New York Betting Laws

Sports Betting in New York

New York Gambling LawsIs Online Sports Betting legal in New York?

The answer to that question is YES.

How and when legalized sports betting in New York (NY) will be implemented remains unclear, however, we anticipate the state legislators will allow some form of legalized New York sports betting (most likely in 4 of the state’s land-based casinos in the Catskills to begin with) sometime later in 2018.

Sports betting regulations are now made on a state-by-state basis, including New York.

For the time being, the state of New York has prepared the groundwork for introducing sports betting. Fortunately, an existing New York sports betting bill established in 2013 already allows for some limited form of sports betting.

According to that law, presumably, the NY sports betting market will begin with the state’s bricks-and-mortar, land-based casinos. They’re the only venues already approved to take wagers by law. Even though no NY state bill has yet passed in 2018, we anticipate that in-person sports wagering will be available at New York’s four Catskills’ land-based casinos sometime in 2018.

In the future, as the State laws become passed, however, you should be able to bet on sports anywhere within the state of New York and online sports betting NY will become commonplace.

Without a shadow of a doubt, New York’s sportsbooks (both online and land-based) will be looking to implement a number of sports and odds markets under the state’s legal sports betting banner including NHL odds, CFL odds, Kentucky Derby and other Horse Racing Odds, NFL Odds, MLB Odds, Odds for PGA Golf tournaments, NCAA Odds, MLS Odds, NBA Odds and much, much, more.

New York Sports Betting Online

For the time being, Sports Betting Online in the state of New York is not currently offered. The State’s first legal sports betting options are expected to established at the state’s 4 Catskills land-based casinos to begin with.

However, with New York being one of the more liberal and open-minded states to gambling legalization and sports betting in general, it is potentially only a matter of time until we advise you of where you can bet legally online in New York.

We will advise you of the unfolding legal environment and the best online sports betting sites as they become available in the state of New York

New York Casino Gambling

Throughout its long-and-colorful history, New York State had little to offer in terms of legal gambling.

For most of its history, New York State firstly had just a handful of casinos, mainly in Native American areas located upstate.

It wasn’t until 2013 when an amendment was passed to expand legal gambling in the state. The new amendment called for just 4 new gaming licenses to be handed out, mainly in upstate New York locations near the Catskills mountains and Albany.

New York Land-Based Casinos

The state now offers more casino gambling options, however, most of the casinos that are the closest to New York City are “Racinos” which do not offer table games in the traditional sense of the phrase.

Many residents of New York City and surrounding areas of the state prefer traveling to nearby destinations like Atlantic City in New Jersey to gamble in land-based casinos.

However, there a number of stand-alone casino resorts within the state that are run by Native American tribes. These “Indian Casinos” offer full-fledged-gaming, though in the case of the State of New York, they are generally located upstate several hours drive from New York City.

New York Online Casinos

As mentioned previously, New York State has not yet implemented the introduction of legal online casinos.

In all likelihood, it should be the legalization of sports betting in New York State that drives the legislative change to legalize online casinos.

Hypothetically speaking, given an untroubled implementation period of sports betting in the state’s land-based casinos, New York’s residents should gain access to online casino betting options in the near future.

Tribal Casinos in New York

 Tribal Casinos, otherwise known as ‘Native American Gaming’ comprises casinos, bingo halls, and other gambling operations on Indian reservations or other tribal land across 28 states of the United States.

At the present time, there are 12 Native American Tribal Casinos in the state of New York, mostly in the Catskills Mountains and Albany areas of upstate New York.

Gambling Age in NY

New York State Law currently prohibits any person younger than 21 years of age to place wagers or collect winnings from a casino game, land-based or online.

However, any person over the age of 18 can participate in betting on horse and greyhound racing, bingo, lottery games in New York State.

Horse Racing Betting in State of New York

Horse Racing Betting is legal (both on course/track side) for all residents of the state of New York (over the age of 18).

There are some current restrictive laws when it comes to various betting types in New York, however, it is completely legal to spend the day watching the races and bet on horses in the Empire state.

NY residents can wager on horse races both Track side, Off Track Betting and online. All of the nation’s largest horse betting websites have a presence in the state of New York.

Track Side / Off Track Betting (OTB) in New York

Track Side – New York State is home to 9 live racing venues that accept wagers on horse races. Horse racing in the state is regulated by New York Racing Association and the Harness Horse Breeders of New York State and administered under the New York State Gaming Commission.

Off Track Betting (OTB) – New York State is highly organized in the provision of OTB venues for its residents with 170 locations across the state.

Online Horse Racing Betting in New York

Major horse racing online betting sites all accept customers over the age of 18 from New York and offer wagering on races in New York, elsewhere in the U.S. and around the world are all available.

Fantasy Sports in New York

As it is widely considered to be a contest of skill and by no means related to regular casino games of random chance, Fantasy Sports betting has long been exempt from US federal legislation.

Some of the most conservative states have disallowed fantasy sports, however, in 2016, the state of New York passed legislation to formally legalize and regulate fantasy sports.

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites must be licensed to operate in New York and are subject to a number of consumer protection regulations. Requirements include;

  • All sites must be licensed,
  • All sites must comply to truth in advertising,
  • Sites may NOT OFFER contests based on college or high school sporting events or horse racing.
  • They must only accept customers over 18,
  • They must be subject to independent audits
  • They must keep players’ funds in a separate account from operator funds (in order to protect customers’ deposits).

Online Players have been able to play DFS online in New York for some years before the 2016 state bill and little changed for players. There are many DFS sites currently authorized to hold DFS contests in the state of New York.

How DFS Works

DFS betting is quite a different creature to traditional ‘straight’ sports betting. In a DFS league, you are supplied a virtual salary cap which is then used for you to ‘spend’ and draft players for your DFS team.

Every player in their respective sports league is priced determined on his/her perceived virtual market value (based on their seasonal and all-time career performances, current form etc.)

If you wish to ‘buy’ the best power forward in the NBA, for example, you’re going to have to spend a very high percentage of your salary cap on that single star player. Usually, the best DFS teams feature consistent performers rather than superstar athletes.

Once you have ‘paid’ for your virtual team, take a seat and relax to watch the weekend’s games unfold.

Your team’s real-life counterparts collect stats (TDs, strikeouts, goals, points, completions, hits, rebounds etc.) in the real-world sports events and consequently, your fantasy league team accumulates points online. The person whose team accumulates the most points wins the DFS league, that can be a weekly, regular season or stand-alone playoff ‘league’ or competition.

Poker in New York

Whilst some types are gambling are actively encouraged in Delaware, unlicensed Poker and other forms of unlicensed games are not.

Poker Rooms

New York has a total of 120 poker tables spread across 10 poker rooms at which to bet legally on poker in addition to the state’s 12 Native American tribal casinos. It is absolutely no problem at all to play many different types of poker perfectly legally and without fear of breaking the law (including Casino Hold’em, Texas Hold’em, Caribbean Stud Poker, No Limit Hold’em etc.).

In New York, for the time being, unlicensed poker, unlicensed roulette or unlicensed roulette (Stick to playing in the legal locations as playing unlicensed for money in your own home is actively discouraged), are all seen as forms of illegal and prohibited gaming. Possible punishments are big fines and potential jail time if the fines go unpaid.

Online Poker Laws

For the time being, online poker is still illegal in the state of New York.

However, in August of 2012, Judge Jack B. Weinstein heard a case in the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of New York and overturned a guilty verdict for a gambler running an illegal home poker game with a $300 buy-in.

Judge Weinstein’s verdict decided poker to be a game of skill and not a game based on random chance as previously determined under the Illegal Gambling Business Act has paved the way for both online gaming and home poker games to become legal.

His precedent has allowed lawmakers to use his decision for the present and future moves to make poker, both online and offline, legal to the residents of New York.

eSports Betting in New York

Given the unprecedented decision of the U.S. Federal Supreme Court in May 2018 to rule in favor of legalizing sports betting, New York could soon be among the first states to have legal eSports gambling as a part of the sports betting legalization package.

Sports betting regulations are now being legislated on a state-by-state basis (including New York), at different speeds and across various formats to create a cocktail of nationwide sports betting laws. For now, there are no legal venues at which to gamble on eSports in New York.

However, given the legal situation is a fluid one, we anticipate that eSports betting will lead the way as a sports betting legislation ‘lubricant’ in New York in the very near future.

eSports has managed to transform video game play at its highest-played levels into a full-time professional sport in which the best players sign multi-million-dollar contracts to compete. eSports are not usually played on an individual level, and for now, eSports is mostly played by teams and in league and tournament formats.

In some ways, the electronic games are equivalent to sports types in some ways. For example, in eSports, the games Dota 2 and Overwatch are equivalent to, say, NFL and the NBA. eSports is the overarching theoretical concept, while the different electronic game types are equivalent to different sport types.

Betting on eSports gains exponentially in popularity every year. Most international sportsbooks now offer a range of betting markets across all major eSports tournaments and formats.

The gaming market will pass the $100 billion revenue mark globally in 2018, and as a result, eSports can be seen to be the highest-level competition in gaming today including all the best and most-loved professional players in the world taking part, all with millions of fanatical fans across the globe.

Watch for betting on eSports coming soon to your favourite New York sportsbook.

History of Gambling in New York

New York has a long and proud history of adopting innovative change in the gambling sector long before many of the other States of the Union. For example, New York State was the first state to ban lotteries in the 1800s, and only the second to welcome them back.  Check out the timeline for other landmark dates in the history of gambling in New York;

1776 – Continental Congress authorizes a lottery to pay for the war against the British.

1833 – New York becomes the first state to enact a constitutional ban on lotteries.

1939 – Betting on Horse Racing was legalized in New York State.

1957 – Bingo becomes legal in New York.

1966 – New York lottery begins.

1970 – Off-Track Betting is legalized in New York.

1976 – Gambling is legalized in Atlantic City, New York’s nearby neighbour in New Jersey.

1993 – First Indian Casinos open in New York State following the 1988 passage through Congress’ of the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, permitting casinos on Indian territory.

2001 – In a post-9/11 revenue-raising move, New York legalizes several Indian casinos and legislates to permit Video Lottery Terminals (VLTs) at several racetracks, transforming them into “racinos.”

2013 – New York State legislature passes the Upstate NY Economic Development Gaming Act (which opens the pathway for the establishment of sports betting legislation) and approves full commercial land-based casinos.

Given New York’s heritage of being a liberal and open-minded state to gambling legalization, it is highly likely that the state will apply this philosophy when legislating to making online sports betting in New York available to its residents.



Back to Top ↑