New York

The biggest question currently being asked in New York State “Is Online Sports Betting legal in New York?”

The answer to that question is YES.

How and when legalized sports betting in New York (NY) will be implemented remains unclear, however, we anticipate the state legislators will allow some form of legalized New York sports betting (most likely in 4 of the state’s land-based casinos in the Catskills to begin with) sometime later in 2019.

Meanwhile, the state has a great range of gaming options. New York offers its visitors and residents a great Tribal Casino industry, legal (yet to be applied) sports betting, legal DFS competitions, horse racing betting (online and land-based), a state lottery, live poker and charitable gambling.

New York Casino Gambling

Throughout its long-and-colorful history, New York State had little to offer in terms of legal gambling.

For most of its history, New York State firstly had just a handful of casinos, mainly in Native American areas located upstate.

It wasn’t until 2013 when an amendment was passed to expand legal gambling in the state. The new amendment called for just 4 new gaming licenses to be handed out, mainly in upstate New York locations near the Catskills mountains and Albany.

The state now offers more casino gambling options, however, most of the casinos that are the closest to New York City are “Racinos” which do not offer table games in the traditional sense of the phrase.

Many residents of New York City and surrounding areas of the state prefer traveling to nearby destinations like Atlantic City in New Jersey to gamble in land-based casinos.

However, there a number of stand-alone casino resorts within the state that are run by Native American tribes. These “Indian Casinos” offer full-fledged-gaming, though in the case of the State of New York, they are generally located upstate several hours drive from New York City.

Online Casinos in New York

As mentioned previously, New York State has not yet implemented the introduction of legal online casinos.

In all likelihood, it should be the legalization of sports betting in New York State that drives the legislative change to legalize online casinos.

Hypothetically speaking, given an untroubled implementation period of sports betting in the state’s land-based casinos, New York’s residents should gain access to online casino betting options in the near future.

We recommend to all online players in New York State to stick to;

  • DFS real money online betting options and;
  • Online horse and greyhound racing betting ONLY (not illegal in New York State).

Our advice is to refrain from playing ANY online casinos (either off-shore or U.S-based online casinos) until legalization of online casinos takes place in the Empire State of New York.

NY Poker laws

Whilst some types are gambling are actively encouraged in New York, unlicensed Poker and other forms of unlicensed games are not.
In New York, Live Poker can be enjoyed at Tribal and Commercial Casinos.
In New York, for the time being, unlicensed poker, unlicensed roulette or unlicensed roulette (Stick to playing in the legal locations as playing unlicensed for money in your own home is actively discouraged), are all seen as forms of illegal and prohibited gaming. Possible punishments are big fines and potential jail time if the fines go unpaid.

Poker Rooms

New York has a total of 120 poker tables spread across 10 poker rooms at which to bet legally on poker in addition to the state’s 12 Native American tribal casinos. It is absolutely no problem at all to play many different types of poker perfectly legally and without fear of breaking the law (including Casino Hold’em, Texas Hold’em, Caribbean Stud Poker, No Limit Hold’em etc.).

Online Poker Laws

For the time being, online poker is still illegal in the state of New York.
However, in August of 2012, Judge Jack B. Weinstein heard a case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and overturned a guilty verdict for a gambler running an illegal home poker game with a $300 buy-in.
Judge Weinstein’s verdict decided poker to be a game of skill and not a game based on random chance as previously determined under the Illegal Gambling Business Act has paved the way for both online gaming and home poker games to become legal.
His precedent has allowed lawmakers to potentially use his decision for the present and future moves to make poker, both online and offline, legal to the residents of New York.

History of Online & Land-Based Gambling in New York

New York has a long and proud history of adopting innovative change in the gambling sector long before many of the other States of the Union. For example, New York State was the first state to ban lotteries in the 1800s, and only the second to welcome them back.  Check out the timeline for other landmark dates in the history of gambling in New York;

1776 – Continental Congress authorizes a lottery to pay for the war against the British.

1833 – New York becomes the first state to enact a constitutional ban on lotteries.

1939 – Betting on Horse Racing was legalized in New York State.

1957 – Bingo becomes legal in New York.

1966 – New York lottery begins.

1970 – Off-Track Betting is legalized in New York.

1976 – Gambling is legalized in Atlantic City, New York’s nearby neighbor in New Jersey.

1993 – First Indian Casinos open in New York State following the 1988 passage through Congress’ of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, permitting casinos on Indian territory.

2001 – In a post-9/11 revenue-raising move, New York legalizes several Indian casinos and legislates to permit Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) at several racetracks, transforming them into “racinos.”

2013 – New York State legislature passes the Upstate NY Economic Development Gaming Act (which opens the pathway for the establishment of sports betting legislation) and approves full commercial land-based casinos.

Given New York’s heritage of being a liberal and open-minded state to gambling legalization, it is highly likely that the state will apply this philosophy when legislating to making online sports betting in New York available to its residents.

Click Here to read about the top online sportsbooks and New York’s Sports Betting Laws

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