Online Slots in New York

EmpireStakes.com

By Jon Young

While you can play online slot games in New York, as of now, you can’t play for real money because online casino laws in the Empire State have not yet caught up with neighboring states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. However, you can still access hundreds of free-to-play slots with a social or sweepstakes casino and experience the same great gameplay. Alternatively, take a trip to one of the dozens of land-based casinos offering physical slot machines. We’ll show you how with our in-depth slot games guide.

Can I Play Online Slots in New York?

While many US states are starting to open their doors to online casino games and slots, New York still lags. Despite moves to regulate online sports betting, real money online slots in New York remain illegal. So, how can you get your fill of amazing video slots from the likes of world-class slots providers NetEnt, IGT and WMS? Luckily, there are several avenues open for New York online slots fans.

RELATED: Get The Latest Developments on New York Online Casinos & Online Gaming Law

Social Casino

Some of New York’s land-based casinos operate fun casinos online. These are also known as social casinos. At online social casinos, you can play exciting video slots using play-money tokens. You can experience the same bonus rounds and features as a real-money slot machine offers, but you won’t win actual cash. However, these give you the same thrill as playing real-cash games.

Most New York social casinos let you play a few select slots for free. However, you can usually purchase additional slots, or unlock more games by logging enough spins. Top social casinos in New York include:

  • Empire City Casino
  • Finger Lakes Gaming
  • Turning Stone Casino
  • iPlaySeneca
  • Rivers Casino4Fun

Sweepstakes Casino

Sweepstakes casinos have grown in popularity in the US in the past few years. You can win real money playing online slots in New York, and it’s totally legal! You sign up for an account at a sweepstakes casino and receive virtual gold coins to use on slots. You also can purchase additional gold coins, and you’ll also be awarded with special Sweeps Coins, too. These can be used to win prizes in “sweepstakes-style” games, including cash.

Sweepstakes casinos won’t have as wide a range of slot games that may be found in the land-based casinos. Top sweepstakes casinos include:

  • Chumba Casino
  • Luckyland Slots

New Jersey & Pennsylvania Online Casinos

While not ideal, if you live close to either border, traveling across New York state lines to play is an option. For example, you can register and fund an account at an NJ casino gambling site from New York, and then when you travel to the Garden State you are free to legally play. Online gambling sites use geolocation software to make sure you are within state lines of where they operate, which is required by state regulators.

We strongly recommend against playing at offshore casinos. These are unregulated casinos that are based in overseas jurisdictions. You can never guarantee a fair payout or that your welcome bonus will be honored. You’ll also have a harder time lodging a complaint if anything goes wrong, may have difficulty accessing funds and there is no way of knowing if the slot machine games are legit.

Because offshore casinos are not regulated in the US, New York players have little legal recourse. It’s better to wait for the first legal New York online casinos and slot sites to launch.

Why We Don't Recommend Offshore Casinos

As a New York slots player, you have two options for playing real-money slots online. You can travel over the border and log into your NJ or PA account to gamble legally and safely. Alternatively, you can risk your funds at unregulated offshore casinos. Offshore sites exist in jurisdictions that may take New York players but have lax oversight for players. We never recommend that you sign up to an offshore casino. It is best to wait for New York online casino sites or stick with other legal option.

Random Number Generators May be Inaccurate: At a properly regulated online casino, slots games are tested independently by approved labs such as TST and eCOGRA. At offshore casinos, you can’t be sure that slot random number generators have gone through the same rigorous tests.

Games May be Rigged: Worse than unreliable RNGs is the danger that games may be fixed. A fixed slot will pay out disproportionately to the casino, making it extremely unfair to the player in the long term.

You May Not Get Paid: Regulated casinos have a duty to pay out accurately and on time. Offshore sites can stall on withdrawal requests and refuse to make payouts at all.

Bonuses May Not be Honored: There are many stories of unscrupulous online casinos refusing to honor deposit bonuses. There is no guarantee you will receive your matched funds, even if you’ve met the playthrough requirements.

Funds May Not be Segregated: Segregated funds are essential in case a casino gets into financial difficulties. Offshore casinos aren’t always required to keep players’ money separate from operating costs.

Non-Existent Customer Support: If you run into problems, you need a good customer support team to help. Poor offshore casinos will run without support staff and make it impossible to get assistance.

Are There Plans to Legalize Online Slots in New York?

Sure, you can play New York online slots at social casinos or try your hand at sweepstakes-style slots games. But when will traditional NY online casinos with real-money slots appear?

Unfortunately, legalized online casino gambling doesn’t look like happening anytime soon. For now, New York Governor Andrew Cuomo seems more committed to legalizing online and mobile sports betting in the state. Online sports betting is a huge step forward for the Empire State where internet gaming looked stalled for so long.

However, if gamblers continue to drive over the New York border to Pennsylvania and New Jersey, where online slots are legal, New York may have to reconsider the laws. Both states’ regulated online casino industry are a big success and billions of gaming revenue is produced every year.

What Type of Online Gambling is Legal in New York?

While other US states plow ahead, including neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania, online casinos in NY seem like a distant dream. That’s not to say New York online gambling has no future. During the COVID-19 pandemic, Gov. Andrew Cuomo pushed ahead with plans to legalized mobile sports betting – sports betting is already allowed in brick-and-mortar establishments. This would help raise revenues in the state which are much needed.

New York online sports betting details are still being worked out, though it appears that there will be several operators with online gambling sites once rules and regulations are in place. Which sports betting operators would launch in New York will be determined in the coming months.

Plans for legal online casinos in New York seem unlikely any time soon. Lawmakers might want to see how online sports betting in New York turns out before making the leap to regulated NY online casinos.

Can I Use a NJ Casino App to Play Online Slots in New York?

No, you can’t. Over the border in New Jersey, online slots are totally legal. You can sign up to a top NJ casino online or download a mobile app from New York state. However, to log in and play for real money, you will have to be physically within NJ borders.

Regulated NJ online casinos have in-built geolocation software that pinpoints your whereabouts. If you live near the New Jersey-New York border, then, you can simply cross state lines and fire up your laptop or smartphone. You can even make deposits and withdraw winnings. Plus, the best NJ online slots casinos are partnered with brick-and-mortar casinos in Atlantic City. That means you can walk up to an Atlantic City casino to cash out in person.

Types of Online Slots New York Gamblers Can Play

Head over the border into New Jersey or Pennsylvania and you can access some amazing online slots. You will find hundreds available at participating online casinos, each with its own unique style of gameplay. Should online casinos ever get legalized in the Empire State, you can expect much of the same at any regulated New York online casino.

3-Reel: Classic 3-reel slots evoke the nostalgia of a Las Vegas or Atlantic City casino. Play 1-3 paylines and win payouts when you line up cherries, oranges or bells. Don’t expect a lot of bonus features, but 3-reel slots are perfect for easy low-volatility gaming.

5-Reel: Many modern online slots feature 5 reels. When the slot has 5 reels, it means a lot more scope for multiple paylines and exciting bonus features like free spins.

Bonus Slots: Most newer slots feature at least one bonus round. You normally trigger a bonus feature by landing scatters in any position. Enjoy free spins with multipliers or trigger a multi-level arcade-style bonus with big jackpots.

Progressive Slots: All good online casinos offer at least a few progressives. A progressive jackpot is formed with small portions of qualifying bets. The longer the jackpot goes unclaimed, the bigger it gets. You can activate a jackpot at random or by triggering and playing a special game.

Multiway Slots: Modern slot developers have begun to up the ante on the number of possible paylines. Megaways slots are legal in states like New Jersey and can feature up to 117,649 ways to win on every spin. The more paylines in play, the more chances you have to win.

Online Slots Wagering Options

All online slots give you plenty of freedom when it comes to choosing stakes. In regular 3-reel and 5-reel slots, you’ll choose a coin size and sometimes a number of coins to bet per line.

For instance, in a 20-line slot, you may be able to play from $0.01 to $1.00 per coin, and up to 10 coins per line. Therefore, the minimum stake would be $0.01 for playing 1 coin and 1 line, right up to $200 to play 10 coins at $1.00 on all 20 paylines. As with all online gambling, it’s important to decide a stake before you play. Decide what you’re comfortable with and stick to a staking plan.

In multiway slots, you pay a set stake spread over all possible win lines. You’ll win a payout by simply hitting matching symbols anywhere on adjacent reels. Bring up the stakes icon to see what coin sizes are available.

In any slot you play online, you can also click on the Bet Max button to automatically choose the biggest stake possible. In fact, in some progressive slots, you might only qualify for the biggest jackpot if you bet the maximum stake available. This undoubtedly would be true if online slots became legal in New York.

Some newer slots have a Buy Feature option. Instead of playing normally and trying to trigger the bonus game, you can simply pay up front to automatically activate the bonus. The Buy Feature usually has a fixed price according to your coin size.

Where Can I Play Traditional Slots in New York?

Sure, there are no real money NY online casinos for slots fans, but you still can spin the reels. As well as gambling at free-to-play internet sites in New York, online slots players also have a wide choice of land-based games to play at New York casinos.

New York casinos are broadly divided into commercial casinos, tribal casinos and racinos (racetracks offering pari-mutuel betting and electronic gambling machines). Tribal casinos have been open since the early 1990s, but commercial casinos were given the green light in 2013.

Since then, five commercial casinos have appeared in New York. Each of these NY casinos boasts hundreds of top slot machine games from the largest providers in the US. You can also put your quarters in dozens of progressive jackpot slots offering million-dollar prizes.

Commercial casinos with video slots:

  • Del Lago Resort & Casino (1700+ slots)
  • Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino (1000+ slots)
  • Resorts World Catskills (1600+ slots)
  • Rivers Casino & Resort (1150+ slots)
  • Tioga Downs & Casino (800+ slots)

Racinos in New York

With a recent change to New York gambling law, racetracks were upgraded to allow casino-style gambling on their premises. The biggest “racinos,” such as Empire City at Yonkers, boast thousands of video lottery terminals (VLTs). VLTs work a little like slot machines but with fixed payouts.

  • Batavia Downs Casino (800+ slots)
  • Empire City Casino (5,300+ slots and VLTs)
  • Finger Lakes Gaming and Racetrack (1000+ slots and VLTs)
  • Monticello Gaming & Raceway (2000+ slots and VLTs)
  • Resorts World New York City (4400+ slots and VLTs)
  • Saratoga Casino & Raceway (1700+ slots and VLTs)
  • Vernon Downs & Casino (500+ slots and VLTs)

Tribal Casinos in New York State

The first tribal casinos appeared in New York in the 1990s. There are four tribes that operate land-based slots casinos in the state: Oneida Indian Nation, Seneca Nation, Cayuga Nation, St. Regis Mohawk Tribe.

Major tribal casinos with slots:

  • Turning Stone Casino Resort (2000+ slots)
  • Yellow Brick Road Casino (450+ slots)
  • Point Place Casino (500+ slots)
  • Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino (1,000+ slots)
  • Seneca Niagara Resort & Casino (2,700+ slots)
  • Seneca Allegany Resort & Casino (1500+ slots)
  • Akwesasne Mohawk Casino (1500+ slots)

Online Slot Safety and Regulation

In 2021, you can register in the Empire State with any regulated online gambling site based in a regulated state. However, to log in and play for money you’ll need to head over the border and be physically located within that state. While travel is a real pain point, it’s important to understand the benefits of only playing at safe online gambling and slots sites.

Legalized online casinos in the US must have the proper licenses from their state’s gaming commission. In addition, software providers must also hold a gambling license. And online casinos can’t launch unless they are in partnership with a land-based casino. All of this will be true if New York online casinos ever launch.

Overall, you know you’re in safe hands if you play slots at a regulated online gambling site. The games are tested and proven fair, and you’ll have an outlet if you want to make an official complaint. Plus, reliable casinos will also let you set session and spend limits to help protect you from problem gambling. You’ll also be given resources for problem gambling helplines and charities if you need them. The state of New York also has resources available.

5 Tips for Playing Slots

Looking to get ahead in the world of New York slots? Follow our top 5 tips for a happier slots life:

Find Slots That Excite You: There are thousands of slots to enjoy in land-based casinos and online. It’s important to choose a selection of games that you like to play regularly. Settle on a few slots with interesting themes and bonuses and that offer a good hit rate.

Find the Highest RTPs: All online slots offer an RTP, or Return to Player percentage. This is the average payout made to players over millions of spins. The higher the RTP, the better the game is for the player. You’ll find the RTP in the paytable of the slot. Anything from 95-99% is very good.

Save Budget for a Progressive Jackpot: Land-based casinos in the state boasts big-money progressives. These are special slots with linked jackpots that grow the longer they go unclaimed. It’s common for progressive jackpots to reach tens of thousands of dollars. Oftentimes, they will go even higher. Save a little budget for these and take a shot!

Earn an Online Casino Slots Bonus: Social casinos and legal online casinos in NJ and PA all offer some type of welcome bonus. You’ll be able to claim a bonus as soon as you join up and make a deposit. Welcome bonuses can include a deposit match offer plus free spins on selected video slots.

Find the Right Slot Volatility for You: Every online slot has a built-in volatility. You need to decide which style of game is right for you before you play. Low-volatility games pay out lots of small prizes, but you won’t see much in the way of bonus action. On the flipside, high-volatility slots pay out rarely, but when they do you could be looking at a bonus feature or big jackpot.

New York Online Slots FAQ

No, online casinos are not legal in New York. However, New Yorkers can play at social casinos, sweepstakes casinos and regulated online casinos in neighboring New Jersey and Pennsylvania until a legal New York online casino option becomes available.

You must be 21 or over to play slots at land-based New York casinos. You will have to prove your age when you first open your casino account should online slots NY launch.

Sweepstakes casinos offer special coins that can be used to win a prize playing slots. You can also win cash playing at legal online casinos in NJ or PA.

We never recommend offshore casinos for online slots casinos NY players. Operations are not regulated by New York authorities and there is no guarantee of fair or accurate payouts.

Contributors

Jon Young

Reviewer since May 2019

Jon Young is a writer and magazine editor with over 12 years' experience in the gaming sector. He has written on everything from poker and slots to casino, sports betting and mobile gambling. When not trying to take down the Mega Moolah jackpot he can be found playing poker tournaments in casinos.

Interests: Online casinos, Online slots, Casino games, Online poker