New York Online Gambling

The latest on online gambling, sports betting, lottery and more.

The days of off-limits online gambling in New York are finally waning. Nine sportsbook apps are making their final preparations to debut in New York in the next few months. In fact, all interested parties in the state — lawmakers, regulators, and the books themselves — want to see online betting up and running by Feb. 13, 2022, the day of Super Bowl LVI.

Things are less rosy for New York-based gamblers who want to play slots, table games, or poker online. While there is a pair of identical companion bills in the New York Assembly (A01668) and New York Senate (S01447) to legalize NY online poker, there has been no action on either measure since their referral to the committee in January 2021. For that matter, there are no NY online casino bills on the table at all right now.

However, don’t despair. The launch of online sportsbooks is the next step for New York gambling expansion. The state features a robust casino industry with four commercial casinos, tribal casinos, racetracks, and racinos. So the hope is there for more legal gambling options. We are going to stay on top of the situation for you. Read on for all the very latest that is happening with legal gambling (and online gambling) in New York.

Legal Gambling in New York

Retail Sportsbooks

Retail sports betting in NY features no fewer than 11 different choices available located at the four commercial casinos and seven tribal casinos. However, the 8.3 million New Yorkers in New York City live no closer than 2 hours away from the nearest location (Resorts World Catskills). Nevertheless, folks in western and upstate areas have a wealth of options within easy reach.

Online Sportsbooks

Start spreading the news! Sportsbook apps are on the way to New York! The nine winning sportsbooks include some of the biggest names in the US: DraftKings, FanDuel, BetMGM, and Caesars (to name a few). The hope is for online sports betting to begin before February 2022. However, it’s possible that the launch will occur sooner than that. At launch, users can expect welcome bonuses, promotions, and apps that look and feel similar to those they likely have used in nearby New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

New York Casinos

NY online casinos are illegal, but New York is home to roughly two dozen casino locations. There are commercial casinos, tribal venues, and racinos that New Yorkers can use for many different types of gambling. You can expect to find the usual array of slot machines and table games at most locations. Racinos, however, feature video lottery terminals operated by the state lottery. If you want to play online, your best bet is a sweepstakes or social casino or take a trip to NJ and PA where real money online casinos exist in great numbers.

New York Lottery

The New York Lottery allows you to play scratchers, state-based draw games, and multi-state draw games like Powerball and Mega Millions. The lottery was the first lottery to break over the $10 billion mark for annual revenue. For the most part, lottery tickets must be purchased in person in New York. However, it is possible to set up a subscription account with the lottery commission and prepay for a certain number of tickets for future draws.

Horse Racing

New York is most certainly a horse-racing state. It is the home of Belmont Park, the venue that hosts the third leg of the Triple Crown each year. However, New York is also where the Travers Stakes, hosted by Saratoga Race Course in Saratoga Springs. In addition, Yonkers Raceway is the site for the Yonkers Trot, the second leg of harness racing’s Triple Crown. So, New Yorkers are blessed with an embarrassment of riches for horse racing venues to go, watch, and bet. On top of that, online horse betting is alive and well in New York, with the best option available at TVG.

NY Online Poker

Online poker is not legal in New York whatsoever. The only options that you have are social/sweepstakes casino sites that are available throughout the US. One of the best options for this kind of thing is Global Poker, which offers free play and play for prizes. You can also travel to nearby Pennsylvania and New Jersey to play on the WSOP or PokerStars sites legally. New York is also home to several live poker locations at a number of casinos in the state.

NY Gambling FAQ

What kinds of gambling are legal in New York?

There are several types of gambling that are legal in New York. They are:

  • Casinos – commercial and tribal
  • Racinos – racing/simulcast/video lottery terminals
  • Lottery
  • Off-track betting
  • Online horse betting
  • Retail sports betting
  • Online sports betting (pending launch)

What is the legal gambling age in New York?

Either 21 or 18, depending on the activity and the venue. You are required to be 21 years old in order to play at one of the commercial casinos in upstate New York. However, tribal casinos, racinos, and lottery games only require players to be 18. The rules of the house apply when it comes to retail sports betting, but online sports betting will require players to be 21.

When did New York legalize online sports betting?

New York legalized online sports betting in April 2021. Both regulators and sportsbook apps are working to launch sometime on or before Feb. 13, 2022 — the day of the 2022 Super Bowl.

Can you play online casino games in NY?

No. As is the case with online poker, there are no legal casino sites in New York. Your only options are the social/sweepstakes-type sites that offer slots and table games for free. Some of the best casinos in this genre are Chumba Casino, Luckyland Slots, and Funzpoints. A quick trip to nearby states such as Connecticut, New Jersey and Pennsylvania will give you access to a number of real money online casinos as well.

Are there any casinos in New York City?

Not exactly. There are some locations in and around the Big Apple that call themselves casinos, but they are actually racinos — venues with slot-like machines, simulcast betting, and, in some cases, live horse racing. The nearest true casino to New York City in New York is Resorts World Catskills, which requires 2 hours of driving to the northwest.

Resources

Daily Fantasy Sports Contests in NY

Daily fantasy sports, or DFS, has long been a topic of debate for gambling proponents and opponents around the country. New York is no exception, and the legality of the activity remains in a decidedly unsettled state. After then-state attorney general Eric Schneiderman issued a public ruling against the practice inside New York state lines in 2015, Gov. Andrew Cuomo helped to push through a law to overturn Schneiderman’s opinion the very next year. However, DFS opponents did not take the law lying down, and have secured at least one favorable court ruling about the constitutionality of playing in these contests.

For the time being, New Yorkers can play DFS contests. It is not clear for how long they will be able to do so. The biggest irony to this back-and-forth is that DFS pioneer FanDuel has its headquarters stationed in New York City. But, the law is the law, and it’s still up in the air.

Gambling online safely in New York

As noted, New Yorkers only have a couple of legal options for playing casino games online. Sports betting sites are a work in progress, but on their way. Still, you might be wondering, “Why can I find online casinos and poker rooms when I search?” Simply put: Those sites are based outside of the US. While they accept New York players, they come with a host of problems that make them a bad idea. For one thing, there is no law permitting them to operate in New York. For another, you don’t have any way to use the state and federal legal systems to help you if anything goes wrong. Finally, you can never be sure if the sites are secure and can keep your information safe from hackers.

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