NY Online Gambling: an Expert Guide
In the years we’ve been running this site, we’ve received the same question time and time again: is online gambling legal in NY? Yes, New Yorkers can play online without legal repercussions. New York gambling law does not specifically outlaw online gambling. Thus, players can enjoy real money play at NY online casinos, poker rooms, and sportsbooks without fines or prosecutions. Running an online internet-gambling website is illegal in New York, so don’t become an operator. Otherwise, you’re free to play online.
This guide to New York online gambling has a list of laws, as well as land-based gaming venues. We provide readers with offshore, licensed internet New York gambling sites that include online casinos, sports betting, or online poker. In this article, we also provide a New York iGaming FAQ, a timeline of key events, and the latest updates on NY online gaming bills.
Best NY Online Gambling Sites 2020 – Casinos, Sportsbooks & Poker
New York Gambling Laws
What Type of Gambling is Legal in New York?
Online Poker Laws
Sports Betting & Daily Fantasy in NY
Casinos in NY
NY Horse Betting
NY Bingo Halls
New York Gambling FAQ
Timeline of NY Gambling Laws
Online Gambling NY – New York State Gambling LawsGambling is Better With Bitcoin. Learn How to Get Started!
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.
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.
“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”. This means bets on games which has a high degree of skill — like poker, sports betting, or DFS — are considered a contest of chance, because these games have some element of luck.
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 casinos are specifically exempted from New York 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.
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.
New York Casinos
New York gambling laws allow several forms of gaming, but lag behind other US state gambling laws when it comes to online gambling. Lawmakers are considering sportsbook and online gambling bills in 2019, but both remain in doubt at present. Upstate New York has 4 commercial casinos and over a dozen tribal casinos. Because new developments like Del Lago Resort, Rivers Casino in Schenectady, and Resorts World Catskills struggled to meet revenue projections, some analysts believe the gaming market is oversaturated. Tribal casino believe the new casinos are a drag on their businesses.
New York City has two land-based slots casinos. 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. 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.
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 New York 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.
Once, Gary Pretlow wanted to speak with officials in New Jersey‘s Division of Gaming Enforcement before supporting it. The next year, Pretlow tried to pass the betting 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, Sen. Jospeh Addabbo became the main sponsor of the New York 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 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.”
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.
|Point Place Casino | Bridgeport||500 Gaming Machines, 20 Poker and Gaming Tables|
|Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino | Buffalo||800 Gaming Machine, 18 Poker and Gaming Tables|
|SavOn | Canastota||14 Gaming Machines|
|Yellow Brick Road Casino | Chittenango||447 Gaming Machines, 14 Poker and Gaming Tables|
|Seneca Gaming and Entertainment | 111 Gaming Machines||111 Gaming Machines|
|Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort | Hogansburg||1,600 Gaming Machines, 5 Poker Tabes, 27 Gaming Machines, 450 Bingo Seats|
|Seneca Gaming and Entertainment | Irving||600 Gaming Machines,650 Bingo Seats|
|Jake’s 58 Hotel and Casino | Islandia||1,000 Gaming Machines, Race Book|
|Resorts World Casino New York City | Jamaica||4,400 Gamin Machines|
|Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel | Niagara Falls||4,500 Gaming Machines, 23 Poker Tables, 100 Gaming Tables|
|Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel | Salamanca||1,600 Gamins MAchines, 5 Poker Tables, 26 Gaming Tables, 455 Bingo Seats|
|Rivers Casing & Resort | Schenectady||1,150 Gaming Machines, 15 Poker Tables, 67 Gaming Tables|
|Lakeside Entertainment | Union Springs||86 Gaming Machines|
|SavOn Casino | Verona||31 Gaming Machines|
|Turning Stone Resort Casino | Verona||1,800 Gaming Machines, 32 Poker Tables, 94 Gaming Tables, 1,400 Bingo Seats|
|del Lago Resort & Casino | Waterloo||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. 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 a bit of an afterthought.
The full list of New York race tracks can be found below.
|Horse Track | Location||Track Details|
|Belmont Park | Elmont||Race Book|
|Aqueduct Racetrack | Jamaica||Race Book|
|Saratoga Race Course | Saratoga Springs||Race Book|
Horse Track Racinos
New York state also has 9 racetrack-casinos, also known as racinos. These horse racing tracks include a slots casinos with hundreds or thousands of slots. A couple of them even house poker tables.
|Racino | Location||Track Details|
|Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel | Batavia||838 Gaming Machines, Race Book|
|Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack | Farmington||1,549 Gaming Machines, Race Book|
|Hamburg Gaming | Farmington||940 Gaming Machines|
|Monticello Casino and Raceway | Monticello||1,110 Gaming Machines, Race Book|
|Resorts World Catskills | Monticello||2,150 Gaming Machines, 12 Poker Tables, 23 Gaming Tables|
|Saratoga Casino Hotel | Saratoga Springs||1,707 Gaming Machines, Race Book|
|Vernon Downs Casino & Hotel | Vernon||767 Gaming Machines, Race Book|
|Empire City at Yonkers Raceway | Yonkers||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 throughout the United States. Dozens of off-track betting facilities exist across New York state. Here is a sampling of the prominent OTBs in the state. Yes. New York has a variety of off-track betting facilities. These OTBs have simulcasting for over 200 tracks throughout the United States. Dozens of off-track betting facilities exist across New York state. Here is a sampling of the prominent OTBs in the state.
|OTB | Location||Track Details|
|Capital OTB: Wolf Road | Albany||Race Book|
|Capital OTB: Amsterdam | Amsterdam||Race Book|
|Stroh’s Tavern | Angola||Race Book|
|Cardland | Bohemia||Race Book|
|Western OTB: Delaware | Buffalo||Race Book|
|Western OTB: McKinley | Buffalo||Race Book|
|Savino’s Finish Line East | Deer Park||Race Book|
|Western OTB: French | Depew||Race Book|
|Village Rock Cafe | East Rochester||Race Book|
|Nassau Downs OTB | Franklin Square||Race Book|
|Capital OTB | Gloversville||Race Book|
|Capital OTB | Hudson||Race Book|
|Georgie O’s | Hyde Park||Race Book|
|Menna’s Main Event Sports Bar & Grill | Merrick||Race Book|
|Interbets OTB | Norwich||Race Book|
|Grumpy Jack’s | Port Jefferson||Race Book|
|Capital OTB | Hudson||Race Book|
|Tucci’s | Rochester||Race Book|
|Western OTB: Jefferson | Rochester||Race Book|
|Western OTB: Lyell Broad | Rochester||Race Book|
|Western OTB: Mary | Rochester||Race Book|
|Western OTB: West Ridge | Rochester||Race Book|
|Boulevard Bowl | Schenectady||Race Book|
|Capital OTB: Bellevue | Shenectady||Race Book|
|Capital OTB Smith Street | Schenectady||Race Book|
|Capital OTB: Woodlawn | Schenectady||Race Book|
|Capital OTB: Lansingburgh | Troy||Race Book|
|Harry’s Place | Waterloo||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. The aggregate prize maximum is $6000, while the maximum single prize limit for bell jar games increased is $1000. The threshold for unlicensed raffles sits at $30,000.Category 2 raffles no longer require a GCVS2 filing at the conclusion of a raffle. Effective June 16, 2018, Chapter 464 allows the sale of online raffle tickets and mobile raffle tickets.
This is a small sampling of the hundreds of charitable bingo halls throughout the state of New York. New York charitable gambling is substantial.
|Bingo Hall | Location||Bingo Hall Details|
|Bronxdale Bingo Hall | Bronx||300 Bingo Seats|
|Fifth Avenue Bingo Hall | Brooklyn||800 Bingo Seats|
|Island Bingo | Farmingville||298 Bingo Seats|
|Gates Bingo | Westmar||2 Progressive Split Pots Most Nights|
|Maspeth Bingo Hall | Maspeth||520 Bingo Seats|
|110 Bingo Hall | Melville||297 Bingo Seats|
|Top Bingo Hall | Queens Village||250 Bingo Seats|
|Richmond Hill Bingo Hall | Richmond Hill||150 Bingo Seats|
|Schenectady Bingo Palace | Schenectady||In Business 21 Years|
|Bingo Green | Troy||500 Bingo Seats|
Is Social gaming allowed in New York?
Yes. Online social casinos like Zynga, Double Down, Slotomania, and Big Fish Games are available for New Yorkers. MyVegas by MGM Resorts is also available. MGM Resorts owns Yonkers Raceway & Empire City Casino, so MyVegas social casino offers MGM Resorts rewards points you can use at the Yonkers facility.Private poker games among friends are technically banned, but you aren’t likely to get in trouble if you don’t charge a rake. New York authorities busted high roller poker games with Wall Street bankers and Hollywood celebrities, which had perhaps $100 million in poker rake. If that isn’t your intention, a private card game likely won’t be raided.
Timeline of New York Gambling Laws
December 1822 | 1st New York Ban on Gambling
The people of New York ratified the state’s 2nd constituion in a statewide vote in January 15-17, 1822. This constitution banned gambling. The law took effect on December 31, 1822.
March 1864 | Ban on Lotteries
New York strictly banned public lotteries. Lottery companies in the 19th century lacked the transparency of today and often were corrupt.
March 1894 | Ban on All Gambling
During the Progressive Era (1890s-1920s), New York banned all forms of gambling. This was an era when trustbusting, the sufferage movement, and the prohibition of alcohol were causes.
June 1939 | Pari-Mutuel Betting Legalized in New York
Legal race tracks were opened in the wake of the pari-mutuel betting law.
May 1957 | Charitable Bingo Legalized
Bingo halls operated by charitable organizations were legalized. State officials set up a regulatory authority for charitable bingo.
June 1966 | New York Legalizes State Lottery
The New York lotto was legalized, making it one of the first state lotteries in 20th century America. The New York State Lottery was one of the first lotto games in the country and remains a powerhouse in the Powerball and Mega Millions multi-state lottery associations.
August 1973 | State Racing And Wagering Board Created
The NY State Gaming Commission created the ‘State Racing And Wagering Board’ to oversee pari-mutuel wagering and race tracks.
March 1993 | Tribal Gaming Legalized in New York
Native American casinos became legal in 1993. The Oneida Tribe opened its first casino later in the year. This bill followed the 1988 Federal ‘Indian Gaming Regulation Act’, which followed a landmark US Supreme Court decision in 1986 (Cabazon v. California).
June 2013 | NY Sports Betting Legalized
New York officials legalized sports betting, on the stipulation the PASPA federal ban was ever repealed. This would happen in May 2018, though New York legislators and regulators have yet to agree on NY sports betting laws.
New York passed a law in 2013 stating it would legalize sports betting if ever the US Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). The SCOTUS did just that on May 14, 2018, though New York state lawmakers have yet to nail down provisions of sports betting.
One proposal suggested sports betting kiosks at New York stadiums and sports arena, such as Madison Square Garden. Such bills have failed to gain support. In fact, New York officials seem to be drifting further away from sports gaming. New York Attorney General Letitia James declared daily fantasy sports illegal in February 2020 – a big reversal for DFS.