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    Gambling in New York: What You Need to Know


    Online gambling is legal in the US, according to federal law, but has the Empire State embraced this growing industry? Here are all the things you need to know about gambling in New York.

    Is Gambling Legal in New York State?

    New York currently doesn’t issue online casino licenses, although sports betting went live in 2021. Gamblers can expect to see online casinos launched in the state in about a year or two. 

    For now, New Yorkers can play classic blackjack games and other popular casino games at offshore casinos. No need to worry about legal penalties as gambling via offshore online casinos isn’t prohibited under New York Law.

    Land-based casinos, on the other hand, are legal in New York with over a dozen tribal casinos, racetracks, and retail casinos in operation. The Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a federal law signed in 1998, governs the operation of Native American casinos in New York and nationwide.

    Note that any form of gambling not permitted by New York law could attract legal penalties. Examples of such activities include playing shell games in the public, throwing dice on the corner block, and playing real-money poker in private apartments. Check with state and city gambling authorities for more information.

    Gambling Legislation in New York: a Timeline of Events

    1967–the New York Lottery records its first ever ticket sales.

    1970–off-track horse race betting becomes legal in the state

    2001–many Indian casinos go live in New York

    2001–the birth of racinos thanks to video lottery terminals being incorporated into race tracks

    2002–residents can now purchase lottery tickets for different states in New York

    2010–The Empire State joins the Powerball Lottery

    2013–New York passes a law that permits the launching of four retail physical casinos

    2018–the US Supreme Court overturns the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 in a 7-2 decision. New York lawmakers take action to legalize sports betting in the state.

    2021–New Yorkers can now wager on sports online. Online gambling is soon to come.

    What is the Legal Gambling Age in New York?

    Only New York residents aged 21 and older can gamble on table games, slots, real-money poker, and sports. This limitation only applies to retail and tribal casinos, however, as individuals aged 18 and older can wager on horse races and purchase lottery tickets.

    Offshore Gambling in New York

    Currently, the only way to play casino games online in New York is through an offshore website. These are platforms licensed in countries outside the US and are the most popular way to gamble online in New York.

    As New York residents await the launching of state-licensed online casinos, players can look out for the best sites with a valid license and positive reviews from customers, and also get information about payouts and fairness before making their deposits.

    No state resident has been prosecuted for betting on an offshore platform as of this writing, so it’s safe to say that offshore betting is a valid option.

    What Can You Wager on in New York?

    New York residents are legally permitted to bet on live horse races and partake in New York lotteries. They can also gamble at any state-licensed tribal casino, race tracks, retail casinos, and online sportsbooks, like FanDuel.

    Sports Betting in New York

    Former Governor Andrew Cuomo signed the New York sports betting bill into law in 2021, and the state has since issued betting licenses to multiple operators, like FanDuel which went live on January 8 this year, about a month before the Super Bowl LVI.

    FanDuel has a partnership with the Tioga Casino Resort in Nichols.

    What Games Can You Play at Land-Based Casinos in New York?

    Brick-and-mortar casinos in New York may offer video poker, slots, blackjack, roulette, and electronic table games, among others. You’ll also find slots, video poker, and electronic table games on racetracks.

    What’s the Largest Land-Based Casino in New York?

    Based on game count, the Resorts World Casino in New York City holds the honour of being the largest casino in New York. The casino offers 5,000+ gaming machines and about 500 table games on a 175,000 square feet gaming floor.

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