New York is one of the most populous states in the US (largely thanks to Manhattan and the surrounding area). There are plenty of people who would potential enjoy online gambling, as evidenced by the number of gambling day trips into New Jersey.
So, it’s a wonder that the state government hasn’t yet legalized the activity. However, recent legislative changes indicate that the future may indeed be bright for New Yorkers looking to play at online casinos and in online poker games.
While online gambling in New York is, by and large, illegal, there are still some online activities in which players can participate due to legal loopholes. Additionally, many in-person gambling activities are already open for those willing to head to the state’s handful of casinos.
For now, legal real money gambling in New York is firmly restricted to brick-and-mortar offerings. There are many options in New York ranging from horse race betting to casino games to a lottery system.
New York gambling first became widespread in 1988 with the passage of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. Later, in 2013, the state allowed non-tribal retail casinos to open. Currently, there are seven retail casinos operating in the New York area (split between tribal and non-tribal ownership).
Online gambling is still illegal in New York. However, as with many states that do not currently allow online gambling, New York’s legislative trend is looking favorable.
With its dismissal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2018, the US Supreme Court ruled that states may determine their own laws regarding sports betting. In July 2018, New York legalized in-person sports betting. This followed a 2013 referendum from New York voters who wanted to legalize sports betting prior to the repeal of PASPA.
Unfortunately, as of the last New York government budget committee meeting, the legalization of online sports gambling is not yet on the agenda. This means it’ll likely be another full year before the issue is brought up again. In the meantime, New Yorkers who want to participate in online sports betting will need to travel to either Pennsylvania or New Jersey.
New York does not currently allow online casinos. However, sweepstakes casinos are a legal alternative that replicate a casino-like experience online.
Chumba Casino, for example, is one of the most popular sweepstakes casinos in the US. Instead of using a real money gambling model, gamers play with Sweeps Coins or other types of digital currency. Compared to a retail casino, Chumba doesn’t offer as many games. However, its a great site to visit if you want to play slots or table games online for a chance to win real prizes.
The future looks bright for those interested in online casinos in New York. With four brick-and-mortar casinos having been built in the last six years, the current trend seems to be in favor of the gaming industry.
Like with online casinos, there are no legitimate venues through which you can play online poker in New York. But because interactive card games like poker aren’t as flatly profitable as table or slot games, it’s less likely that online poker will be legalized soon compared to something like online casinos.
Still, as with other forms of online gambling, online poker is likely to become more palatable to legislators soon. It’s more likely to be passed sometime in the next half-decade. New York’s government knows the potential revenue it can collect from gambling taxes. Once online casinos become a legal reality, online poker may well follow suit.
There are still some online gambling options that players can take advantage of if they live in New York. Many of these activities, such as sweepstakes games, are great alternatives to the real deal.
The best legal option for New Yorker who want to play online poker is Global Poker. As a sweepstakes website, Global Poker allows players to place bets with a digital currency called Sweeps Coins.
Players compete for Sweeps Coins, which can then be traded in for prizes (including real money). In this roundabout manner, it’s still possible to play online poker for cash.
Global Poker allows you to play against real human players all day every day. It’s a browser-based online poker hub, and it works on both Windows and Mac computers. Games on the site include No-Limit Texas Hold’Em, Sit N’ Gos, multi-table tournaments and more.
New players should definitely give the site a look. Signing up for Global Poker is quick and easy, and players will receive a handsome sign-up bonus. They only need to spend a couple of minutes submitting standard information.
Players accumulate Sweeps Coins, which are the currency for the sweepstakes games, by purchasing Gold Coins packages. In order to cash out, they need at least 50 coins in their account in order to cash out. Upon their first redemption, they’ll need to provide their driver’s license or government-issued ID and proof of residential address.
Global Poker is a great alternative for anyone who really wants to play online poker in New York before legalization inevitably rolls out. It’s not the best in terms of poker game variety or in terms of frequent bonuses or promotions. But it’s a stable platform, easy to use, and provide the only legal window into online poker at this time.
Like Global Poker, Chumba Casino operates according to a sweepstakes model and thus remains legal. With plenty of variety including slots and table games, Chumba is a great casino-like option for any New Yorker.
Chumba Casino offers generous sign-up bonuses including free Sweeps Coins for new players. The sign-up process only takes a couple minutes and the only confirmation requirement is your email address. However, you will need to provide your identification info when you want to redeem your coins.
Regular promotions are available via Chumba Casino’s Facebook page, awarding even more free coins and special offers. Email offers and daily competitions can also add to your bankroll on the site.
The user experience on Chumba Casino has a lot to like. The website is intuitive, and all games are presented cleanly on one page. You can scroll through the entire catalog in just a couple of minutes.
While Chumba Casino doesn’t have a dedicated mobile app, its website is optimized for mobile. There aren’t any real performance losses if you decide to play with your smartphone instead of your desktop.
In total, there are 36 games you can play at Chumba Casino. Most are slot games (including three progressive jackpot slots), while table games include blackjack and Jacks or Better.
Players can purchase coins with MasterCard or Visa with more payment options coming soon. Keep in mind that Chumba Casino does have a pretty high redemption limit of 10,000 sweeps coins, or about $100.
New Yorkers have an additional option called LuckyLand Slots, which is another online sweepstakes casino. It’s powered by the same parent company that owns Chumba Casino and Global Poker. As you might expect, LuckyLand Slots is a sweepstake slot game site.
New players receive sign-up bonuses of up to several thousand Gold Coins and 10 Sweeps Coins. Additional Sweeps Coins are available when you purchase Gold Coin packages with your MasterCard or Visa.
As of this writing, LuckyLand Slots is accessible on desktop and app (but only if you have Android). Games are all played in full-screen, which allows for extra features like direct messages and special tournaments.
LuckyLand Slots offers 26 online slot games, all of which are original and unique to its platform. The games each require an initial download, so those with slower Internet speeds will take a little longer to enjoy these offerings.
The plus side is that most of the games look fantastic with high-quality 3D graphics. Even better, 12 titles are all joined to a single progressive jackpot that can reach up to the tens of thousands of dollars.
On the downside, LuckyLand doesn’t offer any games aside from slots. This makes Chumba Casino slightly better in terms of variety, since it also offers some table games.
Daily fantasy sports (DFS) became legal in New York in 2016. Shortly thereafter, the US Supreme Court overruled New York’s decision and DFS once again became illegal. But with New York’s appeal against the decision, things are far from final.
Every major DFS operator is active in New York. Technically, there is no oversight or regulation for daily fantasy sports at this time. However, depending on the outcome of its legal status DFS may have to leave New York. In the meantime, players have several options.
DraftKings, FanDuel, Fantasy Draft, and Yahoo! all provide daily fantasy sports competitions and betting. Of these, DraftKings is by far the best choice. It has many incentives for new players including a $20 sign-up bonus. It also tends to provide plenty of traffic for better action. Players can always find others with whom to bet, no matter how large or small the wager.
Furthermore, DraftKings offers plenty of deposit methods through its browser, which is optimized for desktop and mobile viewing. Indeed, DraftKings’ website is known to be one of the most flexible in the entire industry. It provides betting options for all kinds of sports competitions including:
Another great option is FanDuel (arguably DraftKings’ biggest competitor). It’s website is highly functional, user friendly, and accessible by desktop or mobile. It also provides industry-standard features like guaranteed prize pool tournaments. It’s at the forefront of new game formats, so it’s a great choice if you want something visually fresh.
FanDuel offers single-game contests, beginner contests, and so on. It also provides contest entry limits, so new or amateur players won’t miss out on the action. Innovative features like late-swap options, third-party software blockers, and plenty of core games to choose from make FanDuel a great DFS choice.
Interestingly, New York does allow online horse race betting. This is likely because horse racing has a particularly rich history within this state. The three main companies that provide online horse betting include: TVG, Twin Spires, and BetAmerica. Of these, TVG is by far the best choice.
TVG (and its counterpart channel TVG2) offers 24/7 horserace betting action. Anyone participating through its platforms can bet on races at over 150 racetracks worldwide. Staple tracks or events like the Kentucky Derby or Saudi Cup are, of course, included.
You’ll be able to place multiple types of wagers, too. TVG allows common wagers for winning, placement, or showing. It also allows pick bets and exotic wagers. Finally, the site provides its own specialty wagering opportunities. These are unique to specific tracks or operators.
The website is optimized for desktop and mobile. Alternatively, an app is available for iOS, but not yet Android. Once in the site, you’ll benefit from a user friendly interface. Expert analyses, comprehensive coverage, and easy-to-use live streaming tools are all there.
TVG accepts a wide range of deposit methods. Some methods are free while others, like debit and credit cards, require a small fee. The site handles withdrawals in a similar way. Some methods, such as check by mail, require no additional fee.
New players at TVG have a lot to like in particular. As a sign-up bonus, they have the option to place a bet without any loss risk up to $300 (on a first, single-win wager). All a player has to do is join and the offer is automatically applied to their account. The refund, of course, is in site credit rather than cash.
Other bonuses include promotional opportunities such as a $1,000 bankroll for select participants. There’s also a special wager in which participants guess the winning horse for eight races. The winning player gets a prize of $100,000. Even players who only guess a few of the winning horses still receive minor prizes.
The New York Lottery does not currently offer online options. Instead, players must purchase tickets from retail establishments. This rule applies to any of the in-state New York lottery games.
The only exception to this rule is when purchasing tickets through the New York Lottery’s subscription service. People who want to play a number set multiple times for all drawings within a specific period can do so on the New York Lottery website.
On the other hand, any multi-state drawing such as Powerball, Mega Millions, and Cash4Life can be enjoyed online. These are lottery games that take place throughout multiple states. They aren’t as restricted by New York’s online gambling legislation.
Sports betting at retail locations became legal in New York in 2018. Rivers Casino and Resort was the first to open its doors to sports bettors on July 17, 2018. However, other state-licensed casinos and tribal casinos have caught up quickly.
Rivers Sportsbook is located in upstate New York and offers a 5000 ft.² venue with plenty of seating and five private booths. People can easily keep track of the action while making their bets thanks to dozens of TV monitors and 14 betting kiosks. Of course, the betting kiosks are open 24/7.
Tioga Downs, located in Nichols, NY, is a smaller alternative to Rivers Sportsbook. It offers a 2600 ft.² space near the main casino entrance with 27 video displays and eight betting windows. There’s enough room for at least 50 customers.
Del Lago Resort Casino is currently partnered with DraftKings. Its 6000 ft.² sportsbook includes 23 betting kiosks and four betting windows. Over 1000 ft.² of video screens display the games and statistics. Real-time odds boards also keep the action interesting and allow for accurate moment-to-moment betting.
Gamblers can head to Resorts World’s Sportsbook 360 in Monticello, NY for a main bar surrounded by 360° of monitors broadcasting various sports events. The 6000 ft.² space includes 35 flatscreen TVs, 14 betting kiosks that are open 24/7, and enough seating for 100 people.
Gamblers can also head to the Turning Stone Resort in Verona, NY. Here players will benefit from a translucent bar with a modern aesthetic touch. A full menu and drink service is included with 17 screens broadcasting the most significant sports events.
Point Place Casino, in Bridgeport, NY, has also recently begun offering sports betting. Its sportsbook includes 30 large LED screens across a 24-foot high resolution video wall. Luxury VIP areas with dedicated screens are available for rental for more private betting parties.
All three of tribal casinos, which are overseen by the Oneida Indian Nation, offer sports betting activities. The Yellow Brick Road Casino’s sports betting area features a 32-foot video wall and over 30 large display TVs. Seven VIP areas for exclusive events and dozens of recliners are also available. There’s enough space for over 200 people in total.
As with most forms of gambling, the minimum age for these sports betting activities in New York is 21-years-old. The gambling tax rate is 10 percent in New York, so make sure to set aside that amount from your winnings.
Sports betting in New York is regulated by the New York State Gaming Commission. The commission allows betting on 11 sports in total, and all bets are restricted to certain leagues or tournaments. The available sports are:
Bettors in New York may not wager on local college team events if their home team is participating.
Aside from that, New Yorkers and visitors may place bets on any of the permitted events. There are several types of bets that can be made:
Pennsylvania, in some ways, has a similar story to New York when it comes to online gambling. It’s just a little bit ahead of NY in the timeline.
Like most other states, Pennsylvania outlawed online gambling for a long time. This changed on October 30, 2017, after Gov. Tom Wolf signed a bill into law making online poker, online casinos, and online sports betting legal. This came many months before the Supreme Court declared PASPA to be unconstitutional.
As a result, Pennsylvania quickly began issuing licenses to 12 pre-existing racetrack and land-based casinos. This was an effort for the state to jumpstart or bootstrap its gambling activities in the pursuit of greater state revenue. The opportunity was great for existing casinos, too, which already had the brand recognition necessary to hit the ground running.
Most types of online gambling are legal in Pennsylvania. Options include online casinos, online sports betting, online horse betting, daily fantasy sports, and more. Pennsylvania also allows players to participate in an online lottery, as well as intra-state games.
Pennsylvania officially launched online sweepstakes poker in November 2019. PokerStars is a great opportunity for online poker aficionados, and it’s something that could well come to New York soon.
It’s likely that online gambling, and especially live sports betting, will only continue to grow in Pennsylvania due to the revenue it’s generated. Live sportsbook events have generated $32 million in the last year alone. Add to this fact that Pennsylvania’s state government receives one of the highest amounts of revenue from gambling.
At the very least, Pennsylvania’s success with online gambling will likely inspire New York legislators to get going on their own legalization efforts.
New Jersey is way ahead of New York when it comes to legalizing online gambling. Online casinos have been legal since February 2013, with the first casinos launching shortly thereafter.
In the years since 2013, the New Jersey state government has benefited from nearly $1.5 billion in tax revenue from gambling. Hundreds of millions of tax dollars have come in from the online sites alone.
All this goes to show that online gambling is almost certainly there to stay in New Jersey. This kind of payoff is a great example for New York legislators who might be dragging their feet.
Sports betting is alive and well in New Jersey. In fact, it was New Jersey lawmakers who helped push the Supreme Court to declare the PASPA unconstitutional the first place.
NJ online sportsbooks have numerous opportunities for new and experienced players alike. With nearly a dozen brick-and-mortar locations, players can bet on most major sports within New Jersey borders.
New Jersey is also a great state when it comes to online poker. Poker apps partnered with land-based casinos like Caesars, Resorts, or Borgata are available. PokerStars has a presence here, too.
Online horse betting in New Jersey is also option as are daily fantasy sports (DFS).
The one area where New Jersey doesn’t allow online play is the lottery. Though they do have a lottery app, it’s only usable for checking lottery winnings and tickets (as long as you picked up those tickets in person).
All in all, New Jersey is likely a picture of New York’s future as it pertains to online gambling. While it will likely be several years until New York reaches that point, it seems inevitable considering the direction that the legislative wind is blowing.
Pennsylvania and New Jersey. These two states are both close to New York geographically and have legal online sports betting in addition to other legalized forms of online gambling.
Of the two, New Jersey has a wider variety of online gambling activities. Pennsylvania does have some variety, but they are a little further behind. Regardless, both are solid options compared to New York, which does not currently have legal online sports betting.
It’s not likely. New York’s government recently passed a budget document in which they had the opportunity to place online casino gambling or online sports betting as important agenda items. They decided to pass in favor of other concerns.
Thus, the next opportunity for the legalization of online casino games or sports betting will be in the spring of 2021. Even if it gets passed then, it likely won’t be until 2022 that things start changing.
Yes. New Yorkers can play Global Poker games because they use a sweepstakes model. Since the site doesn’t allow you to play games for real money, it remains a legal option.
No. However, New York does allow retail sportsbooks and in-person sports betting at a wide variety of casinos.
Yes. Players can participate in FanDuel features like daily fantasy sports (DFS). However, the company’s online casinos and poker games are not legal to play within New York’s borders.
Not at this time. However, New York may revisit legislation concerning legal online casinos in 2021.