Online casinos are currently not approved or regulated by the state of New York. However, social online casinos operated by New York’s growing list of land-based casinos offer a wide range of free casino games, including slot games, table games, bingo, keno, and video poker games.

Are online casinos legal in NY?

No and New York lawmakers are currently not considering legislation to legalize online casinos. There is no compelling evidence that online casinos will be coming to New York in the near future.

The New York State constitution explicitly forbids games of chance like casino games, with some exceptions. It would take a constitutional amendment or successful referendum to approve regulated online casinos in the state, and such a measure has not been proposed yet.

New York did include a referendum measure on the 2013 election ballot to allow for up to seven land-based commercial casinos to be built in the state. The referendum was approved by voters. The new casinos are New York’s first commercial casinos, whereas Native American casinos have been serving the Empire State’s players since 1993 when the first Indian Casino opened.

Other forms of gambling in New York

There have been several legislative attempts in recent years to legalize online poker and sports betting in New York. Finally, sports betting was legalized in NY in 2019 and launched its first sportsbook at Rivers Casino in July 2019.

Unfortunately, poker is still sitting on the bench. Some bills have classified online poker games as games of skill, which are legal according to the state constitution, instead of games of chance, which are prohibited. None of the proposed bills have been passed yet, but they remain active for the 2019 legislative session.

Legal betting in New York

The options for state-regulated online betting in New York State are relatively limited compared to New York’s neighboring states of New Jersey – the market leader for legal online casinos in the U.S. – and Pennsylvania, where online casinos are slated to launch in mid-2019. Currently, players in New York can place wagers online for horse races and play fantasy sports.

Horse racing and online betting

Online wagering on horse races is legal thanks to a safe harbor clause for horse racing, including off-track betting activities and associated online wagering, in the federal UIGEA legislation, which otherwise limits online gambling in the U.S. All of the OTB branches in New York offer online horse race wagering options.

Online Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS)

New York State began regulating online fantasy sports activity in 2016 as a game of skill, which is legal in New York. In 2018, a court ruling against New York’s classification of DFS as a game of skill muddied the waters, but the case was appealed, and gameplay continues for now.

Social online casino games in New York

Several commercial and Native American casinos in New York provide free-play casino games. Most of these social casino sites offer limited free virtual credits to players or give them the option to win or purchase virtual credits for additional games. Players can’t earn money playing these free casino games, but they can unlock new games and game levels while playing.

Empire City Casino – Owned by MGM and hosted in Nevada, Empire City’s free-play site is powered by GAN and offers a wide variety of table games, online slots games by top developers like NetEnt, slots tournaments, and promotions. Players must register to preview and play Empire’s online casino games.

Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack, Hamburg Gaming – The sites for both of these land-based casinos link to the Lucky North Casino – a virtual social casino that features an interactive casino floor with free online slots, video poker, blackjack, bingo, and keno games.

It is possible to play some of the free games in demo mode without registering or logging in first, while other games require a login to play. An online casino app is also available for iOS, Android, and Kindle devices.

Turning Stone Casino – Operated by the Oneida Indian Nation, Turning Stone online casino is hosted in Nevada, powered by GAN, and does not support any real-money gaming at this time. Players can also download the app to play on iOS and Android devices. The site features slots tournaments, promotions, and a variety of games, including:

  • Slots
  • Video poker
  • Keno
  • Roulette
  • Blackjack
  • Deuces Wild
  • Hi-Lo Solitaire

Seneca Casinos – The Seneca Nation of Indians hosts the iPlaySeneca social online casino that boasts an impressive catalog of free online slots games by reputable developers like Williams Interactive (WMS). It is not possible to preview or play the iPlaySeneca free slots games without registering and logging in first. An iPlaySeneca app is also available for iOS and Android devices.

Del Lago Resort & Casino – Similar to the iPlaySeneca site, del Lago’s online casino offers online slots games by WMS, including popular titles like Kronos, Invaders From the Planet Moolah, Bier Haus, 88 Fortunes, and Super Jackpot Party. It is not possible to preview or play the free slots games without registering and logging in first, and a mobile app is available for iOS and Android devices.

Rivers Casino & Resort – Rivers Casino4Fun, Rivers Casino’s free-play online casino, is operated by Rush Street Interactive, the same company behind the free-play casinos for SugarHouse Casino in Philadelphia, PA and Rivers Casino in Pittsburgh, PA. All of the Casino4Fun sites provided by Rush – including Rivers Casino4Fun – boast the same layout, handy game filtering tools, and many of the same games as SugarHouse’s real-money online casino in New Jersey.

Rivers Casino’s free online game selection includes:

  • Slots
  • Roulette
  • Blackjack
  • Texas Hold’em and three card poker
  • Live roulette and live baccarat
  • Slingo
  • Video bingo
  • Video poker

Examples of Rivers Casino4Fun game developers include:

  • Konami
  • NetEnt
  • Greentube Games
  • Evolution Live Casino
  • Everi

It is not possible to preview or play the games unless you register and log in to your Rivers player account first.

Payment methods at New York’s free online casinos

Most of New York’s land-based casinos that offer free-play online casino sites provide the option to purchase virtual currency or virtual credits to play additional games beyond what the casino awards.

Different social casinos offer different payment options for players. For example, Empire City and Turning Stone’s online casinos accept convenient payment methods like all major credits cards (Visa, Mastercard, Discover, and American Express) and PayPal for online purchases. Lucky North Online Casino states that in-app purchases are processed by the app store associated with your device.

The payment methods accepted by New York’s free-play casinos are for making deposits/purchases, and it is not possible to win money or withdraw money from these sites. Chips are for entertainment value, and once chips are awarded or purchased, they cannot be redeemed or exchanged for monetary value.

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

Turning Stone Casino Resort, Verona NY

Opened in 1993 by the Oneida Indian Nation of New York, Turning Stone was the first land-based casino and the first Native American casino in New York State. Since then, the property has expanded, with the most recent renovations completed in 2017.

Turning Stone is a premier Indian casino that offers a complete resort experience with lodging, a spa, golf, dining, and entertainment options.

Casino Game Selection:

  • Poker: 32 tables, state-of-the-art room
  • Table games: 80+ games
  • Slots: 2,000+ games
  • Bingo: World-class bingo hall
  • Keno: Games called every five minutes

Yellow Brick Road Casino, Chittenango NY

Smaller than Turning Stone, the Yellow Brick Road Casino is also an Oneida Indian property. The casino features the yellow brick road theme from the Wizard of Oz that extends through the gaming floor to the dining and entertainment venues.

Casino Game Selection:

  • Table games: 14+
  • Slots: 400+

Point Place Casino, Bridgeport NY

Similar in size to the Yellow Brick Road Casino, the Oneida Nation also hosts this rustic-themed casino located in a woodland area replete with beloved lake points. Point Place offers a gaming floor, dining, and entertainment options.

Casino Game Selection:

  • Table games: 20+
  • Slots: 500+ games

Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, Buffalo NY

Located in downtown Buffalo’s inner harbor area, the Seneca Nation’s urban casino offers a variety of gaming, dining, and entertainment options.

Casino Game Selection:

  • Table games: 35+
  • Slots: 1,100+ games

Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino, Niagara Falls, NY

Boasting picturesque views of the Niagara Falls region, this full-service Seneca Nation casino resort offers gaming, lodging, spa services, dining, entertainment, and conference facilities.

Casino Game Selection:

  • Poker: 16 tables
  • Table games: 100+
  • Slots: 2,800+ reel and video slot games
  • Keno

Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino, Salamanca NY

Set in the Allegheny Mountain foothills, this full-service Seneca Nation casino resort offers gaming, lodging, spa services, dining, and entertainment.

Casino Game Selection:

  • Table games: 30+
  • Slots: 1,600+ reel and video slot games

Akwesasne Mohawk Casino, Hogansburg NY

Hosted by the Mohawk Indian tribe, this full-service casino resort provides lodging, spa services, dining, and entertainment options.

Casino Game Selection:

  • Poker: 5 tables
  • Table games: 25+
  • Slots: 1,500+ reel (penny slots up to high-limit slots)
  • Bingo

Commercial casinos in New York

Tioga Downs in Nichols, NY

The first casino with a commercial license to open in New York, Tioga Downs was originally a horse race track that was granted a commercial casino license to expand its business. The gaming floor opened in 2016, and the hotel opened in 2017. The property also features horse racing, golf, dining, and entertainment options.

Casino Game Selection:

  • Poker: 6 tables
  • Table games: 128+ games
  • Slots: 900+ games
  • Video poker: 130+ different games

del Lago Resort & Casino in Waterloo, NY

Opened in 2017 in the Finger Lakes region of New York, within only an hour drive to the Oneida Nation’s Turning Stone Casino, del Lago is a full-service commercial casino resort with gaming, lodging, a spa, restaurants, and entertainment.

Casino Game Selection:

  • Poker: 14 tables (Seven Card Stud, Pot Limit Omaha, Texas Hold’em)
  • Table games: 66+ (e.g., craps, roulette, blackjack, three card poker, Let It Ride, Pai Gow Poker, Mississippi Stud, Casino War)
  • Slots: 2,000+ games

Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady, NY

Part of the ambitious Mohawk Harbor development project on the Mohawk River in Schenectady, Rivers opened in 2017 as a full-service resort property with gaming, lodging, restaurants, and entertainment.

Casino Game Selection:

  • Poker: 16 tables, open 24/7
  • Table games: 67 games
  • Slots: 1,150+ games (penny slots to high-limit slots)
  • Video poker
  • Keno

Resorts World Catskills in Monticello, NY

With a grand opening in 2018, Resorts World is billed as the newest commercial casino and the closest casino to New York City. This full-service luxury resort property is located in the picturesque Catskill Mountain region, boasting 100,000 square feet of gaming space, boutique lodging, a spa, and various dining and entertainment options.

Casino Game Selection:

  • Poker: 19 tables, open 24/7
  • Table games: 150+ games
  • Slots: 2,000+ games
  • Video poker: 130+ different games

Virtual Lottery Terminals (VLTs) in New York

New Yorkers can also play Virtual Lottery Terminal (VLT) games at racino betting facilities throughout the state. VLTs look like slot machines, but players bet on the outcome of virtual games that are transmitted by a central game system maintained by the New York Gaming Commission.

FAQ

Who regulates casino games and casinos in New York?

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).

Are there online casinos in New York?

Online casinos that offer real-money games are currently illegal in New York. Several of New York’s licensed land-based casinos offer social online casinos with free-play casino games and other online entertainment options.

Where can New Yorkers play online casino games?

Free-play online social casino games are available through many of New York’s land-based casinos. For real-money online casino games, New Yorkers can take a trip across the border into New Jersey to play at any of New Jersey’s regulated online casinos. Pennsylvania’s online casinos are expected to launch in mid-to-late 2019 as well.

Online casinos in New Jersey use geolocation technology to identify where a player is located. Players from New York can play at New Jersey’s online casinos as long as they are physically present anywhere within New Jersey’s state borders. It is expected that online casinos in Pennsylvania will use the same type of geolocation technology to ensure that online players are physically present within the state of PA.

Where can New Yorkers play casino games?

New York hosts various land-based commercial and Native American casinos throughout upstate New York. Gaming floors at racinos throughout the state also offer Virtual Lottery Terminal (VLT) games and electronic table games.