Casino Gambling in New York
New York Casinos
You would think that the state behind one of the most famous takedowns in online poker and casino history would be very anti-gambling. But that seems to be far from the truth.
On April 15th, 2011, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of New York obtained a felony indictment for three violators of the UlGEA. The violators were three major online gambling sites. New York wasn't the headquarters for any of the three websites, which were legal in their own countries, but the sites were shutdown nonetheless.
And with that, it's safe to assume that New York is incredibly antigambling. Online betting in New York is out of the question, right? Wrong.
In New York, you can actually bet on horses online. Legally. And the site is home to 16 legal land-based casinos. For more New York gambling oddities, including why New Yorkers feel free to play games at New York online casinos, read on.
- Population: 19,570,261
- Land Size: 47,116 sq. miles
- Population 18+: 78%
- Gambling Age (Casinos): 21
- Gambling Age (Lottery): 18
- Number of Casinos: 16
- Nickname: The Empire State
- Might consider online casino legislation, or risk losing billions to New Jersey
- First state to mandate license plates on cars
- Home of Arnold Rothstein, who allegedly bankrolled the fixing of the 1919 World Series
Zoom in by state:
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Seneca Niagara Casino310 Fourth Street
Niagara Falls, NY 14303
Akwesasne Mohawk Casino873 New York 37
Hogansburg, NY 13655
Resorts World Casino New York110-00 Rockaway Blvd
Jamaica, NY 11420
Turning Stone Resort & Casino5218 Patrick Rd
Verona, NY 13478
Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino1 Fulton St
Buffalo, NY 14204
History of New York Gambling
New York legal gambling history dates back to 1821, when the State of New York issued a ban on gambling. In 1939, as betting became more socially acceptable, the New York State constitution was amended to allow horserace wagering. And in 1957, bingo games were regulated and legalized. In 1993, New York law legalized Class III casinos, which allow table games like craps and blackjack, plus slot machines.
Today, New York online gamblers can wager on horses online, but they can't play at a New York online gambling site that offers casino games - at least not one that's regulated by the state (the truth is millions of New Yorkers play at New York online casinos based outside the state, freely and openly).
Local Casino Venues
There are 16 legal casino properties in New York State, and that doesn't include any of the New York online casinos that are open to residents (though none of them are actually located within state borders). The 16 casinos are a mix of racinos and Native American casinos. The Native American properties offer a full mix of Vegas-style casino games, including slots, table games, video poker machines, and more. However, the racinos offer only electronic table games without live dealers.
Casino Gambling Age Restrictions
Like a lot of other states, New York has various gambling age requirements depending on what you want to play. To gamble at any of the Native American casinos, you must be 21 years old. The same goes for the thousands of New York online casinos that New Yorkers love to play at. However, to play the state lottery, you only need to be 18. And the same goes for horse racing, both online and off.
Famous New York Gamblers
New York state's most famous gambler is as legendary as he is notorious. Arnold Rothstein, born and raised in New York, was allegedly behind the fixing of the 1919 World Series, which saw the Chicago White Sox throw the series for cash. However, without any evidence linking him to the scandal, despite the fact that he made a killing betting against the White Sox and the fact that his name was linked to the scandal by many sources, Rothstein was never indicted. Rothstein's life came to an end after being shot over $320,000 in debts he owed from a 3-day high-stakes poker game.
The State of Online Gambling in New York
Aside from betting on horses, you can't gamble online in New York, at least not at a state-regulated online casino or poker room. But that could very well change, especially now that neighboring state New Jersey is handing out online casino licenses and positioning itself as the Silicon Valley of online gambling.
The move will likely force several serious gamblers to move across the river into New Jersey, or at least establish some form of residency. The legal next-door-to-New York online casinos also means that technology companies and other casino gambling companies will make New Jersey their headquarters. That could lead to New York losing out on billions in taxes and economy-boosters.
But even as state legislators debate whether to run regulated online casinos within New York, online casinos are open to New Yorkers 24/7. While the sites aren't operated out of New York, a 2012 ruling by the Department of Justice - the same department that closed down three major online poker sites - clarified that the wire act doesn't apply to Internet casinos. This has led many New York online gambling fans to play openly without fear of prosecution.
The Future of New York Casino Gambling
New York State is starting to look at the viability of expanding gambling in the state. While New York online casino and poker legislation isn't on the table, the state is considering legalizing gambling at land-based casinos instead of limiting the activities to Native American casinos and the odd racino.
It's possible that online casino or at least online poker legislation will be attached to any bill that looks to expand gambling in New York, so the future does look promising. But even without legislation, there are tons of New York gambling opportunities today, both online and off. And that doesn't appear to be coming to an end anytime soon.
Gambler's Note: New York casino laws are always changing. The information on this page is for informational purposes only. Always consult New York state law and local regulations before playing at an New York online gambling site.
New York Council on Problem GamblingA site for anyone adversely affected by compulsive gambling. Many treatment options and helplines are also offered here.
New York State Office of Alcohol and Substance Abuse ServicesEverything from reviewing your financial strategies to basic information on Gamblers Anonymous and Gam-Anon is all at your fingertips on this page.