What could gamblers expect, and which land-based casinos could be first in line to launch online gambling sites should it be legalized?
Is Online Gambling Legal in New York?
Not yet, but things are changing and that could be good news to New York casino players looking to do their wagering online.
New York appears set to legalize mobile sports betting in 2021, and that could be good news for the state’s retail sportsbooks. Many of New York’s commercial casinos boast sportsbooks run by industry leaders in online gambling like BetMGM New York. Depending on how online sports betting goes in terms of tax revenue, lawmakers could take the next step and legalize online casinos to mirror neighboring Pennsylvania and New Jersey.
Online poker is not legal in New York and it remains to be seen if that will change.
Can You Play at Social Casinos in New York?
While real money online casinos in NY aren’t legal in 2021, you can still get your fix of slot machines and online casino games for free. Social casinos offer familiar online casino gaming without any of the financial risk (or reward). Some New York tribes even run their own social casinos.
Use play credits and enjoy video slot machines, roulette and even live dealer games. You can even receive daily free credits at the best social casinos to use any way you like. Play online or enjoy free-play games that are adapted for your touch screen. Some offer sweepstakes-style games where you can win real prizes, including cash.
To play, just join up and register your account online or by mobile. You must be 21 or over to take part. The top social online casinos in NY include:
- Chumba Casino
- Hard Rock Social Casino
- bspot Luckyland Slots Social Casino
- WinStar Social Casino
- Turning Stone Casino
What Is The Difference Between Real Money Casinos and Sweepstakes Casinos?
Simply, at a real money New York casino you can win real cash playing slot machines, table games, video poker, etc. And when it comes to gambling in New York, the only option remains at a brick-and-mortar New York casino as online casino gaming is not legal. Sweepstakes casinos do not require real money to play its slot machines or casino games, and you don't receive winnings from the games. However, these operators do have "sweepstakes-style" games that players can participate in with real prizes – including cash – being awarded.
How Many Land-Based Casinos are in New York
New York boasts around a dozen land-based casinos offering Atlantic City & Las Vegas-style gaming to both New York residents and visitors, though none are in New York City. Tribal casinos dominate the action, but you can also visit a handful of newer commercial casinos. Retail sportsbooks are also legal in New York. The best land-based sportsbooks boast LED screens, a full sports bar with food and live odds boards. These are your current casino options in the state of New York:
|Tioga Downs Casino Resort||Nichols|
|del Lago Resort & Casino||Waterloo|
|Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady||Schenectady|
|Resorts World Catskills||Monticello|
|Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel||Salamanca|
|Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino||Buffalo|
|Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel||Niagara Falls|
|Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort||Hogansburg|
|Point Place Casino||Bridgeport|
|Turning Stone Resort Casino||Verona|
|Yellow Brick Road Casino||Chittenango|
Tribal Casinos in New York
The NY tribes run various Class II and Class III gaming. Class II includes bingo, punch boards and lotto-type games. Class III gaming is more akin to commercial casino activities such as slots, roulette and craps. Of the numerous New York tribes, only three operate land-based casinos offering Class III gaming:
Seneca Nation of Indians
- Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel
- Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino
- Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel
St. Regis Mohawk Tribe
- Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort
Oneida Indian Nation
- Point Place Casino
- Turning Stone Casino Resort
- Yellow Brick Road Casino
Commercial Casinos in New York State
In 2013, the gaming laws in New York were altered, allowing casinos to open in the state. Some venues, like Tioga Downs, expanded their existing operations to include table games and slots. There are now four commercial casinos in New York. These offer hundreds of slots and table games, as well as poker.
Sports betting is also legal in New York’s commercial casinos. Alongside roulette, slots and blackjack, you can visit retail sportsbooks and make real-money sports bets.
Tioga Downs Casino Resort
- Opened: 2016
- Slots: 900+
- Table games: 28
- Video poker: 20+
- Features: Poker room, high roller room, sportsbook, sports bar, nine restaurants and bars
del Lago Resort & Casino
- Opened: 2017
- Slots: 1700+
- Table games: 66
- Video poker: 20+
- Features: Poker room, rewards club, DraftKings Sportsbook
Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady
- Opened: 2017
- Slots: 1000+
- Table games: 65+
- Video poker: 20+
- Features: High roller room, keno, Rivers Sportsbook, Rush Rewards Center
Resorts World Catskills
- Opened: 2018
- Slots: 1600+
- Table games: 150+
- Video poker: 130+
- Features: Poker room, high limit rooms, 100,000 square foot gaming floor, Players Club
Which NY Casinos Will Offer Online Options?
NY online casinos are yet to launch. However, some of the major casino players are already up and running with land-based operations in New York state, so it would make sense that if online gambling is legalized, these operators would be raring to go.
Tioga Downs already has a partnership with the FanDuel New York App for its retail sportsbook. FanDuel runs successful gaming sites in other US states and is primed for an NY online casino launch should one happen.
DraftKings New York operates the sportsbook at del Lago Resort & Casino. Again, DraftKings runs online casinos in other regulated states. It’s reasonable to expect they would oversee online casino operations for del Lago.
Rivers Casino operates legal online gambling brands in states like Pennsylvania and New Jersey. The BetRivers New York Sportsbook and online casino could be a major force in New York.
Finally, Resorts World Catskills enjoys partnerships with bet365, IGT and BetGenius in New York. A New York online casino and sportsbook should be an easy launch for Resorts.
Why Would I Play NY Online Casinos over Traditional Brick & Mortar?
NY online casinos will offer gamblers an experience totally unlike playing in a land based casino. Here are some of the benefits of playing online:
- Bigger slots and table game selection
- Wider range of stakes and limits
- Learn the rules for free with Demo Play games
- Convenience of gambling at home
- Loyalty scheme with lots of giveaways
- Regular bonuses like free spins
- Welcome bonus for new signups
What Games Should Be Available at NY Online Casinos When Legalized?
You’ll be able to access a range of exciting games at the best online casinos in NY. Try demo-play games to learn the rules, or gamble at stakes that suit your budget. The beauty of legal NY online casinos is that you will find a lot of games you won’t find in a land based casino. Test out interesting online variants like French Roulette or Double Ball Roulette or take on a human dealer over webcam in live casino games.
Table Games: Whether you’re into American Roulette, classic blackjack or craps, you’ll likely find it at the top online casinos in NY should they become legal. Play for free or a few cents and learn the rules. And if your budget allows, sit down at big-money high-roller tables.
Online Slots: Slots will form the largest part of any NY online casino. Try classic Las Vegas-style slots on 3 reels or play big-money progressives and shoot for the jackpot!
Live Casino: Why miss out on the real casino experience when you can play against human croupiers? Live dealer games recreate the thrill of a land based casino with trained dealers and real cards.
Video Poker: Play 5-card draw on your computer and win a jackpot when you make a royal flush!
Instant Win Games: NY online sites will likely offer instant-win games that are easy to play. Play virtual scratch cards or simple arcade games where you can win real money.
How Do Online Casinos Work?
The joy of gambling online vs. in-person are many. No wait for your favorite slot machines or dealer games. A wide variety of stakes. A lucrative welcome bonus when you register. And players are not limited by where they live in the state as they are free to sign up for casino sites throughout the state.
The first step for any would-be casino player should New York online casinos become legal is to read our reviews of the best New York gambling sites, sort through the available casino bonuses and sign up.
The process is simple. Go on to the online casino website or download the casino app (most casino apps are available both for Android and iOS). Click "Register" or "Sign Up" and complete the registration process.
Typically, players will need to provide their name, address, email, date of birth and last four digits on their Social Security number to verify their age and identity. They may also be asked to create security questions and will need to provide a government-issued ID either during sign-up or when they make their first withdrawal. Make sure you claim your welcome bonus when signing up. Not all gambling sites will require a promo or bonus code, but if yours does, make sure to enter it.
Banking options will vary, but the most popular options are PayPal, Play+, credit/debit cards, online banking, ACH, PayNearMe and cash at a cashier cage at a brick-and-mortar partner.
Both New York residents and visitors would be able to play on these sites as online New York casinos would use geolocation software to ensure a player is inside state lines.
Why Should I Trust EmpireStakes?
At EmpireStakes.com we have decades of experience writing about the gaming industry and will provide you with everything you need to know about legal gambling in New York. As laws change and gaming sites launch, we’ll bring you the best NY online casino choices to save you time and money. We’ll even show you where you can find the very best welcome bonuses.
Not long ago, legal online casinos in NY seemed like a distant possibility. Now, they could launch soon to gamblers across the state. Be there when it happens with EmpireStakes.com.
Latest New York Casino News
Whether you live in the state of New York or just planning a trip and enjoy online gambling, you want to be in the know. We provide the latest New York online casino news and developments, both through stories and social media. As betting sites launch and new issues and legislation emerge, we’ll have you covered.
All legal and regulated New York online casinos will have Responsible Gambling resources. We also consider that essential and we strive to be a resource as well. Slot machines and casino games are supposed to be fun, but if you feel you need help, there is help available to New York bettors who may have a gambling problem. That includes support groups such as the National Problem Gambling Helpline (1-800-522-4700) and the New York National Council on Problem Gambling. The state has responsible gambling programs as well.
NY Online Casinos FAQ
You must be age 18 or over to play the lottery in New York or bet on pari-mutuel horse racing. You must be 21 or over to bet at NY casinos and sportsbooks.
New York currently allows land-based casinos and sports betting, as well as lottery, pari-mutuel race betting and VLT (Video Lottery Terminals) gaming.
No. To play NJ online casinos, you must cross the border and log on to your account in New Jersey.
No, you would not need to be a New York resident, but you would need to be located within state lines to wager.
Yes, if you stick with licensed and regulated sites such as those you will find recommended at EmpireStakes.com. Online casino gambling will likely be overseen by an official body like the New York Gaming Commission. Games will be licensed and independently audited for fairness.
Real money online casinos are not yet legal in New York however social casinos are permitted and allow you to play NY online casino games by wagering tokens instead of money.
At EmpireStakes.com, we would never recommend you play games at offshore casinos. They are unregulated and there is no guarantee that your money is safe.
Lou Monaco had been East Coast Scene columnist for Gaming Today in Las Vegas since June 2019, covering the East Coast sportsbook scene with emphasis on NJ and PA. He also currently is a part-time writer for the high school sports department for NJ Advanced Media (NJ.com) in Iselin, NJ. Lou has over 30 years sports experience with previous stints at ESPN SportsTicker, Daily Racing Form and Oddschecker.