Casinos for you
New YorkNew York holds a liberal view on gambling with exception to its intolerance of illegal online casino gambling. Players can enjoy regulated betting, including horserace bets, casino games, sports betting, lottery, bingo, and Daily Fantasy Sports.
Land Based GamblingAllowed in Casino, Sports Betting, Poker, Bingo, Lottery, Horse Racing Online GamblingProhibited Min Age18-21 Number of Land Based Casinos14 Number of Poker Rooms6 Number of Indian Casinos6 Popular Land Based CasinosResorts World Empire City Turning Stone Seneca Buffalo Creek Hamburg Gaming Pari-MutuelNo Smoking BanYes Estimated Tax Revenue from Gambling$4.2B Estimated Gambling Revenue$10.8B
Land Based Gambling
Regulated Since: 2013
Gambling Age: 21
Regulated Since: 2019
Gambling Age: 21
Regulated Since: 2013
Gambling Age: 21
Regulated Since: 2017
Gambling Age: 18
Regulated Since: 1966
Gambling Age: 18
Regulated Since: 1959
Gambling Age: 18
Online Sports Betting
OverviewNew York holds a liberal view on gambling with exception to its intolerance of illegal online casino gambling. Players can enjoy regulated betting, including horserace bets, casino games, sports betting, lottery, bingo, and Daily Fantasy Sports.
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.
While the state is liberal in its stance on gambling, all betting practices are strictly regulated by stringent laws. The rules for governance vary from option to option, but as with all income in the USA, winnings from players are taxed at both state and federal levels. The laws for the various legal betting practices can be summarised as follows:
• Horserace betting: Gamblers, aged 18 years and older may participate in track betting on horses alone (Greyhound racing is illegal). There are currently 4 operating Live race venues in the state, including Belmont Park (the oldest), Saratoga Racecourse, Yonkers Raceway, and Aqueduct Racetrack. Off-track betting is allowed with prominent bookmakers, like TVG, TwinSpires, BetAmerica, and XpressBet.
• Racino casinos: All the Live racing tracks, along with a handful of defunct ones offer casino-like entertainment on their grounds. They are restricted to offer only electronic-type offerings (VLTs) and commonly provide slot machines, lottery machines, video poker games, and other electronic table games. Players must be older than 21 years old to bet on these games and cannot smoke on the gaming floors.
• Commercial Casinos: Commercial business may apply to the state for casino licenses to run betting venues in upstate New York. These venues are not limited to electronic gaming options and may offer traditional card games, dice games, roulette, and sports betting in addition to slots, video poker, and other electronic table games. No smoking is allowed in public buildings and all players must be 21 years or older to participate in this form of gambling.
• Tribal Casinos: Tribal casinos are regulated in accordance with the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. These operations are hosted on reservation grounds and do not have a limit on the type of casino games they may offer to patrons. Unlike commercial casinos, smoking cigarettes is allowed on tribal casino floors, but the age restriction for gambling remains 21 years of age.
• Lottery: All residents of the state that are older than 18 years of age may play lotto scratch games and participate in draws, whether they are state-run, or countrywide draws, like Powerball and Mega Millions. Billions of dollars have been raised for education at public schools in the state thanks to the lottery.
• Charitable Gambling: Charitable gambling can be conducted by registered Non-Profitable Organisations in New York, as per the Charitable Gaming Act of 2017. While there is no set age restriction on playing bingo, tab games, or participating in raffles, there are other strict provisos that must be held to by hosting organisations. The NPO must be in existence for a year before offering gambling and must report on winnings and prizes to the state if they top $30,000. Large scale raffles will also require a license to operate.
The New York State Gaming Commission regulates all aspects of gaming activity in the region, including commercial and tribal casino gaming, horserace betting, lottery, and charitable gambling. It has been in existence since 2013 and was formed to govern the increased gambling climate within the state.
The commission’s mission statement is concise and explains their duties and ethos in full:
“The New York State Gaming Commission's mission is to ensure that all lawful gaming and horse racing activity conducted in this State is of the highest integrity, credibility, and quality. Operating in the most efficient and transparent manner, the Commission conducts the New York Lottery and serves the best interests of the public by providing responsive and effective state gaming regulation. The Commission strives to ensure that all stakeholders in the gaming and horse racing industries, including the consumers who wager on activities regulated or operated by the Commission, are treated in an equitable and responsible manner and to promote the health and safety of horses and all participants in racing.
By consolidating various regulatory functions into one oversight body with broad powers, the Commission seeks to ensure fair and strict regulation of all gaming activity while reducing costs and regulatory burdens to the gaming industry. The Commission aspires to provide the regulatory structure necessary for New York gaming activity to operate effectively in a global, evolving and increasingly competitive marketplace to generate revenue for aid to education and for the support of government, and to contribute to overall economic development and job creation in New York.”
Licenses are required for all operators of gambling entertainment, even if they are for charitable reasons. The vetting process is strict and includes thorough background checks, including criminal checks and financial suitability investigation. The regulator leaves no stone unturned in ensuring that responsible gambling protocols are practised by all and that gambling consumers are suitably protected from abuse.
Casinos and Gambling Facilities in New York Gambling?
FAQWhat types of gambling are available in New York?You can enjoy horserace betting, lotteries, scratch cards, casino games, bingo, and tab games.Is online gambling for real money allowed in New York?No. All forms of online gambling (excluding horse racing) are illegal in New York and the offering thereof is classified as a Class E Felony under state law.Is Charitable Gambling allowed in New York?Yes, Bingo, Tab games, and raffles may be conducted by Non-Profitable Organisations with valid gambling licenses.Can online casinos outside of New York state be utilised?No. Any form of online gambling that occurs within NY is illegal.What's the legal minimum age for gambling in New York?All legal and licensed gambling activities have a minimum age restriction of 18 for horseracing and lotteries, while casino gaming holds an age limit of 21 years and older.Who regulates gambling activities in New York?The New York State Gaming Commission oversees all forms of gambling in New York.Is Sports Betting Allowed in New YorkYes, sports betting is allowed at licensed commercial casinos in New York.Are daily fantasy sports sites legal in NY?While Fantasy Sports sites are still in operation in New York, the courts ruled it unconstitutional. The verdict has been appealed, which therefore allows for DFS to continue pending the outcome.Can I bet on horse racing in New York?Yes! Horseracing is legal in New York. It's the only form of online gambling allowed too.Can I smoke while playing at tribal casinos in NY?Yes. Laws that ban smoking at casinos do not apply to tribal casinos.