New York has never been a state to shy away from anything. How can it with one of the most incredible cities in the world as its showcase? New York state has always led the charge when it comes to controlling gambling, and their law enforcement has been working hard to keep illegal gambling from taking over the state. This page will serve to have a look at where the state stands when it comes to all forms of gambling, and what may change in the coming years.
Sports Betting in New York
As you can imagine, the New York betting market has the potential to be incredibly lucrative. Not only is the state full of professional and college sports teams, but New York City alone is home to millions of residents and millions more visitors each and every day. A rabid sports market seemed to be primed for regulated sports betting. Now add in that their neighbor state New Jersey had led the way to have PAPSA repealed, and it all sets up for a slam dunk for sports betting…or so it would seem.
Sports betting, in fact, had been passed into law as part of a more comprehensive gaming bill in 2013. Anticipating the potential of PAPSA’s repeal, lawmakers added language into that bill that would allow four upstate casinos to offer sports betting should the Act be struck down. However, there were no regulations written at that time, so when May 2018 rolled around and the opportunity to launch sports betting arrived, these casinos were not able to actually start taking bets.
Fast forward to the fall of 2019 – now, all four of those casinos have launched sportsbooks, but there are other gaming properties such as racetracks that were left out of the 2013 legislation. Some of the tribal casinos have entered into partnerships with sportsbook operators to launch retail locations while the tracks and other potential partners await an expansion of the law that could potentially come in 2020.
Online Sports Betting
While sports betting was earmarked for the 4 upstate casinos in the 2013 law, there was no provision in that agreement for online sports betting for those four casinos or for any other state entities. This is a significant blow to New Yorkers who want to place a bet on their favorite team or athlete. The four casinos that offer retail sports betting are hours away from Manhattan, making it unlikely at best that bettors will make that long of a track. In fact, for many in the city, it is more likely that they would simply drive across the border to the Meadowlands in New Jersey to make their bets, or use a New Jersey-based online app which can also be accessed from inside the New Jersey state line.
The shortsightedness of the New York government on this topic is shocking. The numbers don’t lie – 80% of the wagers made in New Jersey are from online bets, so the state is really shooting itself in the foot by not offering it to its residents. It is very likely this will be a hot topic in 2020 as the tax revenues that the state claims sports betting will generate are predicated on handle numbers that can only be realized if mobile is active.
Horse Betting in New York
Horse racing is still very popular in New York state, and there are still several racetracks that are operational in the state. These tracks offer live racing throughout the year, and there are some special race days that award prizes into the millions. Betting on horse racing is a popular pastime, and these tracks (along with hundreds of off-track betting locations around the state) give gamblers a chance to place a bet on a local race or one from dozens of tracks around North America.
The crown jewel of horse racing in the state is Belmont Park, which is host to the third leg of the Triple Crown every year. This race draws the attention of a global sports audience as the Belmont Stakes is the race that gives a horse the chance to step into immortality by winning the elusive Triple Crown.
Online Horse Betting
While the racetracks in New York state are not currently licensed to offer online betting themselves, the New York Racing association does so with its site NYRAbets. There are many other sites like DRF Bets or Twinspires that are open for business. These sites, which are licensed in Oregon, give players the opportunity to bet from their own homes by way of live streaming from tracks across the United States and Canada.
Casino Gambling in New York
Casino gambling is very popular in New York state, with a combination of racinos, tribal casinos and privately-owned facilities as well. Each of the racetracks has been given the chance to add slots to their properties, which has helped keep these tracks open as horse racing revenue has dropped over the years. There are three more downstate casino licenses to be awarded soon, and this will mean the construction on more properties will begin.
Online Casinos in New York
With no online sports betting regulated yet in New York, online casinos seem like a pipe dream for its residents. However, the state can once again look to New Jersey for historical reference on this front. That state has offered legal online casinos and poker for years and generates significant tax revenues from those table games and slots.
New York residents that aren’t patient enough to wait for regulation do still have the option of playing with the offshore-based casinos that have given U.S. players a place to play for well over 20 years.
Lottery in New York
The New York State Lottery has been a fixture in the state for decades. Fans of the lottery can head to one of the hundreds of official retailers in the state to pick up some scratch tickets for as low as $1 each, or they can choose from one of the many draw games that are available. This includes taking a shot at becoming a multi-millionaire overnight with games like Powerball that draw players from across the country. The proceeds from all these lottery games are put back into the state by way of programs to help the less fortunate, so you can feel even better about playing that scratch ticket while reading this at your desk!
New York Gambling FAQ
Is sports betting legal in New York?
Sports betting is legal in New York (technically, it has been in the law since 2013). With PASPAs repeal in 2018, licensing commenced, but it wasn’t until the summer of 2019 when regulations were finally completed, and sportsbooks were launched at several casino properties in the state. It is hoped that more facilities will be opened in 2020 and beyond, but this will require an amendment to the 2013 law expanding the number of licenses from the four that currently exist.
When will mobile sports betting be legal in New York?
This is one of the most asked questions in the state ever since the repeal of PASPA. New Jersey sportsbooks are not shy about advertising the fact that New York residents can simply head across the tunnels into their state and place wagers legally online via their mobile devices. It is hard to believe the state will wait much longer without changing the laws to allow its residents to bet locally and therefore collect the corresponding tax revenues from operators.
What is the best online sportsbook for residents of New York?
New York residents have two options available to them currently for online play. First, as mentioned, they can head to New Jersey or Pennsylvania where they will be able to create accounts with books that are legal in those states and bet online as long as they stay within the borders of those states. Otherwise, the less attractive option to many is to play with one of the online sportsbooks based in the Caribbean or Latin America. These books are much tougher to deal with from a banking perspective, so we don’t tend to recommend this option to anyone who is risk-averse.