The New York State has had a turbulent relationship with gambling ever since the prohibition period of the 1930s when they banned not only alcohol but also casino games, horse racing, and all other forms of gambling. However, the tumultuous relationship improved significantly, as land-based casino gaming started to develop in New York when the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was enacted in 1988. Now, the Empire State even allows commercial casinos, race tracks, lottery, and different kinds of gambling.
But what about online gaming? The situation with online casinos and betting sites is not so clear cut, as these forms of gambling are not yet considered legal per se. However, some wheels have been put into motion, and a solid foundation has been laid, so it is safe to assume that New York State will legalize it.
Here is a list of our top 5 recommended online casino sites to play at for real money from New York.
Giving an answer to this question is more complicated than it seems. First of all, the New York Penal Code, section 225 that describes gambling activities allowed in the Empire State does not specifically mention online gambling. The law does say that “any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment which is used or usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity” is considered illegal unless otherwise stated. With that in mind, we can safely conclude that using phones, laptops, and other devices to access online casinos would be considered as breaking the law and an illegal form of gambling.
However, not a single instance of the New York State Law defines gambling in offshore online casinos as illegal. As long as players access licensed and regulated offshore casinos that do not perform business from within New York State, no criminal charges will be put against them. There hasn’t been a case where a person from New York was arrested for playing in online casinos and betting sites.
What’s more, some forms of online gambling are legal. On August 3, 2016, New York Governor Andrew M. Cuomo signed into law a regulatory framework which legalized the Daily Fantasy Sports in New York State. The New York State’s Gambling Commission is in charge of overseeing the Daily Fantasy Sports, commercial casinos, race tracks, and race tracks with slots and VLT (virtual lottery machines) that we recognize as racinos.
Another form of online gambling that is legal in New York and is an excellent alternative to real money online casinos is social casinos. Social casinos allow you to play slots and table games like those in real casinos, with the difference that, in social casinos, you win virtual gold coins and sweep coins. Regardless, these coins can be traded for real cash prizes, as they count as sweepstakes winnings that are entirely legal.
We dare say the future of online gambling in New York is bright, despite the setbacks. In 2013, commercial casinos were allowed, which paved the way to the legalization of sports betting in 2019, just a year after the Supreme Court revoked the infamous 1992 Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act. Many were quick to judge that online gambling is next, but Governor Andrew Cuomo made no mention of extra revenues in his latest budget plans.
However, what might push things a bit and back the efforts by the state Sen. Joseph Addabbo and other officials to legalize online casinos is the outbreak of Covid-19. The budget of New York State was depleted due to the coronavirus’s economic impact, which might implore the authorities to realize what revenue opportunities online gambling can bring.
When you consider that the neighboring New Jersey State managed to cash in close to $500 million from online gambling in 2019 alone, the untapped potential of the Big Apple and other cities in the state seems incredible, and what is even more incredible is that the officials are reluctant to explore that potential to generate revenue.
Brick-and-mortar casinos have been around New York ever since the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act was enacted in 1988. The first casinos in the country were tribal casinos. As of 2013, commercial casinos and racetracks that have slot machines and table casino games were also allowed and licensed under the Gambling Commission of New York. At the moment, there are 12 land-based casinos in New York and 15 tribal casinos. Some of the most exciting choices include:
Empire City Casino has a long history, as it was first founded as a race track in the early 20th century. Now, under the MGM Resorts management, it has gone through several renovations and improvements to become an exclusive gaming venue. The casino floor features over 5,000 slot machines, as well as live and simulcast harness-racing options. Table games are also available, but in electronic modes solely, as Empire City Casino holds a Class II license that does not include live casino tables. Apart from gaming options, Empire City Casino offers top-notch entertainment and dining options that will complement your stay.
Seneca Niagara Casino is run by the Seneca Nation Of Indians and is located in the Niagara Falls vicinity, making it extra appealing to visitors. The casino floor that spans over 80,000 square feet features over 3,000 slot machines and 80 table casino games such as keno, blackjack, and live poker. There is also a sports bar with betting options on all kinds of sports, from college basketball to hockey. Also, their AAA Four-Diamond rated hotel offers 604 deluxe rooms and suites with numerous amenities that will help you experience a Las Vegas-type of stay.
Del Lago Resort & Casino is a premier gaming hub with over 1,700 different slot machines and 66 table casino games, including 14 live poker tables. At Del Lago Resort & Casino, you can enjoy blackjack, roulette, craps, and even sports betting at their state-of-the-art sports bar. The housing arrangements include a hotel and spa with 205 luxurious rooms and facilities that offer upscale shopping opportunities, fine dining options, and pampering spa treatments. Del Lago Resort & Casino is located in the Finger Lakes region and is open 24/7/365.
New York State seems a bit conflicted when it comes to gambling. On one hand, land-based options, racetracks, lotteries, and sports betting are legal, while on the other hand, online casinos are not at the moment. However, you can still enjoy some online gambling action with social casinos and Daily Fantasy Leagues. The real deal online casinos are yet to be incorporated in New York State’s gaming offer.
As such, online casinos are still not legal in the New York State, but the New York State’s residents can play at offshore online casinos freely, as this activity is not seen as illegal. Offshore online casinos are also licensed and regulated by top gambling jurisdictions in the world so that they can be fair and safe gaming hubs.
Unfortunately, online poker is not deemed legal at the moment.
Players need to be at least 21 to gamble at Seneca casinos and 18 for all other gambling venues.
Table games are legal in New York and are offered by Class III casinos that can feature blackjack, roulette, craps, and baccarat tables, apart from slot machines.
As of 2016, Daily Fantasy Sports, as games of skill, are legal and licensed under the New York State Gaming Commission.