New York Online Sports Betting – News and Updates on Sports Betting Legislation
New York, home to the economic capital of the world and professional sports dynasties, is on its way to legalizing online sports betting. New York has had laws on the books allowing for sports wagering at physical sportsbooks, conditional upon the federal ban getting lifted, which it did in 2018 with the Supreme Court ruling that the ban was unconstitutional. Now that the state has become home to eight brick-and-mortar sportsbooks, NY legislators, stakeholders and bettors who want access to legal channels are clamoring for an expansion to allow online wagering.
But the path to legalizing online sports betting in New York has been bumpy, as Governor Andrew Cuomo for several years expressed no interest in making things happen, and also dismissed the potential revenue as a drop in the bucket. His tune has changed, and legislators in both the Senate and the Assembly have bills ready-to-sign allowing for a competitive, open online sports betting market.
The Governor has his eyes on a completely different model, however, insisting that a lottery-driven system, operating a single sportsbook in the absence of commercial sportsbooks such as FanDuel Sportsbook, is the way to go in generating more revenue state coffers.
While it’s a developing situation, here’s everything we know right now.
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When Will Online Betting Start?
We’re going to give a more detailed overview of the history of sports betting in New York, but the question on everyone’s mind is “when will online betting be available?” Unfortunately, there’s not a clear answer for that, although legislative developments can give us an insight into when online sports betting in New York may become a reality.
As New York already has legal in-person sports betting, implementing online play would be as simple as drafting and enacting a bill that specifically allows for it, and updating regulations similar to other states. They don’t need to re-invent the toaster oven. The old adage is true, though– simple doesn’t mean easy, and in this case, legislators and the Governor himself are having a hard time agreeing on what online sports betting should look like in the Empire State.
Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s 2021 budget specifically proposes online sports wagering and includes revenue derived therefrom, in the amount of $500 million, which is a major sea change from his administration’s prior opinion towards betting. Formerly a resounding “fugheddaboutit”, the economic body-slam of the COVID-19 pandemic has sent the country’s lawmakers scrambling for revenue sources.
New York expects a deficit of roughly $60 billion in revenue over the next five years as a result of the crisis, so Cuomo’s starting to get on board with some form of online sports wagering– though it might not be the one New Yorkers prefer.
The good news is that online sports betting will, at some point, come to New York. The bad news is, Cuomo favors the lottery model of online wagering, meaning that the state’s lottery will likely offer a single sportsbook, and that’s it. No competition, no shopping for good lines– you’ll get what the state gives you. Cuomo argues that this is the best way to guarantee revenue for NY, but industry pros and lawmakers on both arms of the NY legislature disagree with the Governor’s estimations, stating that the competitive model is better for jobs, revenue, and the people. This isn’t merely opinion — the failed single-source models in Oregon, Washington D.C. bear this out; at least New Hampshire, which is using a lottery-run monopoly model, contracted with DraftKings to offer a respectable sportsbook, rather than a substandard SB Tech or Intralot-operated version.
At any rate, getting online sports betting added to the NY Code might take until the end of 2021, but worst case scenario, could a constitutional amendment, which is a lengthy process, meaning bettors in NY could possibly have to wait up to three years (!) before they can bet online. Signs point to Cuomo opting for the lottery model or perhaps licensing only brick-and-mortar casinos for an online expansion (at a price!), but the situation is fluid.
In the event that online sports betting goes online in New York according to a framework proposed in the state Senate and Assembly, the first step would be going online and registering with one of up to 14 apps (with the caveat, of course, that there may be only one). Whichever way things shake out, the process for getting online and wagering will be pretty similar across platforms.
A lot of entities have offered betting in one form or another in New York– there was once a time where 18+ players could flock to in-person casinos, but now the legal gambling age for all real-money wagering is 21+. You’ll have to provide part or all of your SSN when registering with a given online sportsbook to verify your age and identity.
When registering for an account,, you’ll need to make sure you’re within New York State borders. In every state where sports betting is legal, regulations require that the sportsbook operator verifies your location using geo-technology. You can actually sign up from anywhere – but to make a bet, you’d need to be within New York, or alternatively, a state where the sportsbook app you’re using is licensed and legal. A lot of the apps that may become available in New York will also be legal in New Jersey or Pennsylvania.
Because of this location restriction, you’ll need to make sure that you’re sharing your location (on mobile) or using an enabled geolocation plugin on your browser whenever wagering. You can check your account and make deposits, withdrawals, and other changes when you’re out of state, but wagering itself is limited to persons of legal gambling age who are physically in New York. You don’t have to be a resident, though.
Alright, you’re ready to roll. Start the process here by clicking the links that will appear on this page with exclusive bonuses/promotions. The links will take you to the registration page, where you will need to download the app. Most likely you’ll be able to do this at Apple’s App Store (if using iPhone) or the Google Play store (Android). In March 2021, Google policy will change to allow sportsbook app downloads in the store. Previously, Google did not all, meaning users would have to download directly from sportsbook sites, allow phones to download from external sources, open a .apk, and install from there. Depending on the sportsbook, Android users may still need to use this slightly longer process.
Next, so you’ve downloaded one of the available online sports betting apps for NY and you’re looking at the sign-in screen. First off, refer to the above location section and enable location services on your phone (most legal sportsbooks use GeoComply); desktop/browser users will be prompted to download the appropriate geo-tagging plugin after sign-up. Then, the following process will get your online wagering account established. This process may differ a bit from platform to platform, but it mostly mirrors the following:
- Fill in your email and preferred password.
- Provide personal details to confirm your identity, including name, address, and some/all of your SSN.
- Answer security questions for additional verification.
- Provide any promo codes you may have — from this page — and if promoted, click to “opt-in” to any welcome offers appearing on the screen.
- Verify that you’re of legal age and status to bet. (If you’re a member of a sports league or affiliated with a casino, in many cases, you won’t be able to bet. You likely already know if you’re restricted from using a certain betting service. Additionally, users can “self-exclude” as a part of Responsible Gaming initiatives, so if you’re in one of those categories, you won’t be able to bet until that exclusion period ends.
- Download any necessary geo-tagging plugin when required. You’re ready to go!
Final note on registration
Now, this one might end up being a little more complicated depending on how New York moves forward with online sports betting. On the whole, the majority of states offering legal, online sports betting will allow users to simply use their personal information to register remotely from wherever they have internet access.
However, one state differs in this process: bettors in Nevada have to physically visit sportsbook locations and present government ID before their online accounts will be eligible to place wagers. Illinois actually required this initially, and Iowa required required in-person registration up until January 2021. We mention this only because nothing is set in stone with regards to betting online in NY, so it’s good to have a multifaceted idea of how the process might look.
New York Sportsbooks And Projected Online Brands
Here’s a snapshot for the four commercial casinos in New York that have opened physical sportsbooks.
- Partner Casino: Del Lago Resort & Casino, Seneca County
- Retail Sportsbook Launch: August 23rd, 2019
- Online/Mobile Launch: TBA
Donovan McNabb cut the ribbon for the DraftKings Sportsbook at Del Lago, and the casino has had a pretty consistent take ever since. Located in Waterloo, NY, it’s a short drive from Rochester and Utica and is a solid place to put down some money. DraftKings has been very popular in other states, offering decent promos and constantly updating/improving its app.
- Partner Casino: Tioga Downs, Tioga County
- Retail Launch: July 19th, 2019
- Online/Mobile Launch: TBA
Another name you probably know is FanDuel, who like DraftKings started out as a fantasy sports and DFS provider before branching into the real-money sports wagering market in 2018. Tioga Downs is home to the FanDuel sportsbook, and it’s expected (like others) that the platform will be among the first to go online if it ends up getting the green light from state legislators.
- Partner Casino: Resorts World Catskills
- Retail Launch: September 5th, 2019
- Online/Mobile Launch: TBA
This British betting company that’s very popular worldwide has made strides in the US market, and has its sights set on NY. Currently offering sports betting at the Resorts World Catskills, this well-known and growing operator has a reputation for good pricing and a solid online platform.
- Partner Casino: Rivers Casino in Schenectady County
- Retail Launch: July 16th, 2019
- Online/Mobile Launch: TBA
Rivers was first out of the gate in New York, offering in-person sports wagering at their casino location in New York in partnership with Kambi and Rush Street Gaming. Rivers has a great online presence in other states, and will likely be among the first crop of sportsbooks to go online if the market opens up.
Sportsbooks at Tribal Casinos And Projected Online Brands
There’s four more sportsbooks on the ground in New York that may launch an online brand — if legally allowed.
Turning Stone Casino Resort (Verona)
Home to The Lounge With Caesars Sports; if not already, this spot is expected to shift to a William Hill-branded sportsbook,, following Caesars acquisition of the U.K.-based bookmaker. William Hill has a large presence in the U.S. as well, operating online now in eight states. The Turning Stone, owned/operated by the Oneida Indian Nation, is home to a PGA-rated golf course and is by far the largest and most popular casino in the state.
Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort (Hogansburg, NY)
Point Place Casino (Bridgeport)
Same as Yellow Brick Road and Turning Stone — it’s home to The Lounge With Caesars Sports.
Yellow Brick Road Casino (Chittenango)
Also an Oneida Nation property, it also has a Caesars sportsbook and probably would offer William Hill online.
Who Else Could Join?
The language of current, existing legislation doesn’t specify anything about online sports wagering, but bills waiting in the wings would offer 14 licenses for providers to grab. In addition to the four already-licensed casino partners in NY (DraftKings, FanDuel/Betfair US, bet365, and Rush Street/Kambi), and the tribal casino partners (above), the following companies may attempt to get in the market if it opens up (for a price!):
- Barstool Sportsbook
- BetAmerica (rebranding as TwinSpires)
- William Hill
NY Sports Betting’s Tricky History
As we’ve stated, New York has had a complicated relationship with sports betting. There’s been a bit of a tug-of-war between the NY Legislature and the Governor’s Office for the better part of three years, with one side aiming to get onboard and online with sports wagering in the state, and the other being a tough sell on the idea.
NY Gaming Economic Development Act
Though New York is still struggling to get legislation for online sports wagering on the books, they were one of the first states to prepare for a federally-legal betting market. In 2013, New York passed the Gaming Economic Development Act, paving the groundwork to allow for legal sports betting should it become legal on a federal level.
2018 was the year that PASPA, the federal statute barring sports betting, was overturned. As New York already had the GEDA signed and established, it was a relatively simple process to start offering legal wagering at local casinos on an in-person basis.
2019: Getting a Foot in the Door
With the passing of New York’s 5329 Rule to the state’s constitution in 2019, four casinos were given permission to offer licensed sports betting services. Those casinos are now offering in-person wagering, and are likely to be among the first to offer an online platform (if the legislature can convince Cuomo to sign a bill to that effect).
2019 also saw joint legislation make its way through the NY government in the form of two proposed bills: S17D and A6113C, respectively proposed by Sen. Addabbo and Assemblyman Pretlow. Addabbo’s bill passed soundly through the senate, but its counterpart in the assembly didn’t make it through to a review and died on the floor.
Even if the bills had made it through to Gov. Cuomo’s desk, at the time, it was unlikely for him to sign. But the drastic chain of events of 2020 and the economic downturn everywhere resulting from the COVID-19 pandemic, led to Cuomo stepping back from that position, seeing the need for as many revenue sources as possible.
Desperate Times, Sensible Measures
The two aforementioned lawmakers haven’t given up on their aim to offer a competitive, open mobile sports betting market, and the clouds parted a bit with Cuomo’s 2021 Fiscal Year Budget proposal. In it, his office demonstrates a newfound openness to online sports betting, indicating that he could see allowing “one or more” online sportsbooks to operate in the state.
A reported $60 billion over five years is out the window in connection with the pandemic, and New York is looking for any/all sources to recoup some of that hit. While Cuomo’s FY 2021 report indicates he’s open to sports betting, he remains resistant to Addabbo and Pretlow’s open and competitive market model, instead leaning heavily towards the single-operator model, wherein the state lottery will allow one single sportsbook.
Which is the Better Revenue Generator? Looking to Other States
Let’s face it– Cuomo is not a big fan of gambling, and is not seeing what industry experts are proposing: that an open, competitive market could bring in beaucoup bucks for the state of New York. His claim that the state-run model is better “for the people” is not backed by the latest industry reports, and the numbers from states with similar models aren’t super promising.
Oregon, Montana, Washington D.C., and a few others have gone with the lottery-driven, state-monopolized model of online sports wagering, to mixed results. As compared to those states with competitive, multi-brand markets, the numbers hardly compete: Pennsylvania took in almost $71.6M in gross gaming revenue (GGR) from internet betting alone during December 2020.
Compare that with the similarly-dense Washington DC, whose lottery-driven system has proven to be lackluster at best for the district, with the Washington Post calling it “off to a rough start.” Other states such as Oregon are moving away from the lottery-run, single-sportsbook model, and the general consensus among industry experts is that competitive is the way to go for both the state and its eager bettors.
We’re still waiting for the 2021 session of the NY legislature to figure things out: Addabbo and Pretlow have yet-another polished and ready-to-go couple of bills in the form of S1183 and A1257, which are much the same to the 2019 proposals. Will Cuomo sign these, will he only sign allowing the four existing brick-and-mortar locations to offer online wagering, or will he go with the lottery-run model? Keep your ears to the ground.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is sports betting available in New York?
In-person sports betting has been available at a few casinos (mostly Upstate) since 2019. Online sports betting is not yet available, but has a definite path to legalization and will be available at some point in the near future– the 2021 session of the NY Legislator will be a big decider in what happens, which lasts from January 6th to June 18th.
When will legal online sports betting begin in New York?
That’s a difficult question to answer. We’ll have more information as the NY legislature figures out the finer details of online sports betting, but it’s likely to take a bit more time, as most constitutional amendments in the state take three years to implement. There is precedent (as in the case of mobile horse racing wagers) for gambling law to pass without constitutional amendment, so it could be as early 2021 or as late as 2024 before New Yorkers see the start of online sports betting.
Where can I bet on sports in New York?
At the moment, there are four in-person, commercial casinos offering in-person sports betting, with four tribal locations operating sportsbooks as well:
The four casino locations offering in-person bets are:
- Resorts World Catskills (bet365)
- Rivers Casino Schenectady (Rush Street/Kambi)
- Tioga Downs (Betfair US/FanDuel Sportsbook)
- Del Lago Resort & casino (DraftKings Inc.)
- Turning Stone Resort/Casino (Caesars/William Hill)
- Point Place Casino ((Caesars/William Hill)
- Yellow Brick Road Casino ((Caesars/William Hill)
- Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort – (bet365)
State and federal law allows for casinos on Indian land to offer whatever gambling is legal in the state without needing to forge agreements with the state government. They still can’t offer online wagering without legislation, but users in NY are able to bet in-person at locations like the Turning Stone Casino.
What types of bets are/will be available?
The above casinos already partnered with sportsbook providers give us a great indicator of what bets will be available, because all of the aforementioned has a presence in states with legal online wagering. With the above, you’ll have access to pretty much everything a sports bettor could want, including bets on the moneyline, spreads, parlays, futures, live bets, player and game props, and more.
Will mobile sportsbooks offer bonuses for new players?
Almost certainly. Even in states with the lottery model of online wagering, nearly every sportsbook will offer some kind of welcome bonus to get users playing. These include free bets that require no deposit, “risk-free” bets that will net you betting credit if your first wager is a loss, and more.
Are online casino games and poker legal in New York?
Online casino games and poker are not legal in New York. This would require separate, additional legislation, or would need to get added to the sportsbetting bills working their way through Albany’s political machine.