Last Updated on: 01/12/2023
The roaring land-based casino trade in New York State adds to New York City’s reputation as “The City That Never Sleeps.” However, despite the success of brick-and-mortar commercial and tribal casinos offering immersive slots, classic table games, and dedicated poker rooms, online casinos are not legal in the Empire State. Read our complete guide below to learn more about the future of online casinos in NY and current legal alternatives.
Online casino gambling is not legal in New York, but you can visit licensed land-based casinos and play games in person.
Many lawmakers oppose the legalization of online casino gambling, but a few significant ones have shown strong support in the past. These include Senator Joseph Addabbo, Assemblyman Gary Pretlow, and former Governor Andrew Cuomo. Sen. Addabbo, in particular, has been the driving force and introduced legislation in 2022 and 2023. Each of these bills failed, partially due to widespread concerns with problem gambling. However, thanks to Sen Addabbo’s SB 4856 progress in 2023, momentum is building and hopes are high that legislation may finally pass in 2024.
If that happens, NY will stop losing tax revenue to neighboring states with online casinos like New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, and Delaware. Plus, the fact that NY online sports betting is legal helps keep interest high and the ball rolling. Until online casinos get a prized signature, players can continue to visit land-based casinos or play for free at online social and sweepstakes casinos.
With no date yet set in stone as to when New York online gambling with real money will be authorized, social and sweepstakes casinos offer an excellent alternative for now. Pulsz Casino, WOW Vegas online casino, and Gambino Slots Casino are just a few social casinos popular among NY players.
Social casinos offer an authentic casino gaming experience and remain very much legal, as there is no risk of any financial losses. Instead of wagering with real money, NY players can purchase virtual coins or tokens to use as currency on their favorite online slots and table games. Even better, some NY online social casinos offer free coins you can claim by signing up.
Registering for these New York online casinos couldn’t be easier. Simply visit a site, enter your personal details, and you’re good to go. Once your details are verified, you can purchase virtual coins or tokens using various trusted payment methods, such as credit/debit cards, bank transfers, and e-wallets like PayPal.
If you want to wager with real money, you can legally do so at one of the many land-based casinos in the Empire State. Scroll down further to see our favorite casinos in the state.
Online sweepstakes casinos are another great alternative for NY players wanting to enjoy casino games from the comfort of their homes. Similar to social casinos, these sites offer the same immersive experience as traditional casino sites, but again pass the legal restraints of New York by allowing players to experience the thrill of casinos without having to spend real money.
Sweepstakes casinos operate on a virtual currency system, allowing players to purchase “sweeps” or “gold” coins, in a very similar system to social casinos. However, with sweeps casinos, players can redeem these coins as cash prizes, while social casino’s virtual currency is limited to online gameplay.
There are many casino games for players in New York to get stuck into without spending a single dollar. These vary depending on the operator, but usually players can choose from a combination of free slot games and classic table dealer games, such as blackjack, poker, roulette, and more.
The majority of Americans have access to a mobile device, so it’s almost certain real money NY online casinos will offer dedicated online casino apps in the future. After all, most of the brands that would apply for a license are major names in gaming like Wynn Resorts and MGM. They already have existing apps - they’re just not legal for play in NY.
However, until these are legalized, players can choose from the different social and sweepstakes casino mobile apps. These are legal, compatible with iOS and Android devices, easy to use, and provide a convenient experience for mobile players.
Essentially, a mobile app makes it simple to spin reels on your favorite slots during your lunch break, when riding public transit, or in bed late at night. It’s always in the palm of your hand.
If you’re not one for downloading apps, don’t worry. All the top New York online casino sites are built on HTML5-optimized technology to ensure a seamless and responsive casino experience if you play through your mobile browser site. The site will adapt to fit your screen size.
With the prospect of legal online casino gambling coming closer, many players are excited about the possibility of claiming generous bonuses. As mentioned, online casinos aren’t legal in the state yet, but if you’re really clamoring to play online, you have two options. You can place an online sports bet using a promo code, or you can claim casino promo codes at any social and sweepstake casinos you sign up with, getting free coins and credits.
Popular sportsbook sites in the Empire State, including BetMGM, FanDuel, and BetRivers, offer lots of generous bonuses and promotions to entice new customers to sign up and improve their gameplay. When the time comes for the legalization of NY online casinos for real money, it is predicted that these top sports betting brands will be first in line to launch their own online casino platforms, giving NY players plenty of top casino bonuses to claim.
While online casinos in New York remain illegal, it’s not for lack of trying. Sen. Addabbo submitted SB 8412 to allow each online sportsbook to launch an online casino site. Similarly, in 2023, he introduced SB 4856 to legalize the same thing. Neither bill made it through the New York Legislature before the end of the session.
So, what’s stopping lawmakers from legalizing online casinos, considering the millions in tax revenue licensed operators could bring? Keep in mind, online casinos are legal in New Jersey and Connecticut, and their borders are located just minutes away. The main issue is the rise of problem gambling in New York. While all online sportsbooks are required by the New York State Gaming Commission to enforce responsible gambling measures, the problem is still growing in NY.
Sen. Addabbo tried to counteract this with his 2022 bill, promising $11 million to support responsible gambling measures in New York. Clearly, more is required to please other lawmakers, with a panel at the 2022 Racing and Gaming Conference suggesting that responsible gambling measures were not keeping up with industry growth.
Sen. Addabbo’s estimation that New York is missing out on $3 billion a year in revenues while online casinos remain illegal means this issue isn’t going away. Expect the Senator to submit another online casino bill in the 2024 legislative session.
Lawmakers are extremely confident that online casinos will benefit the state because of the success of online sports betting. After having only retail sports betting for a few years, former Gov. Cuomo (a big supporter of online casino gambling) signed online sports betting into the 2022 legislative budget.
Online sports betting launched in January 2022, in time for the NFL playoffs and the Super Bowl. Residents and visitors can bet on sports anywhere in New York’s borders using sites licensed by the New York State Gaming Commission.
The New York sports betting market was an instant success, instantly overtaking Nevada and New Jersey for the US’ largest betting handle per month. In December 2021, the month before online sports betting, the handle was just over $21 million. In January 2022, with online sports betting, it jumped up to over $1 billion. Considering New York has a 51% tax on online sports betting, a significant portion of that betting handle ends up helping the state.
Even weighing the pros and cons, lawmakers refer to the launch of online sports betting as the blueprint for online casino gambling in NY. It’s definitely considered a hot state to watch and likely to legalize sooner rather than later.
Although NY online casinos aren’t currently legal, there are plenty of brick-and-mortar casino establishments, both commercially and tribally owned, across the Empire State. New Yorkers and state visitors enjoy an exceptional casino scene guaranteeing an unforgettable game-playing experience. Before you visit, let’s take a closer look at some of the top NY commercial casinos:
Del Lago Resort and Casino is a world-class casino establishment offering multiple fine dining options, a spa, and an AAA Four Diamond rated accommodation. Located in upstate New York, Del Lago provides plenty of gambling features, including slots and table games, as well as multiple poker offerings and a huge retail sportsbook.
Jake’s 58 Hotel, situated in central Long Island, features a unique casino destination with many video lottery terminal (VLT) gaming machines, including slots and electronic table games like blackjack and poker. And although Jake’s doesn’t offer any live-dealer table games, the four off-track betting kiosks, state-of-the-art casino VLTs, and lavish dining options are enough to satisfy all gambling enthusiasts.
Resorts World Catskills gives Sin City a run for its money with its luxurious accommodations, a magnitude of fine dining choices, spas, and even a golf course. If that wasn’t enough, the casino itself holds an impressive number of slots, live table games, a dedicated poker room, and a 24/7 sportsbook.
Rivers Casino and Resort, based next to the Mohawk Harbour in Schenectady, is a premier gambling haven home to an impressive selection of slot machines, multiple table game offerings, and a 24-hour poker room. This popular Rush Street Interactive casino also features a hotel, several restaurants, and a BetRivers Sportsbook.
Tioga Downs offers a broad spectrum of gambling activities with its 5/8-mile racetrack and first-class casino site. Just north of the Pennsylvania border, the casino provides an array of video lottery terminals, table games, and a dedicated poker room. The casino and hotel establishment offers a variety of restaurants, bars, a golf course, and a FanDuel retail sportsbook.
New York has a wide selection of land-based casinos owned by different Native American tribes. These offer a classic Las Vegas-style casino experience and are hugely popular with many NY residents. Some of the tribal casino venues in NY include:
Racinos are simply horse racetracks that offer a mix of casino games and pari-mutuel sports betting. In 2001, the New York State approved a bill to allow VLTs (Video Lottery Terminals) to be placed on racetrack grounds. Then in 2004, the Saratoga Raceway became the first racing establishment to operate video lottery games in New York City. Although popular with New Yorkers, racinos are slightly different from the more traditional casinos, as these locations are only permitted to operate electronic casino games.
Top racinos in New York include the list below:
While real-money online poker isn’t currently legal in NY, the classic casino game that combines elements of both skill and chance remains a favorite of many players in the state. Poker fans can participate in games and tournaments across New York at any physical casino featuring dedicated poker rooms. Tioga Downs, Del Lago, Rivers, and Resorts World Catskills are just some of the commercial casinos offering live-action poker in New York. Some of the Tribal casinos with poker rooms are Turning Stone, Seneca Niagara, Seneca Allegany, and Akwesasne.
After Assemblyman Pretlow proposed an amendment to the state’s law classifying poker as a game of skill rather than a gambling activity, the legalization of NY online poker sites could be on the horizon. However, until this proposition is signed off, poker enthusiasts can play at social poker sites like Global Poker. Although you can’t win real money, these sites can be a convenient option to brush up on your poker skills.
Although casino gambling is designed to be fun and entertaining, some players can struggle with gambling habits that affect their day-to-day lives. As a result, there are various responsible gambling resources in New York to help combat this. Self-exclusion programs, help centers, counseling services, and help telephone lines are some available services to support those struggling.
The New York National Problem Gambling Helpline is free, confidential, and operates 24/7. Don’t hesitate to call 1-877-846-7369 if you need help.
No, playing online poker for real money is currently illegal in New York but a new bill is hoping to pass this in the future. Until then, you can play at social/sweepstakes poker sites or visit a live poker room at one of the state’s land-based casinos.
According to New York law, residents can gamble from 18 years old. However, most casinos can only accept players over 21 because these locations sell alcohol. Therefore 21 is the effective legal gambling age across most of the state.
Yes, New York City is home to lots of brick-and-mortar casinos, including Empire City Casino in Yonkers and Resorts World New York City. There are also many upstate as well.
Resorts World New York City is the largest casino in NY. The casino has 200,000 square feet of gambling space, with more than 7,000 slots and dozens of table games.
The earliest online casinos in NY can be legalized is 2024, the next legislative session. Attempts in 2023 and improvements in problem gambling support have left lawmakers hopeful that there will be more progress in 2024, setting up a launch in late 2024 or 2025.