New York Casino News


This is where you will find all casino-related news with a focus on the Tri-State area. Casinos are open in upstate New York and in the coming years, the push for mobile casino betting will be intensified. We’ll cover the news along the way and keep you informed.

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New York Casinos are a popular way for New Yorkers to get out for a night of fun. The casinos have been around since the late 80s, but racetracks have been around longer. There are casinos spread out across New York, so no New Yorker is left out. Also, with the new addition of sports betting in 2019, this gives casino-goers another reason to head out. Here is everything you need to know about New York Casinos.

New York Casino History

To understand gaming in New York, we have to go back to 1833. New York was the first state to ban the lottery. The believed it was an unjust hobby as gambling was frowned upon in the 1800s. However, the lottery system was used in 1776 to help pay for the war and ran until the 1833 band. It wasn’t until 1966 that voters legalized the lottery again through a referendum that would benefit education.

New York continued to expand its gaming industry by creating off-track betting sites. These sites would be set up across the state so gamblers could place wagers on horse and dog racing without being at the track. OTB sites became legal in 1970, and the first licensed off-track betting facility opened in New York City in 1971.

With the new gaming industry in New York, state officials established the Racing and Wagering Board to oversee all horse racing activities and all pari-mutuel betting activities, both on-track and off-track, in 1973. 20 years later, they were given authority to regulate Class III gambling.

In 1988, Congress passed the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, permitting casinos on Indian territory. The act was a huge win for Indian Reservations at the time. This helped launch casinos all over New York as Indian Nations planned to expand revenue to themselves. Also, the state of New York was going to earn revenue from the casinos as well, making it a win/win for the tribes and the state.

In 1993, the Oneida Indian Nation of New York opened the Turning Stone Casino Resort in Verona, making them the first Native tribe to open a casino. The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe opened the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino in Hogansburg in 1999.

In 2001, state officials were looking to raise revenue post-9/11. They decided on the authorized operations of video lottery terminals (VLTs) at several New York racetracks. The racino was born around New York.

Between 2002 and 2011, 11 casinos opened up around the state, growing the New York gaming industry exponentially. Native tribes and Racinos continued to grow during this time. However, in 2013, the New York State legislature passed the Upstate NY Economic Development Gaming Act, which places before voters the question of whether to approve full casinos. Also, these casinos were allowed sports betting once it became legal nationwide.

The new commercial casinos started to open in 2017 and beyond, adding four more casinos to New York. In 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court legalized sports betting on a state by state basis. This allowed the commercial casinos to partner with sportsbooks.

In July 2019, the first sportsbooks in New York began to launch as a new gaming industry emerges for the state. New York continues to find ways to grow the gaming industry as it has been a great way to generate revenue.

Casinos in the State

New York currently has 25 casinos within their state. Five are commercial casinos, eight are racinos, and 12 are tribal casinos. New York City is home to two casinos within city limits. Also, another nine are in the greater New York City area and Long Island. The remaining 14 are in upstate New York.

The five commercial casinos are operating throughout the state. Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino is on Long Island, and the rest are in upstate New York. The other four commercial casinos came together from the upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act of 2013. The act was for economic development, and bring sports betting to the state.

The four casinos are Del Lago Resort and Casino in Seneca County, Resorts World Catskills in Sullivan County, Rivers Casino & Resort in Schenectady County, and Tioga Downs & Casino in Tioga County. All four commercial casinos have licenses for sportsbooks. These four are the only ones that have sportsbooks within the state as other casinos look for sports betting licenses.

In New York, the racinos have been around since 2001. Racinos are a combination of a racetrack and video lottery terminals. The racino proposal was post-9/11, when the state was looking to raise revenue. The Racinos gave the state a good stream of income.

Today, racinos are popular amongst New Yorkers as billions are wagered at the racinos between races and video letter terminals. Right now, racinos are not allowed to offer table games to patrons. However, they are looking to be approved for sports betting licenses. If sports betting is permitted at racinos, then this will be another revenue stream for the state.

Two racinos have automated table games. Those are Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway in Yonkers County, just outside of New York City. Resorts World New York City in Queens. Both are in and around New York City, which brings a lot more foot traffic to these racinos. The other six are spread throughout upstate New York with Saratoga Casino and Raceway in Saratoga Springs being the most popular.

The Native American casinos make up about half of the casinos in the Empire State. Seneca Nation of New York owns six of the 12 Indian Casinos in the state. The six are in four different counties with three in Cattaraugus county. The growth of the Seneca Nation casino chain is also impressive because the first one was built in 2002. They built five casinos in 18 years since they first opened Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel.

The only other tribe that has more than one is the Mohawk Tribe. They run the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino in Franklin Country, and Mohawk Bingo Palace and Casino. Both are run on their tribal grounds. Akwesasne Mohawk Casino was the first of the two to open in 1999. The remaining four tribal casinos are spread out throughout upstate New York. The casinos do well for themselves, but it is hard to tell how well they being under Federal regulations instead of state regulations.

Revenue

New York has multiple revenue streams coming in from gaming. First, New York has three different kinds of casinos: commercial, Indian, and racinos. All three generate revenue but are regulated by various commissions. The New York State Gaming Commission governs the commercial casinos and racinos. The NYSGC has been around since 2013 when the state announced they would be building four commercial casinos to help economic development.

However, Native American casinos are regulated under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The IGRA was put into law in 1988, allowing Native American tribes to put casinos on their grounds. Finding revenue data for the Native American casinos is difficult to do and leaves the general public out of knowing the yearly numbers.

The closest numbers to understand the Native American revenue stream in New York are from the National Indian Gaming Commission. In 2018, the NIGC took regional revenue reports from the Native Casinos. In the New York region, those tribal casinos generated $7.5 million in revenue. However, New York was clumped in with Alabama, Connecticut, Florida, Louisiana, Mississippi, and North Carolina. From this, it’s hard to tell how much of an impact the New York Indian Casinos had on the numbers, and what games generated this revenue stream.

Next, the racinos have two forms of revenue to break down. First, they generate gaming revenue from video slots at their tracks. Most racinos don’t allow table games but do have video gaming for racetrack bettors. Second, racinos also generate revenue from the horse and dog racing. Also, off-track betting should’ve factored into the revenue numbers as well.

In video gaming alone, New Yorkers have wagered over $8 billion in 2020. Also, this is only through the first three months due to the COVID-19 shutdown. Video gaming at racetracks is a considerable revenue boost as the state brought in $426 million in 2020 alone. For fiscal 2019, New York brought in over $2 billion in gaming revenue. To look at racetrack revenue, we have to back to 2018 for data. In that year, racetrack facilities saw $814 million bets in 2018. Off-track betting sites saw a total of $172 million change hands for a total of $986 million bets on the horses.

Finally, commercial casinos bring a nice chunk of state revenue. In fiscal 2019, the four commercial casinos brought in $605.5 million in revenue. The revenue generated was between Resorts World Catskills, Rivers Casino, Del Lago, and Tioga. The four are in upstate New York, which makes it more impressive, and they don’t have the city to help boost numbers.

For commercial casinos, slot machines took in $412.7 million in revenue, table games brought in $170.8 million, and poker tables generated in $12.5 million. Also, sports betting brought in $9.7 million in revenue in the first year of launch. Sports betting is still new to the state, and only in four upstate casinos. However, this is a good sign that sports betting revenue will continue to grow in New York. The numbers will completely change once mobile betting launches.

Impact on Sports betting

New York has a population of 19.5 million, and New York City has nine million people living within city limits. There is a massive opportunity for New York to capitalize on sports betting. Right now, New York sports betting is in its infant stage. It was legalized in 2019 and started operations in July.

Currently, there a four sportsbooks in upstate New York. Popular mobile betting sportsbooks FanDuel and DraftKings are both operating in the state. Also, Rivers Sportsbook and European operator Bet365 have a sportsbook located in upstate New York. New Yorkers expect more casinos to apply for sportsbook licenses in the future.

Also, tribal casinos are setting up sportsbooks within their casinos. However, they will have to wait until the next legislative sessions. Right now, only commercial casinos are allowed to have sports betting licenses. Places like Indian Casinos, race tracks, and off-track betting sites will have to wait for the state of New York to legalize sports betting for those places. However, some Indian Casinos are preparing for legalization by creating sportsbooks, so they can launch as soon as they get the OK.

One thing New York lacks in sports betting is mobile wagering. Right now, mobile betting is not set up in the state. Sen. Joseph Addabbo has been a big believer in the state legalization. However, there has been some pushback from Assemblyman and the Governor. Regardless, many state politicians believe it will be a good thing for the state. New York is currently facing a billion-dollar budget deficit due to COVID-19, and mobile sports betting will help the state with revenue.

With a lack of mobile betting available throughout the state, sports betting has a lesser impact than expected. Only four sportsbooks are available, and they are all in upstate New York. The closest one to New York city is 90-miles away. What New Yorkers have done, and will continue to do is head over to New Jersey to place bets instead.

In 2019, New Yorkers wagered an estimated $837 million in the state of New Jersey. Also, mobile betting is legal in the state, so it’s easy for anyone living in New York City to head over and place a few bets. New York lawmakers like Addabbo see the concern for lost revenue when there is such an easy fix to the problem.

If mobile betting becomes legal in New York, then there is a possibility that their sports betting revenue could compete with Las Vegas. Addabbo believes that the Empire State can generate $200 million in annual revenue from sports wagering. However, the state won’t get there when the four sportsbooks are away from a city that has nine million people living in it.

New York Casino FAQ

Are Brick and Mortar Casinos legal in New York?

Yes, brick and mortar casinos are legal in New York. They are located throughout the state, including New York City. Casinos were legalized in 1988 after Congress passes the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, permitting casinos on Indian territory. This is the start of casinos in New York.

Is mobile online casino legal in New York?

No, mobile online casinos are not legal in New York. Right now, some lawmakers are working to legalize mobile betting and gaming within New York. The Senate has passed a bill legalizing it. However, the Assembly and Governor have done nothing to move forward with mobile gaming.

Is FanDuel Casino live in New York?

Yes, FanDuel Casino is operating in New York. The FanDuel sportsbook is located in Tioga Downs in Nichols, New York. FanDuel Sportsbook has been operating since July 2019 when the state launched a retail sportsbook throughout upstate New York. They were one of the first sportsbooks to launch in the state.

Is DraftKings Casino live in New York?

Yes, DraftKings Casino is open in New York. Like their competitor FanDuel, DraftKings was one of the first sportsbooks to launch in the state in 2019. Also, DraftKings has been one of the most successful sportsbooks in the Empire State. As of writing this, DraftKings Sportsbook has generated $2.9 million in revenue.

Is sports betting legal in New York?

Yes, sports betting is legal at one of the commercial gaming resorts. Sports betting has been operating in the state since July 2019. Lawmakers are still looking to legalize mobile sports wagering within the state. There is a chance that mobile betting will be legalized by 2021.

How are Indian Casinos regulated?

Indian Casinos are regulated under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act. The IGRA establishes the National Indian Gaming Commission and the regulatory structure for Indian gaming in the U.S. The state of New York has no control over how Indian Casinos are regulated. Federal law is in charge of regulations.

Are there casinos in New York City?

Yes, there are three casinos within the city limits of New York City. However, there are 13 casinos in surrounding suburbs of the Big Apple and Long Island. Nine casinos can be found out on Long Island. The rest are further in upstate New York throughout the state and around Buffalo.

Who regulates New York casinos?

There are four casinos regulated under the New York State Gaming Commission. The NYSGC regulates the four casinos that were passed under the Upstate New York Gaming Economic Development Act of 2013. The act is supposed to generate economic development in upstate New York. The casinos under the act began opening in 2017.

How many casinos are in New York?

There are 25 casinos around the state of New York. Commercial, Indian, and Racino are the three different types of casinos found in New York. The sportsbooks can be found in commercial casinos. Also, two racinos in New York have automated table games. There are 12 casinos ran by Native Americans.

What games are allowed at Racinos?

First, racinos are a combination of a racetrack and a casino. For most racinos, they are limited to betting on horse and dog races, and slot machines. However, some racinos allow table games like poker and blackjack. In New York state, two of the racinos have automated table games.