Gambling Laws In New York

Now that PASPA is gone, there are only two remaining federal laws in place which regulate gambling within the United States: the Federal Wire Act of 1961 and the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA). The important thing to remember, however, is simply this: Laws at the federal and state level do not go after people looking for gaming entertainment, only those who operate illegal gaming establishments...within reach.

We'll explain what we mean, plus breakdown New York gaming regulations in this article with simple to understand language; you do not need to pass the New York bar exam to understand what we mean, but if you have questions, please consult a paid legal professional. By the time we're through, we hope that New York residents will be able to find the confidence to seek out their preferred form of gambling and know that they're doing business with a safe, trusted gambling establishment.

Supreme Court Decision Overturns PASPA, Legalizing NY Sports Betting

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA) was a law designed primarily to give certain states a regional monopoly on sports betting entertainment. Unfortunately, only Nevada was exempted from the law, which made it illegal for the 49 other states in the US to have sports betting operations within their borders. This has negatively impacted no state more than New York, as PASPA has caused the loss of billions of dollars of economic impact from the state each year since its passage. However, the Supreme Court decision overturning PASPA now officially legalizes NY sports betting, with the caveat that the state still has to pass certain infrastructural and regulatory legislation before oddsmakers will be allowed to offer bets at the state’s many casinos, racetracks, and other wagering locales.

Naturally, New York anticipated the PASPA decision, and there are a number of bills currently making their way through the state legislature (SB 1282, A 5438, and SB 7900). These laws (or some combined version of them) will likely be passed before the start of the 2018 NFL season, but in the meantime, it is wholly advisable to continue using the offshore NY sportsbooks that you’re used to, as they remain 100% legal and secure.

Legality of Gambling in New York - Is It Legal?

The gambling laws in New York do indeed expand on the already in place federal legislation which may create a nervous environment where social bettors feel they are unable to wager on what they wish but there are plenty of ways for them to enjoy themselves in the Empire State. Gambling is defined in New York statutes as "When a person stakes or risks something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under his control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome." Further stated in New York law is that "All wagers, bets or stakes, made to depend upon any race, or upon any gaming by lot or chance, or upon any lot, chance, casualty, or unknown or contingent event whatever, shall be unlawful." which altogether pretty much sums up the fact that gambling in New York is illegal however does not provide any precedent to punish the act.

Gambling in New York is not criminalized however, it is unlawful. This may come across as confusing for some residents (as well it should) but it is to the casual bettor's advantage that the law is written in this way. The target for illicit gambling is organized crime and those in the business of it, not the average New York citizen which has wagered $20 on the Giants with a friend. There are no instances of fans being arrested and carted off to jail for placing a bet despite gambling being 'unlawful'.

Although New York laws may be lenient on the 'little guy', the language of the statutes certainly do not permit organized gambling for profit. There will be no Las Vegas styled casinos gracing the Manhattan skyline anytime soon as the only statue of liberty is in fact the actual Statue of Liberty in New York. So long as residents are not found guilty in "advancing or profiting from gambling" they will not face felony charges as if they are an underground mafia betting hub.

New Yorkers will find that their state legislature has not entirely outlawed all forms of gambling as an enterprise. Casinos do indeed exist the state in the form of tribal casinos shielded from New York laws, safely under the federally bolstered Indian Gaming Regulatory Act of 1988. There are also 'Racinos' throughout the state which are in fact state sanctioned racetracks featuring harness racing and video lotteries but these are a far cry from Las Vegas styled casinos. Sports betting is facilitated nowhere in the state and live poker rooms are relegated to only tribal casinos. If a New York resident wished to play a hand of poker or bet on a sporting event, they would be wise to do it behind closed doors in the privacy of their own homes where no one was taking a cut of the pot.

Land-Based Gambling In New York

New York may not be prosecuting anyone for placing bets but that's an entirely moot point since there are so few places to place said bets. New York residents can visit any of the 9 state sanctioned 'Racinos' if they wish to bet on pari-mutuel harness racing or play a video lottery. There are also two prominent tribal casinos which offer top names and acts for entertainment harkening back to the golden Manhattan days of the 1960's with a rat-pack vibe. Residents are able to get there fix on many casino classic table games, slots and even every variation of poker, legally. What local bettors won't find however, is a safe spot to place a sports wager. We highly recommend to keep those bets among friends and well away from mob-driven illegal underground gambling rings. New York City is in fact host to such questionable activities and engaging in underground poker rooms is strongly discouraged.

Online Gambling In New York

Seeing as how there are so few places to legally place a bet in person within the state of New York, many residents turn to the internet for a safe place to make wagers. There are plenty of online gambling sites which are indeed in legal operation due to the fact that they exist outside of the jurisdictions of New York and the United States. Many online gambling sites are even tailor-made to cater to American bettors despite being based in a foreign territory. Although it may seem questionable to use such websites, it is actually a booming business that has attracted millions of American users, New York residents included, for quite a number of years. Since we have established that placing a bet in New York is not a criminal act, we know that logging on to a respectable offshore site will not be monitored, investigated or punished by anyone with state authorities. Many of these sites offer all of the major forms of gambling whether it be placing a wager on the Giants or Jets, playing a hand of Texas Hold'em poker or even trying your luck on a virtual slot machine or a heated game of blackjack with a live dealer.

Popular Gambling Options In New York:

Online Sportsbooks - Online Casinos - Online Poker

BetOnline - Best All-Around Legal Gambling Site For New York

Out of the many online gambling sites that accept New York players which exist throughout the internet, there are some which stand out above the rest. BetOnline is one such site with a sterling reputation and a track record for success in pleasing their member base.

This online gambling site offers every form of wagering from sports futures, spreads, player and team props, as well as covering every major American and international sport with those options. BetOnline also hosts a highly regarded online poker room which features the fastest growing poker network on the web. Players and sports bettors alike are also happy to take a break from time to time of their respective gambling preferences and visit BetOnline's online casino. With a huge variety of table games as well as slots and even scratch-offs, BetOnline is a full service Las Vegas styled casino and then some. New members are offered politely aggressive bonuses and perks upon starting service and the sign-up takes around 3 minutes.

Members also tout the secure banking transactions in making deposits and withdrawing winnings. New York residents typically receive their checks within under two weeks. BetOnline's popular slogan "Because You Can," Is proven true, time and time again by those locals in the Empire State.

Legal New York Gambling Sites
Best Overall Betting Sites Sports? Casino? Poker? Horses? Visit
BetOnline YES! YES! YES! YES! Play Now!
SportsBetting YES! YES! YES! YES! Play Now!
What Is The Legal Age To Gamble In New York?

Even though some casinos set their own age limits at 21, the official age to gamble in New York is 18 years old. Looking online, one can see that New York's gaming laws take effect again, as many legal New York gambling sites stay consistent with the age set by the state, however some do use a default age of 18 years.

Best For All Gaming Types