No one can dispute the rising popularity of online gambling. The market is expected to grow by $114 billion during 2020-2024, according to research by Technavio. The use of the freemium business model, cryptocurrencies, and the proliferation of smartphones is what’s driving the industry, and players from around the world are enjoying playing online casino games from the comfort of their homes.
Every year the online gaming industry is taking chunks of revenues from brick-and-mortar casinos since gambling online is cheaper, more convenient, it offers unmatched variety, and unbelievable promotions.
So, as a New Yorker, you’re probably wondering – are online casinos legal in NY? The answer is that while they are not legal to own and operate in the state, players can freely play at offshore sites or at those in-states that have made these platforms legal, such as neighboring New Jersey.
The Garden State legalized online casinos in 2013 and has only seen benefits from its decision, pulling in $47.6 million in revenues in December of 2019, from online casinos alone. This has been a standard for 2019, and the numbers will only increase in 2020, making many stop and think that maybe there should be a change in New York Gambling Law.
Besides offering ridiculously rich selections of advanced slot games, today’s digital gaming platforms also let players enjoy all the table classics in both software and live game options. Players can play blackjack, baccarat, casino poker variants, craps, and even roulette at these sites. However, before putting down real money, it’s always best to learn all the pros and cons of playing your favorite game at a particular casino. For instance, if you want to play online roulette, it’s wise to read some reviews before laying down your hard-earned money.
After you do this, all that is left is to register at the vetted site, cross your fingers and partake in some online casino fun.
New York Gambling Law in 2020
New York has always had a rather conservative stance towards betting of any sort dating back to a constitutional ban that lasted from 1821 to the end of the 1930s. For the longest time, the state was seen as one with some of the strictest anti-gambling laws in the country. However, over time, things slightly loosened and the state today is home to several gambling markets, including the lottery and pari-mutuel betting.
The New York lottery is the second-oldest in the US, and New Yorkers’ desire for games of chance is evident by the state’s lottery participation rate of over 92%, more than any other state.
Casino and table games are only legal in the state’s twenty tribal establishments and the seven commercial ones. These range in size from tiny venues with only a few slots and video poker machines to massive Vegas-style casinos that feature giant floors.
While not a lot of people see hope for the legalization of online gambling, if you’re wondering – is sports betting legal in NY? Yes, it is. In 2013, The Empire State legalized sports betting at its commercial and tribal casinos and sportsbooks began opening in 2019. The New York State Gaming Commission oversees the activity. But, while sports betting is legal, online sports betting in NY, is not. Which is why New York’s numbers pale in comparison to those of New Jersey. New York generated $9.7 million in sports betting revenues from July 2019 through January 2020, compared to $243.3 million for New Jersey.
Online betting on horse races is also legal in New York, thanks to a safe harbor clause for horse racing, including off-track betting in the federal UIGEA legislation. Fantasy sports fall under games of skill, and therefore are legal, but online poker faces the same issue as online casinos do. Players can play at out-of-state sites, but there are no NY-licensed internet poker operators.