500 1,600 Gaming Machines, 5 Poker Tables, 26 Gaming Tables
Salamanca Seneca Gaming and Entertainment – Salamanca 768 Broad Street, Salamanca, New York 14779-1331 (716) 945-4080 344 Gaming Machines, 5 Poker and Gaming Tables, 455 Bingo Seats
Schenectady Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady 1 Rush Street, Schenectady, New York 12305-1013 (518) 579-8800 1,150 Gaming Machines, 15 Poker Tables, 67 Gaming Tables
Union Springs Lakeside Entertainment 271 Cayuga Street, Union Springs, New York 13160-3112 (315) 889-5416 86 Gaming Machines
Verona SavOn – Verona 5527 State Route 31, Verona, New York 13478-2921 (315) 366-3601 31 Gaming Machines
Verona Turning Stone Resort Casino 5218 Patrick Road, Verona, New York 13478-3023 (315) 361-7711 1,800 Gaming Machines, 32 Poker Tables, 94 Gaming Tables, 1,400 Bingo Seats
Waterloo del Lago Resort & Casino 1133 State Route 414, Waterloo, New York 13165-9647 (315) 946-1777 1,980 Gaming Machines, 14 Poker Tables, 99 Gaming Tables

Does New York have any legal betting tracks / shops?

Yes. New York has 3 traditional race tracks and 9 race track casinos. These are the located throughout western New York, the Finger Lakes region, and the Catskills. Pari-mutuel wagering is an old tradition in the Empire State.

Belmont Park is the most famous horse track in New York. Each year, Belmont Park is home to the Belmont Stakes – the third and final leg of horse racing’s Triple Crown. If the winner of the Kentucky Derby goes on to win the Preakness Stakes at Pimlico, Belmont Park becomes the center of the horse racing, betting, and sports world for one Saturday evening in early June. If the Triple Crown isn’t on the line, then the Belmont Stakes is still a world-class race – but a bit of an afterthought.

Either way, a lot of racebook bets are placed on the race. The full list of New York race tracks can be found below.

Horse Tracks

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Elmont Belmont Park 2150 Hempstead Turnpike, Elmont, New York 11003-1592 (516) 488-6000 Race Book
Jamaica Aqueduct Racetrack 11000 Rockaway Boulevard, Jamaica, New York 11420-1009 (718) 641-4700 Race Book
Saratoga Springs Saratoga Race Course 267 Union Avenue, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866-3553 (518) 584-6200 Race Book

Horse Track Racinos

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Batavia Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel 8315 Park Road, Batavia, New York 14020-1272 (585) 343-3750 838 Gaming Machines, Race Book
Farmington Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack 5857 Route 96, Farmington, New York 14425 (585) 924-3232 1,549 Gaming Machines, Race Book
Farmington Hamburg Gaming 5820 South Park Avenue, Hamburg Fairgrounds, Hamburg, New York 14075 (716) 646-6109 940 Gaming Machines
Monticello Monticello Casino and Raceway 204 State Route 17B, Monticello, New York 12701-3661 (845) 794-4100 1,110 Gaming Machines, Race Book
Monticello Resorts World Catskills 888 Resorts World Drive, Monticello, New York 12701-4185 (833) 586-9358 2,150 Gaming Machines, 19 Poker Tables, 150 Gaming Tables
Nichols Tioga Downs Casino 2384 West River Road, Nichols, New York 13812-1406 (888) 946-8464 944 Gaming Machines, 12 Poker Tables, 23 Gaming Tables
Saratoga Springs Saratoga Casino Hotel 342 Jefferson Street, Saratoga Springs, New York 12866-5193 (518) 584-2110 1,707 Gaming Machines, Race Book
Vernon Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel 4229 Stuhlman Road, Vernon, New York 13476-4516 (315) 829-2201 767 Gaming Machines, Race Book
Yonkers Empire City at Yonkers Raceway 810 Yonkers Avenue, Yonkers, New York 10704-2099 (914) 968-4200 5,000 Gaming Machines

Does New York allow off-track betting?

Yes. New York has a variety of off-track betting facilities. These OTBs have simulcasting for over 200 tracks nationwide. Dozens of off-track betting facilities exist across New York state. Here is a sampling of the prominent OTBs in the state.

Off-Track Betting

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Albany Capital OTB – Wolf Road 98 Wolf Road, Hannaford Plaza, Suite No.11, Albany, New York 12205-1291 (518) 631-2447 Race Book
Amsterdam Capital OTB – Amsterdam 1100 Riverfront Center, Unit 10, Amsterdam, New York 12010-4600 (800) 292-BETS Race Book
Angola Stroh’s Tavern 9566 Lake Shore Road, Angola, New York 14006-9186 (716) 549-0480 Race Book
Bohemia Cardland 4593 Sunrise Highway, Bohemia, New York 11716-4605 (631) 567-4733 Race Book
Buffalo Western OTB – Delaware 2228 Delaware Avenue, Linden Corners, Buffalo, New York 14216 (585) 343-3750 Race Book
Buffalo Western OTB – McKinley 969 McKinley Parkway, Buffalo, New York 14220 (585) 343-3750 Race Book
Deer Park Savino’s Finish Line East 511 Commack Road, Deer Park, New York 11729-3803 (631) 667-3030 Race Book
Depew Western OTB – French 1460 French Road, Depew, New York 14043-4879 (585) 343-3750 Race Book
East Rochester Village Rock Cafe 213 Main Street, East Rochester, New York 14445-1703 (585) 343-3750 Race Book
Franklin Square Nassau Downs OTB – Franklin Square 1063 Hempstead Turnpike, Franklin Square, New York 11010-2631 (516) 572-2800 Race Book
Gloversville Capital OTB – Gloversville 198 Second Avenue, Unit 2, Gloversville, New York 12078-1801 (800) 292-BETS Race Book
Hudson Capital OTB – Hudson 86 Healy Boulevard, Unit 1, Hudson, New York 12534-1511 (800) 292-BETS Race Book
Hyde Park Georgie O’s 787 Violet Avenue, Hyde Park, New York 12538-1952 (845) 229-9996 Race Book
Merrick Menna’s Main Event Sports Bar & Grill 361 Merrick Avenue, Merrick, New York 11566-2727 (516) 771-4494 Race Book
Norwich Interbets OTB – Norwich 24 East Main Street, Norwich, New York 13815-1810 (631) 642-1942 Race Book
Port Jefferson Grumpy Jack’s 28 Oakland Avenue, Port Jefferson, New York 11777-2171 (631) 642-1942 Race Book
Queensbury Capital OTB – Queensbury 959 State Route 9, Mount Royal Shopping Plaza, Suite AA2, Queensbury, New York 12804-6250 (800) 292-BETS Race Book
Rochester Tucci’s 1479 Lyell Avenue, Rochester, New York 14606-2127 (585) 254-7740 Race Book
Rochester Western OTB – Jefferson 352 Jefferson Road, Rochester, New York 14623-2644 (585) 475-0621 Race Book
Rochester Western OTB – Lyell Broad 940 Broad Street, Rochester, New York 14606-1030 (585) 343-3750 Race Book
Rochester Western OTB – Marway 63 Marway Circle Gates, Rochester, New York 14624-2347 (585) 343-3750 Race Book
Rochester Western OTB – West Ridge 714 West Ridge Road, Rochester, New York 14615-2826 (585) 343-3750 Race Book
Schenectady Boulevard Bowl 1315 Erie Boulevard, Schenectady, New York 12305-1048 (518) 374-4171 Race Book
Schenectady Capital OTB – Bellevue 2224-26 Broadway, Schenectady, New York 12306 (800) 292-BETS Race Book
Schenectady Capital OTB – Smith Street 510 Smith Street, Schenectady, New York 12305-2411 (800) 292-BETS Race Book
Schenectady Capital OTB – Woodlawn 1629 State Street, Schenectady, New York 12304-1516 (800) 292-BETS Race Book
Troy Capital OTB – Lansingburgh 369 Second Avenue, Troy, New York 12182-3111 (800) 292-BETS Race Book
Waterloo Harry’s Place 23 West Main Street, Waterloo, New York 13165-1328 (585) 343-3750 Race Book

Does New York allow charitable gambling?

Yes. Charitable gambling takes the form of raffles instead of bingo halls, though New Yorkers can find bingo gambling in tribal casinos and local charities. The Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn all have bingo halls, which are listed below.

Under laws enacted in 2017 and implemented in 2018, the aggregate prize maximum was increased from $3000 to $6000. The maximum single prize limit for bell jar games increased from $500 to $1000. The threshold for unlicensed raffles increased from $20,000 to $30,000. Category 2 raffles no longer require a GCVS2 filing at the conclusion of a raffle.

Effective June 16, 2018, Chapter 464 of New York laws allowed the sale of online raffle tickets. Mobile raffles also were approved under Chapter 464. The New York Gaming Commission created the regulation for online and mobile raffles.

Bingo Halls

City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Bronx Bronxdale Bingo Hall 2028 White Plains Road, Bronx, New York 10462-1455 (718) 792-6665 300 Bingo Seats
Brooklyn Fifth Avenue Bingo Hall 416 Fifth Avenue, Brooklyn, New York 11215-3316 (718) 788-1691 800 Bingo Seats
Farmingville Island Bingo 1055 Portion Road, Suite 4E, Farmingville, New York 11738-4211 (631) 736-8865 298 Bingo Seats
Westmar Gates Bingo 2145 Buffalo Road, Westmar Plaza, Gates, New York 14624 (585) 270-5254 N/A
Maspeth Maspeth Bingo Hall 6920 Grand Avenue, Maspeth, New York 11378-1813 (718) 429-8285 520 Bingo Seats
Melville 110 Bingo Hall 585 Broadhollow Road, Melville, New York 11747-5014 (631) 777-6277 297 Bingo Seats
Queens Village Top Bingo Hall 22034 Jamaica Avenue, Queens Village, New York 11428-2141 (718) 740-2524 250 Bingo Seats
Richmond Hill Richmond Hill Bingo Hall 11707 Hillside Avenue, Richmond Hill, New York 11418-1741 (718) 847-1418 150 Bingo Seats
Schenectady Schenectady Bingo Palace 1866 State Street, Schenectady, New York 12304-2034 (518) 374-2262 N/A
Troy Bingo Green 49 Fourth Street, Troy Atrium, Troy, New York 12180-3270 (518) 272-3260 500 Bingo Seats

Is Social gaming allowed in New York?

Yes. Online social casinos like Zynga, Double Down, Slotomania, and Big Fish Games are a available for New Yorkers. MyVegas by MGM Resorts is also available. If and when MGM Resorts completes its $850 million purchase of Yonkers Raceway & Empire City Casino, then the MyVegas social casino could become a popular online site in New York State. MyVegas offers MGM Resorts rewards points, so you could build up rewards online and use them at race track and casino in Yonkers.

If by “social gaming”, you are talking about private poker games among friends, you are not likely to get in trouble if you do not charge a rake at the games. High rollers poker games with Wall Street bankers and Hollywood celebrities have been busted by the New York authorities before, but an estimated $100 million was wagered and the organizers collected a poker rake. If that isn’t your intention, a private card game likely won’t be raided.