New York Gambling And Sports Betting News

New York can often feel like the center of the universe, but when it comes to gambling, New York City in particular has been all talk and little action in the past.

New York has a few things for gamblers to enjoy, like the lottery, commercial and tribal casinos upstate, and retail sports betting at those casino locations. However, for most New Yorkers, the answer to where they gamble is across the river in New Jersey.

However, in April 2021, lawmakers in New York finally accomplished what some had been aiming to do for years: legalize online sports betting in New York. The sports betting model is based off of New Hampshire and will feature a NY Lottery duopoly, where sportsbooks bid for the right to be one of two licensees and provide at least one alternative brand as a skin.

Regulators are currently working on the regulations and applications. The application process should begin in the summer of 2021, with the first sports betting apps likely going live for the first time in early 2022.

PlayNY is your source for the latest news on all your sports betting and gambling options as well as the best place to keep tabs on efforts to launch online gambling in New York.

New York Gambling Options

Retail Sportsbooks

Thanks to a law on the books in New York since 2013, sports betting became legal when the Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 2019. However, the law only allows for retail sports betting. The first brick and mortar sportsbooks opened in 2019. There are now nearly ten sportsbooks to bet at located in both commercial and tribal casinos.

Commercial Casinos

The state of New York legalized upstate commercial casinos in 2013. Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed the measure, which led to the opening of four commercial casinos: Rivers Schenectady, Resorts World Catskills, del Lago Casino and Tioga Downs. These resort-like casinos offer all the popular casino games like blackjack, slots, and roulette. They also feature hotels, spas, and other amenities you would find at the popular Vegas casinos.

Tribal Casinos

There are a dozen different tribal casinos to choose from in New York. These properties offer slots and table games, just like commercial casinos. The big difference is those tribal properties have a minimum age of 18, not 21. The four tribes offering casino gaming in the state are Cayuga Nation, Oneida Nation of New York, Saint Regis Mohawk Tribe, and the Seneca Nation of New York.

New York Lottery

Established in 1967, the New York Lottery offers a number of games, including the national draw games Powerball and Mega Millions. The lotto also offers other draw games like the state-specific New York Lotto drawing. And, of course, lottery retailers also sell a range of scratch-off tickets. It is the first lottery to crack $10 billion in earnings in a year.

Horse Racing

Horse racing has a storied history in New York. The three biggest racetracks in the state are Aqueduct, Saratoga, and the home of the Belmont Stakes leg of the Triple Crown, Belmont Park. There are other smaller tracks as well like Batavia and Tioga Downs as well. The industry also supports several racino properties and off-track betting sites.

Daily Fantasy Sports

New Yorkers can currently play fantasy sports in the state on sites like DraftKings and FanDuel. The state neither regulates nor taxes these operators. There are nonetheless opponents to the industry. State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman ordered the two DFS companies to cease NY operations in 2015, but the state passed a law to allow operations to continue in 2016. There is still a pending court case in the state on the status of DFS that may change the fantasy landscape in the future.

NY Gambling FAQ

What kind of gambling is legal in New York?

Online sports betting may not be allowed in New York yet, but there are plenty of other options in the Empire State. New York offers:

  • NY Lottery
  • Daily fantasy sports
  • Horse racing
  • Retail and online sportsbooks
  • Commercial casinos
  • Tribal casinos

What is the legal gambling age in New York?

The minimum age requirement to enter commercial casinos in New York is 21 years old. However, horse betting, the lottery, and tribal casinos allow anyone who is at least 18 years old to take part.

That creates an interesting wrinkle for sports bettors in New York. If they go to one of the four commercial casinos with sportsbooks, they will need to be 21 in order to bet. However, if they visit a tribal casino, they can get wagers down so long as they are 18. It is best to call the casino to ensure the gambling age before you go though.

When did New York legalize online sports betting?

Efforts to legalize online sportsbooks via a NY revenue bill done in 2020 came up short. However, the revenue bill in 2021 did include online sports betting expansion. Cuomo signed the bill into law on April 19. Don’t expect apps to launch in New York before 2022 though.

Can you play online poker in New York?

While New York casinos offer many live poker options, real-money online poker is not legal in the state. However, sweepstakes-based poker site Global Poker remains a legal option for NY poker players.

Another option would be to travel to Pennsylvania or New Jersey, both of which offer regulated in-state online poker. Canada is another option for New Yorkers to travel to and play.

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