New York Home Poker Law

About half the states, including New York, do not have laws against participating in a private poker game. On the other end of the spectrum, Utah has outlawed gambling entirely and provides no. The change that affects the most gamblers and therefore is the one most talked about, is how losses can be deducted. While many types of itemized deductions were eliminated under the new law, gambling losses are still allowed! The change to these deductions is that they can only be deducted to the extent of gambling winnings for that tax year. New York Poker Laws Due to the wild popularity of the game of poker that wildly eclipses all other poker games, some states make exceptions in order to license and establish poker rooms even if other forms of gambling are illegal.

This is a guide for online poker players in the America who want to know where they can play online poker and when they might be able to play in their home states. For states where online poker is legal, this is a guide for US online poker room reviews, poker sites available in your area, deposit bonuses, and online poker announcements.

US online poker laws seem to be changing monthly since government attorneys announced that the Wire Act cannot be used to prohibit states from allowing online poker. Online poker rooms and online gambling sites are clamoring for state licenses, and the US online gambling landscape is going through a major change.

For a select few Americans, online poker is here already. Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware are leading the United States into the billion-dollar-a-year industry, and many more states are looking to get into the game in the very near future.

By the end of 2015, as many as a dozen states could allow their residents to play on legal online poker sites. That number may be higher if a federal bill, the Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013, is approved in 2014. But since the odds of that happening are less than hitting a one-outer on the river, all the online poker news concerning legislation is coming from individual states.

American online poker laws are about to go through drastic revision, and US online poker sites will pop up as the laws change. Laws are changing fast, and this guide promises to remain up to date on all possible movements concerning online poker legislation.

A brief overview of each state’s stance on online poker is below, but click through for a full update on the state’s online poker laws, and gambling laws in the state in general.


Alabama doesn’t even have a state lottery. It’s home to some of the most morally strict policymakers in the country, so poker is not coming anytime soon. Read more ..


Online poker legislation remains frigid in the great white north, but the game has a few fans who are elected officials, and although lawmakers resisted expanding almost any type of gambling in here, online poker has a chance. Read more ..


Despite a thriving Indian casino industry — or more like because of it — lawmakers are being cautious with online poker. Also, the governor is a tough opponent of any type of gambling expansion, poker included. Read more ..


Online poker legislation may be far off, but unlike some of its neighboring states, online poker may come to Arkansas with a federal push. Read more ..


Online poker will come to California maybe as soon as 2014. A crowded industry split into three factions may delay action on online poker bills already submitted. Read more ..


With a steady and strong push from its significant casino industry, online poker legislation is most likely forthcoming in Colorado sometime in 2015. The state is already studying the effects online poker would have. Read more ..


As its neighboring states start to allow their residents access to online poker sites, look for Connecticut to follow suit. As such a small state, it’s a prime candidate to contract with other states for shared player pools. Read more ..


As of October 2013, online poker is completely legal, regulated, and live in Delaware. Read more ..


Two powerful casino forces — the racinos and Indian tribes — face off against a conservative state government intent on preventing gambling expansion. The governor has won the first round. Read more ..


The official view toward poker here is as rigid as a Georgia pine. Poker is gambling, and gambling is bad in Georgia. Read more ..


Although one of the few states without any form of legalized gambling, Hawaii is rumored to be looking to get into the online-poker game. Read more ..


Completely in the middle ground, there is no pending online poker legislation in Idaho. A grassroots effort would help here. Read more ..


Online poker is being talked about by state officials. look for an online poker bill sometime in 2015. Read more ..


With a conservative governor and minor casino industry, it’s going to take a political campaign by its online poker players to move online poker forward. Read more ..


Since 2011, certain lawmakers have pushed for online poker legalization. Now with states going live, watch for Iowa to join the game in 2014 or 2015. Read more ..


A significant political shift is necessary for online poker to even be considered in the Sunflower State. Read more ..


Now that the powerful horseracing industry has wedged itself into the multi-state casino industry, watch for online poker legislation to move fast once more states go live. Read more ..


An online poker debate should come to Louisiana in 2014, with significant movement in 2015. Online poker does face some opposition here. Read more ..


Brand new to the casino game, and with such a pretty face, Maine would make a lovely interstate online poker partner. However, it remains a wallflower. Read more ..


With a healthy paranoia that it is missing out on the online poker industry, lawmakers began to push for it in 2013. Look for another push in 2014 and beyond. Read more ..


Cautiously optimistic is how online poker players in Beantown should feel. Online poker won’t come there as quickly as it should, but it’s likely coming at some point. Read more ..


A large casino industry will fuel the push toward online poker. State lawmakers seem to be wary, though. Read more ..


With a strong casino industry, it would seem Minnesota would be further along with online poker legalization than it is. It may catch up soon. Read more ..


An online-gambling bill failed to make it out of committee in 2013, but a multi-billion dollar casino industry will have a say. Read more ..


Another state with a significant casino industry, but with no real movement toward online poker or gambling legalization. It will join the game sooner rather than later. Read more ..


Poker is considered gambling here, and online gambling was outlawed in the state in 2005. With no pending legislation, it may be awhile. Read more ..


New York Poker Rooms

Poker-playing multi-billionaire hedge-fund manager Warren Buffett lives here and he hates the thought of online gambling. Poker is sadly included in his categorization. Read more ..


Online poker is legal in Nevada, and several rooms are live for real-money play. Read more ..

New Hampshire

For such a small state, New Hampshire has more online poker players per capita than anyone else. Still, there’s no pending legislation. Read more ..

New Jersey

Online poker and gambling is legal in New Jersey. Online poker will be available in November 2013. Read more ..

New Mexico


New Mexico's 20 Indian casinos will have a say in the legislation of online poker here. Tribes have threatened to stop payments to the state if it legalizes online gambling. Read more ..

New York

New York may very well be the fourth state to legalize online poker in 2014. It has the support of the governor, as well as many lawmakers. Read more ..

North Carolina

No real online poker push is coming from North Carolina. Check back once other states start to go live. Read more ..

North Dakota

This was once the first state to try to legalize online poker in 2005; the feds put an end to that. Online poker legalization is on the backburner. Read more ..


A state late to the casino game, online poker legalization has a real chance in 2015 or 2016, particularly if Pennsylvania beats Ohio to the market. Read more ..


This state allows tribes to operate online poker rooms, with one major caveat: They can only do business with people living in other countries. What a rub. Oklahomans will have online poker sooner rather than later. Read more ..


Once California begins to offer online poker, watch for Oregon’s Indian casinos to begin applying pressure to lawmakers. They have shown to be a savvy lobbying group. Read more ..


With one scrapped bill that would have legalized online poker and gambling, be sure another will come in 2014. Although facing resistance in committee, online poker should be here by 2016. Read more ..

Rhode Island

A prime candidate to partner with Delaware. Industry insiders say a contract is in the works. Read more ..

South Carolina

The online-poker industry faces major resistance here. Any talks of gambling expansion are immediately quashed. Read more .. Hollywood casino tunica sportsbook pdf.

South Dakota

Online poker isn’t on the lips of any lawmakers here. But with a strong Indian casino industry, look for that to change in 2014. Read more ..


A strong religious base makes it difficult to move online poker legislation anywhere. Like, harder than shoving a mule through keyhole. Read more ..


Home of the congressman behind the Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013, several bills that affect poker, online and otherwise, currently reside in committees. Texas looks like it wants to finally acknowledge the game. Read more ..


Online poker players in Utah at least have Nevada just over the border. Other than that, Utah is a desert for online poker players. Read more ..


The tiny state may be game to contract with Delaware, New Jersey, and/or Nevada and allow its residents access to online poker sites. Once more states allow online poker, watch for Vermont to follow. Read more ..


Online poker players must hope for political change statewide in order to eventually access online poker sites. It has a law on the books that outlaws Internet gambling. Read more ..

Washington, D.C.

Online poker was set to come to its citizens in 2013, but politics played its part and it was delayed. Online poker will definitely come to D.C. eventually. Read more ..


The only state that criminalizes the online poker player, a grassroots movement stemming from that law is growing. Plus, Indian casinos are now in favor of legalization. Read more ..

West Virginia

State officials are most likely looking to contract with other states, probably Delaware. It may happen as soon as 2014. Read more ..


The Indian casinos have yet to show their hand as to where they stand on online poker. There is no legislative chatter concerning online poker rooms. Read more ..


Lawmakers here are resistant to any form or gambling expansion, including online poker. If recent history is correct, online poker has a tough fight here. Read more ..

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An Overview Of The Gambling Laws In New York State

New York is often thought of as a strictly anti-gambling State. They drove the internet gambling crack-down known as ‘Black Friday’ in 2011 and were instrumental in clarifying the scope of the Wire Act. Nowadays, things are swinging towards the progressive side, with an act to authorize commercial casinos in addition to the tribal ones, and more liberal horse racing betting laws than many States. This article takes you through all you need to know about the gambling laws in New York State.

First of all below, we go back in time and begin a quick-fire history of gambling laws in New York State that takes us right up to the present day. After that I have gone through the different types of gambling one-by-one, explaining the legality of each. Next things go to the more detailed level, with excerpts from the current laws and a legal timeline too. At the end of this page you will find a summary and a look at possible future scenarios.

New York State Gambling Laws – A Brief History

This State are pioneers in the world of gambling – unfortunately not in a positive way, as they were the first to constitutionally ban it! After the 1821 ban there were further bans in 1864 and 1894, which heralded the start of the prohibition era that lasted until the end of the 1930s. Gambling still took place on a massive scale during this era, controlled in underground casinos by the ‘families’ who made up the Mob.

The first legal gambling in New York State was horse racing. In line with many other States this was based on pari-mutuel (or pooled) betting systems, and only permitted on the track. Since then the racing tracks have been allowed to use Simulcast systems (which show races from other tracks around the US) and have gaming machines for their customers – making them into ‘racinos’. These are now popular entertainment venues.

Things developed slowly from here, with Bingo games going legal in 1957, a lottery in 1966 and then charity gaming following in 1970.

The breakthrough for casino and poker fans came much later, when casinos on tribal lands were allowed to operate the top-tier ‘class 3’ games which include slots and table games. This led to a boom in casino building by the Indian tribes, and gives New Yorkers the wide choice of casino and poker rooms they know today. The tribal casinos will soon be joined by commercial ones. In 2013, legislation based on Economic development for the upstate area was passed that will enable several new casinos to open.

One interesting aspect of New York State’s gambling laws is that players in any form of game are not the target for criminal sanctions. While this State is very hard on organizers of illegal gambling, players – including in poker home-games – are not the targets.

What Forms Of Gambling Are Currently Legal?

Casino Gambling: Yes, you can enjoy casino games at several Tribal casinos in this State. More recently a bill for licensing commercial casinos in upstate New York was passed, with the first licenses expected during 2014.

Online Casinos: No, there is nothing explicit on the statues concerning internet gambling, however New York drove the 2011 Black Friday clampdown of online gambling sites through their courts. This is a clear indication that this State believes that internet gambling is illegal based on their existing laws and the Federal codes.

Live Poker: Yes, you can enjoy live poker games in Tribal casinos. Social poker games have an explicit carve-out too under State law. As long as nobody is making a profit from the game, and it is played on equal terms, then it is expressly not considered illegal.

Online Poker: No, as with online casinos it is considered illegal to operate online poker games. Note that this State does not criminalize players of gambling games – so there is nothing to stop you from participating.

Sports Betting: Yes, Pari-Mutuel betting is allowed in this State, including remotely, you can also enjoy Simulcasts of races. Racetracks are allowed certain types of lottery / bingo like gaming machines – making them into ‘racinos’.

Lottery Betting: Yes, New York has a lottery and offers the inter-State games too.

Bingo Games: Yes, Bingo and raffle type games fall under the Charity Gaming carve out (though games need to be individually approved). There are no provisions for charity poker games.

New York City Poker

New York State Gambling Laws – Timeline Of Key Statutes

Other than tribal casinos and limited gambling opportunities at racetracks, New York has not historically been a gambling-friendly place. Add to this their involvement in ‘Black Friday’ (the internet gambling crackdown) and you might get the impression that a trip to a neighboring State could be required. However, there are some signs of progress, especially a new bill for licensing State casinos in the underdeveloped up-State areas – which shows things are moving in the direction of liberalization rather than prohibition here.

The statute books have broad definitions of both gambling and games of chance – designed to catch all of the forms of gambling in one sweeping catch-all definition. For poker fans, the game of skill argument is not going to help you in this State. One silver lining is that simply playing in a game is exempted from criminal sanctions here, New York prefer to go after the profiteers, organizers and promoters of gambling games.

Here are the key passages, firstly the contest of chance rules:

“1. “Contest of chance” means any contest, game, gaming scheme or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants may also be a factor therein. “ (From: Sec 225.00 Gambling offenses; definitions of terms)

And the broader ‘Gambling’ definition: “2. “Gambling” A person engages in gambling when he 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. “

Here are the key dates in the New York gambling legislation timeline:

1821: An amendment to the 2nd constitution of New York contains its first recorded ban on gambling.

1864: Lotteries that were prevalent at this time were banned (these were more like the raffles we know today). 30 years later, in 1894, all other forms of gambling were also banned in line with many other States this was the start of the puritanical ‘prohibition era’.

1939: Pari-Mutuel betting was legalized for the first time.

1957: Bingo games for charity were legalized.

1966: New York’s State lottery was legalized.

1973: Oversight board for horse racing was created, called the ‘State Racing And Wagering Board’.

1993: Indian Reservation Casinos legalized, with the Oneida Tribe opening their doors that same year. This followed the 1988 Federal ‘Indian Gaming Regulation Act’. Many more casinos would open their doors over the next 20 years.

2011: The courts in the Southern District of New York launched a clamp-down on online gambling sites which is known as ‘Black Friday’. This cited Federal Laws (the UIGEA) rather than State ones. However, if residents of this State were in any doubt about their government’s stance on online gambling, this clarified things.

2013: Amendment passed to license Non-tribal (commercial) casinos, this is part of a development plan for up-State New York.

New York State Gambling Laws – Summary + Look To The Future

As long as you are not the organizer of a for-profit unlicensed gambling operation in New York State, you are not breaking the law. There are plenty of licensed tribal casinos and racinos to choose from, and opportunities to enjoy bingo and charity gaming too. The recent legalization of commercial casinos is an encouraging sign for New York residents – that the old laws in this area are starting be replaced with progressive new legislation.

Whether New York will enter any regulated online gambling markets is difficult to say. On one hand they have made their gambling laws more liberal recently. On the other hand they did lead the crack-down against what they perceived as illegal online gambling in 2011.

Useful Resources:

Gambling Laws US



New York City Poker Clubs

Gambling Expansion Approved