NY Online Casinos
New York online casinos remain illegal, but that could change in 2023.
According to Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, “the real push” for NY online casinos will occur this year.
Similarly, Sen. Joe Addabbo said that authorizing NY online casinos will be his top priority for the 2023-24 state budget. Conversations surrounding the legalization of online casino gambling in New York have already started to ramp up as proponents look to include the issue in the governor’s January Executive Budget.
Expanded casino gambling could also happen via retail casinos. The process of licensing three downstate NY casinos has already started. By the end of the year, those three locations should be announced, bringing brick-and-mortar casinos closer to New York City (if not in Time Square).
PlayNY is your best source for the latest New York casino news, including the push for legal NY online casinos.
Latest on NY casinos
Jan. 26, 2023
With the first RFA deadline looming for downstate New York casino licensing, the list of interested parties continues to grow.
Vornado Realty Trust recently expressed interest in replacing the soon-to-be-demolished Hotel Pennsylvania with a casino, near Madison Square Garden. In addition, and as expected, Las Vegas Sands commented on the “extraordinary” opportunity that awaits a potential NY casino on Long Island.
Including those two parties, 11 entities have expressed an intention to build downstate New York casinos. Interested entities face a Feb. 3 deadline to submit their first set of questions regarding the RFA process.
NY casino news
Are online casinos legal in NY?
No. The New York state constitution expressly forbids games of chance, a definition that suitably fits casino games, except for the few commercial casinos and tribal locations allowed by various carve-outs. However, that might be changing soon.
How soon? Likely not until 2023. While the state Senate and Assembly introduced legislation in 2022 to legalize online casinos in New York, lawmakers are more focused on authorizing online casino gaming next year. Ideally, legislators would like to include language to legalize NY online casinos in the governor’s January Executive Budget.
When will online casinos launch in New York?
If lawmakers succeed in getting online casino gaming included in the Executive Budget, New York online casinos could be legalized by early 2023. Once regulations are in place and the licensing process concludes, the first legal online casinos in New York could go live later in the year.
Because of the numerous land-based casino brands, their many partnerships, and the overall population of New York, it’s hard to imagine that many online casino companies won’t be interested in launching. Online casinos such as BetMGM, Caesars, Golden Nugget, DraftKings, FanDuel, and BetRivers all figure to be part of the online casino scene in New York, whenever it arrives. They would also likely offer all the most popular casino games to players, including online blackjack and online roulette in New York.
Nothing is set in stone yet. The bill is still in the early stages of the legislative process. Additionally, the NYS budget is due April 1 and the 2022 session ends June 2.
Interactive gaming bill details
For a reference of how lawmakers have approached legal online casinos in New York, consider the latest matching bills from Sen. Joe Addabbo (S8412) and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow (A9436) that emerged in 2022. Here are some of the relevant details of the iGaming bills working their way through the New York Legislature:
- There are no significant restrictions on the games that would become available.
- The land-based commercial and tribal locations in the state are eligible for licensure.
- Each casino is permitted to offer two brands, or skins, on its license.
- Casinos must pay a $2 million fee to secure their licenses.
- Online operators that wish to operate under their own brand, rather than their partner casino’s brand, will have to pay $10 million for their licensing fee.
- Online casino play is taxable at a 25% rate. This rate is higher than the online casino tax rates in New Jersey and Michigan, but considerably less than the 54% rate that Pennsylvania applies to slot games.
New York online promotional sweepstakes social casinos
A lot of people in states where online casinos remain illegal regularly play sweepstakes and social games online.
The apps and websites that offer such options make them work very similarly to casino games and look very much like the games that casino apps offer. You might be wondering, then, how are they legal in New York?
Online sweepstakes games are legal in the Empire State because there’s no “consideration” element. You can play without having to risk a single penny of your own money. The sites do award prizes with real value, but it isn’t necessary for you to pay to win them.
There are three sites available for NY players. These sites have become popular because of their selection of casino-style games. New Yorkers can play at all three of them to their hearts’ content and do so from the comfort of their own home.
- Chumba Casino: If you’re looking for a variety of casino-style games, including some slots with progressive jackpots, you might want to try Chumba Casino. New players enjoy a special Gold Coin and Sweeps Coin promotion, which you can access using the link on this page. Chumba Casino is a social casino.
- LuckyLand Slots: Just like Chumba, new casino players can get 10 Sweeps Coins just for registering their account. LuckyLand also has an app for Android devices, making the platform available to those who prefer to play on their phone. For iPhone users, you’re currently confined to your computer, but perhaps there will be an app for that someday. LuckyLand is a social casino.
- Funzpoints: Funzpoints is best known for its low limits in its titles, which prolongs gameplay. In fact, the maximum prize you can redeem is just $20. If you just enjoy playing casino-style games, and whether you win any real money is less important, this site is definitely for you. FunzPoints is a social casino.
New Jersey, Pennsylvania online casino options
Some New Yorkers understandably prefer to play casino games online and do so for money. If you spend any time in New Jersey or Pennsylvania, multiple online casinos are at your disposal.
While Pennsylvania does have a couple of unique brands, New Jersey has a more robust market. And considering more of the New York population lives closer to the NJ border, we’ll focus on the New Jersey online casino landscape. Here are some of the best online real casinos you can play in the Garden State:
Download real money casinos in NY and play in NJ
- BetMGM Online Casino: With a suite of over 220 games, functional apps and integration into MGM’s iRewards program, it’s easy to see why online casino players in New Jersey flock to this operator. New players receive in site credit just for signing up and can also take advantage of an introductory offer to match their initial deposit up to $25.
- Caesars Online Casino: Caesars boasts nearly 600 titles on its online casino platform, which includes live dealer games. This online casino offers a similar registration bonus of $10 in site credit. First-time depositors also get a 100% match up to $200.
- DraftKings Online Casino: You might know this brand better for its daily fantasy and sportsbook offerings, but the casino side is no afterthought. It comes with everything you’d expect: live dealer games, slots and table games. If you’re new to DraftKings, you can get $60 in site credit just to try out the casino and an impressive 100% deposit match up to $2,000.
- Golden Nugget Online Casino: On a monthly basis, this app rakes in more revenue than any other online casino in New Jersey. And for good reason. The menu of titles is massive, with nearly 800 games. Golden Nugget isn’t resting on its laurels, however. You can get $10 just for signing up, then a 100% bonus up to $1,500 on your first deposit.
How online casinos work
If you’re at least 21 years of age, not on any gambling self-exclusion lists, you’re good to go at a sweepstakes site. That is, of course, after creating, registering and depositing funds into your account. For NJ casinos, you will need to cross the border.
How to sign up
Signing up for an online casino is easy and quick. The casino will walk you through the process, in which it will collect a few pieces of identifying information from you:
- Date of birth
- Email address
- Last four digits of your Social Security number
- Legal name
- Mailing address
How to deposit
After the casino verifies your identity, the last step before playing is to add funds to your account. You can do so by using one of the methods below online casino.
- ACH payments from a checking or savings account
- Credit/debit cards
- Online banking
- E-wallets like PayPal
- Casino cage (if in NJ or PA)
Online casino apps vs. desktop
As previously mentioned, you can access these online casino games on a computer. Actually, that’s the best method if you want to be able to play the entire catalog of titles. Some casinos don’t make their entire selections available on their apps. At the same time, you can’t top the mobile casino app for ease and mobility.
The geolocation technology on your device verifies that you are indeed within the state when you play. So, when you install an online casino app in NY, make sure you give permission for them to use your location. If you elect to play on your computer, you’ll likely need to install geolocation software to facilitate this.
Since 2016, New York has been home to four commercial casinos. The only problem: All four reside upstate, from from the populous New York City area.
That, however, will soon change.
Thanks to the state budget signed by Gov. Kathy Hochul in spring 2022, New York will add three downstate NY casinos.
With licensing fees costing at least $500 million apiece, New York could collect a minimum $1.5 billion straightaway. The New York State Gaming Commission has until Oct. 6 to select a gaming facility location board. Once a majority of that six-member board is appointed, the NYSGC will issue a request for applications within 90 days.
It would appear that Resorts World in Queens and MGM Empire City in Yonkers, both video lottery terminals, are favorites to land two licenses, as each facility could convert to full-fledged casinos in short order.
As for the third, several big-name casino companies have emerged as contenders. As have a number of potential locations.
Hard Rock, Las Vegas Sands, Bally’s and Wynn have all expressed interest in entering the NY casino market. In fact, both Hard Rock and Las Vegas Sands have been tied to Citi Field, home of the New York Mets and owned by Steve Cohen, to potentially open a downstate New York casino in Queens.
In addition, the Hard Rock-SL Green casino project at Times Square could also become a possibility. Other locations include Coney Island, Belmont, Midtown and the East River. Not to be overlooked, lawmakers representing the South Bronx have started lobbying for the area to be considered for a downstate NY casino.
Land-based casinos in New York
New York has hosted numerous Native American casinos on Seneca, Mohawk, and Oneida tribal lands ever since the first Indian casino opened in 1993. Four new commercial casinos were opened in upstate New York between 2016 and 2018 as well.
Native American NY casinos
In upstate New York, seven casinos owned and operated by Native American tribes offer plenty of gaming opportunities for visitors.
|Casino||City||Slots||Table Games||Poker Tables|
|Turning Stone Casino Resort||Verona, NY||2,000+||80+||32|
|Yellow Brick Road Casino||Chittenango, NY||400+||14+||---|
|Point Place Casino||Bridgeport, NY||500+||20+||---|
|Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino||Buffalo, NY||1,100+||35+||---|
|Seneca Niagara Resorts & Casino||Niagara Falls, NY||2,800+||100+||16|
|Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino||Salamanca, NY||1,600+||30+||---|
|Akwesasne Mohawk Casino||Hogansburg, NY||1,500+||25+||5|
Commercial casinos in New York
As it stands, New York features four commercial casinos, all located upstate. However, thanks to a budget signed off by Gov. Kathy Hochul in 2021, the Empire State will soon award licenses for three more gaming facilities closer to — and perhaps even within — New York City.
|Casino||City||Slots||Table Games||Poker Tables|
|Tioga Downs||Nichols, NY||900+||128+||6|
|Del Lago Resort & Casino||Waterloo, NY||2,000+||66+||14|
|Rivers Casino & Resort||Schenectady, NY||1,150+||67||16|
|Resorts World Catskills||Monticello, NY||2,000+||150+||19|
NY online casinos responsible gambling
With New York continuing to look into legal gaming expansion, particularly online, there remains a concern about a rise in problem gambling, as well. It is this area — bringing NY responsible gambling awareness, education and additional resources for those who suffer from problem gambling — that is important for lawmakers and stakeholders to address.
When NY online casinos do launch, they will no doubt hold similarities to online sportsbooks in New York when it comes to responsible gambling in New York. Features such as users being able to set limits on how much they bet in one sitting or in a week, for example, or self-exclusion from betting apps, as well as helplines and resources available to individuals who want help treating their gambling addictions.
Sen. Joe Addabbo, one of the leading proponents for online gambling expansion in New York, has said that addiction is the biggest challenge facing the potential passage of any legislation to legalize NY online casinos. His initial bill that fell short of passage in 2022 carved out $11 million in additional funding for gambling addiction. The 24/7 access to online gambling is a factor, of course. But Addabbo has said his goal is to “secure” online casinos in New York, but also to “regulate it and make it safer” for users in the Empire State.
“I think it’s trickier,” Addabbo said of New York online casinos, “and therefore we’ll look to do more funds and more in-tune with OASAS (Office of Addiction Services and Supports) on how we address addiction even further.”
Similarly, a panel at the 2022 Racing and Gaming Conference in Saratoga Springs emphasized that not enough responsible gaming programs and funding existed to keep up with industry growth.
Currently, online sports betting in New York contributes less than 1% of revenue toward problem gambling, a total that is “ridiculously inappropriate and unacceptable,” according to John Coppola, executive director of the New York Association of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Providers.
Another panelist, David Donovan, president of the New York State Broadcasters Association, added that online gambling operators in the state should provide even more responsible and problem gambling education and access to resources. As he put it: “More speech is better than less speech. We have an obligation to educate the public.”
All parties need to be involved is the consensus. From lawmakers to operators to potential users, everyone needs to be on the same page when it comes to responsible gambling awareness and available resources before the legalization of NY online casinos can happen.
NY Casino FAQ
The New York State Gaming Commission regulates all aspects of gaming, including casino games, commercial casinos, and Class III Indian Gaming facilities (Native American casinos).
Alternative options include Pennsylvania and NJ casinos. New Yorkers will need to take a trip across the border to play at any of the New Jersey or Pennsylvania regulated online casinos.
For the most part, games available via online casino sites and apps fit into one of three categories: live dealer, slots and table games.
Table games include American roulette, blackjack, baccarat and three card poker variants. Live dealer games are exactly what the name suggests: There’s a live dealer distributing cards and running the game in real time. Many slot titles available within online casino apps have progressive jackpots, as well.
Being part of a regulated market provides a lot of consumer protections. In order to obtain a license, operators have to pass a detailed inquiry, and keeping that license requires them to maintain high standards.
These standards include keeping player funds separate from their own accounts, being transparent about the return-to-player rates that games carry, and only offering games from vendors that have similarly received licensure from regulatory bodies.
Just like brick-and-mortar casinos, online operators must participate in states’ self-exclusion programs. That means they can’t even market themselves to, much less accept an account registration from, a person on any of those lists. That includes electronic forms of marketing like emails.
Also, apps and sites must prominently post information on how individuals with compulsive gambling issues can get help. Finally, part of the gambling taxes they pay goes to fund such programs so people with those issues can use the resources free of charge.
No. However, this situation is somewhat complicated.
Because tribes are sovereign entities in many ways but also must abide by the terms of the gambling compacts they make with state and US governments, they would have the right to offer any type of gambling that commercial casinos can offer in New York.
At the same time, they don’t have the freedom to ignore state laws, making such games illegal right now.