Land Based Gambling
Gambling is a common practice in New York and can be conducted in different ways and at many locations within the small state. The industry is one of the most thriving markets in the region, generating over $10,000,000,000 a year in revenues and over $4,000,000,000 in taxes. The state lottery alone generates around $9,000,000,000 every year.
The recorded history of gambling goes back hundreds of years to the mid-1600s, when the first horserace track, named Newmarket, opened in what is now known as Queens. The track is not around today and betting on horses was not fully legalised until 1959, when it became fully regulated. Bets could only be placed at the track in these initial years until off-track betting was legalised 7 years later. Today, off-track betting remains the only form of online gambling that is legal in New York.
1966 saw the birth of the state Lottery, which was approved by the voters. The lotto industry is massive in the state where state-wide draws can be enjoyed, as well as interstate draws like Powerball and Mega Millions. Under the lottery laws, the over 18,000 retailers state-wide sell scratch tickets to customers for instant winning opportunities.
Casino gaming has become very popular in New York. Laws in 2013 changed as voters introduced an expansion in gambling initiatives, expanding casino operations to commercial casinos in the state to drive the tax revenues from this flourishing industry. Before this, much of the betting was done at the track casinos (racinos) who are legally able to offer slots, video poker, and electronic table games. Before racinos, the native tribes had the monopoly of casino entertainment. Since 1991, casinos on reservations have been able to offer an unlimited number of casino game types. Not only could they provide slots, video poker, and electronic tables, but could include various other table game options, like roulette, blackjack, poker, and craps as well.
The introduction of the commercial casino industry brought with it the sanctioning of sports betting. Betting on sports can, however, only be done from the licensed operator’s grounds and may not be done online via an internet sportsbook.
Strangely though, in New York, Daily Fantasy Sports is under threat. While laws were passed by the governor in 2016 for the leagues to operate in-state, complaints from residents led to the courts overturning the previous allowance, stating that Daily Fantasy Sports went against the NY constitution and that a bill would have to be passed to remedy their illegal operations. This matter is being appealed and as such, Fantasy Sports may continue until further judgement on the matter is concluded. This is not the only shunned practice though as online casino gambling also remains illegal in the state.
Not all gambling allowed New York is taxed, as Charities may offer bingo, raffles, and tab games to increase their income to remain operable.