Online gambling in New York
New York may be the city that never sleeps, but in a place where you can find anything you need at any hour of the day, where does online gambling stand? We look at the online gambling laws that apply in New York to see where punters can place a real money bet online in the Big Apple.
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Online gambling laws in New York
To understand New York’s online gambling laws, you must first understand the American online gambling laws as a whole. Online gambling in the United States is governed by the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) which prohibits any person or business from accepting payment in relation to unlawful online betting, effectively making it illegal for online gambling businesses to operate in the United States. Despite these laws, there is nothing in the Act to prosecute American punters who choose to gamble online, so there are still a few offshore gambling sites that continue to accept US players, with real money wagers accepted in USD.
While the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 is the presiding piece of legislation surrounding online gambling in the United States, gambling laws in the USA are regulated at a state level which means that each state can introduce its own laws surrounding online gambling for its residents. For example, New Jersey introduced its own bill in 2013 allowing residents to play at online casinos and poker sites licensed within the state, but only when they are within state limits.
New York’s gambling laws do not explicitly mention the Internet, but there is mention of “any device, machine, paraphernalia or equipment which is used or usable in the playing phases of any gambling activity” as being deemed an illegal gambling device, so computers, tablets and smartphones could easily be interpreted under that definition and it is assumed that online gambling is outlawed.
The government of New York has not yet introduced any laws to allow online gambling within the state of New York, but with several other US states starting to revisit their online gambling laws to consider the possibility of legalising state-run online casinos and poker rooms, there is the possibility that online gambling in New York could be legalised in the future. We will keep our ears firmly to the ground on any developments and update this page with any changes to New York’s gambling legislations if they arise.
Offshore betting sites accepting New Yorkers
As mentioned above, there are still several offshore casino sites and online sports betting sites that continue to service the American market, including New Yorkers. While these gambling sites may not be the best in the industry, they still offer a decent selection of real money games, bonus offers and payment methods in a secure environment. Some reputable offshore gambling sites allowing New York players include:
New Yorkers who place wagers at these sites are technically doing so illegally, but there is nothing in US law to penalise players found gambling at offshore casino sites, so while you won’t be punished, you should be aware that you are betting at your own risk. It is the responsibility of the individual to understand the online gambling laws that apply to them.
Online lotteries in New York
New Yorkers buy more lottery tickets than any other American state, with data released by the state suggesting that 92% of the local adult population participates in the government-run New York Lotteries, which include New York Mega Millions, New York Powerball, New York Lotto and New York Cash4Life. These lottery games are not available to play online, and tickets must be purchased in retail outlets within New York State that include convenience stores, liquor stores and gas stations.
In November 2017, it was announced that controversial online lottery betting site Lottoland will be opening a US division with offices running out of New York. Given that no changes have been made to New York online gambling laws, it is likely Lottoland will only be pushing its lotto betting services to US states where it is legal to do so, like Nevada and Delaware, but we will update this page with any new revelations.
Online sports betting in New York
A constitutional amendment was introduced in New York in 2013 that could hypothetically allow sports betting within the states four major commercial land based casinos: Del Lago Resort & Casino, Tioga Downs Casino, Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady and Resorts World Catskills. However, the amendment states, “No gaming facility may conduct sports wagering until such time as there has been a change in federal law authorizing such or upon a ruling of a court of competent jurisdiction that such activity is lawful.”
This meant sports betting would remain illegal as long as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was in effect. That piece of legislation was struck down by the US Supreme Court in 2018, since when state legislators taken big strides towards the introduction of a legal, regulated sports betting industry. There is also a push to allow online and mobile gambling, so watch this space.
Betting on horse racing in New York
Betting on horse racing is hugely popular in New York, with bets able to be placed at multiple racetracks and “racinos” around the state, including Aqueduct, Belmont Park, Buffalo Raceway and Saratoga Race Course. Placing bets on horse racing online is also accepted based on the Interstate Horse Racing Act of 1978 which allows other racing tracks to broadcast their races and accept bets at outside locations. In 2000 the Act was updated to include the prevalence of the Internet, and many online horse racing sites now accept online wagers from New York residents.