As New Yorkers continue to seek on-demand entertainment, online casinos are becoming increasingly popular with every passing year, and no more so than in recent months when the coronavirus has kept more would-be gamblers inside their homes. But with all the online casinos out there available in New York, it can be hard to figure out which ones are worth your time.
We’ve done the hard work for you and rounded up six of our favorite places for online gambling in N.Y. based on playability, safety, and overall reputation. We’ll also get into how to choose the best virtual gaming sites and ways to keep yourself protected while gambling online.
Top 6 Online Casinos Available in New York
The following online casinos offer safe payouts, a wide selection of games, and are some of the most popular among players in New York.
How to Choose an Online Casino in New York
Choosing the right online gambling site is largely a matter of preference, of course, since what works for one person might not be ideal for another. But here are a few key things to keep in mind when comparing online casinos you can visit in New York.
Look for Variety
Every online gambler has their favorite game, but if you’re going to take the time to set up an account with an online casino, it makes sense to find one with a wide variety of games. That way, you have the option of shaking things up and trying out something new if playing the same old game starts to get stale.
Look for online casinos with a robust mix of automated games, like slot machines, as well as dealer-focused ones, like roulette or blackjack.
Make Sure It’s Safe
Take the time to research any online casino you’re considering before downloading its app or giving it any info. The internet makes it incredibly easy to gauge the reputation of online gambling sites, so take advantage of it.
You can further protect yourself by selecting the payment and withdrawal method with which you feel most comfortable. The most commonly accepted are:
- Credit or debit card
Research the Casino’s Location
We’ll get into online gambling laws in a bit, where you’ll see why it’s a good idea to know where your online casino is based. The most important thing to check is whether their physical location is within or outside of the United States.
Check Out Their Site
We’ve already gone over the importance of checking out the company behind any online casino you’re interested in, but it’s also a good idea to check out the site itself. After all, if you’re planning on spending a fair amount of time on the site, you want to make sure it’s:
- Responsive across your devices
- Intuitive and easy to figure out
- Attractively designed
Read the Fine Print
Many online casinos offer contests and promotions, promising players prizes that seem too good to pass up. Before signing up for any of these, make sure to read the fine print to save yourself any unwelcome surprises.
Many online casinos have residency requirements for gamers using their sites. Make sure that the casino you’re checking out is open to New York residents.
Staying Safe While Playing Online
Online gambling isn’t inherently dangerous, but there are a few things to look out for, just as with in-person gambling. These tips will help keep you safe while playing in online casinos.
Do Your Research
The most important thing you can do to protect yourself while gambling online is to take the time to research the online casino in which you’re interested. Read reviews from multiple, unbiased sources to ensure that the company is legitimate rather than clicking on the next online casino ad that pops up on your device.
Failure to do so could result in:
- Phishing attempts
- Malware downloads
- Loss of money or financial information
Verify The Site’s Reputation
If a site is legitimate, it will be easy to find proof of that online. Look for:
- An established presence that goes back at least a few years, so you know it’s not a fly-by-night operation
- Plenty of unbiased positive reviews that appear to be written by real consumers
- Few or no negative reviews. A few here and there complaining about minor things like site design issues are normal, but multiple complaints of people losing money to the site are a big red flag
Use Secure Payment Methods
Reputable online casinos will offer a variety of secure methods for financial transactions. Only use casinos that offer payment methods you’ve heard of, like Visa, PayPal, or Bitcoin.
Read All Terms and Conditions
Make sure to fully understand all the fine print before signing up with an online gambling site or placing bets. Before doing business with a new casino, you want to have a good idea of what your odds are and whether it has any hidden fees.
Online gambling can be harmful even if you stick with the most reputable online casinos since gambling has the potential to become addictive.
If you have an addictive personality or are otherwise concerned about preventing gambling addiction, be sure to embrace the following guidelines:
- Set and stick to a betting limit per day/week/month
- Set and stick to a gambling time limit
- Avoid gambling while stressed or inebriated
- Gamble for fun rather than money
Online Gambling in NY: Is it Legal?
New York has a history of being one of the strictest states when it comes to gambling, and commercial casinos were illegal until 2013. Because online casinos are a relatively new phenomenon, they remain somewhat of a legal gray area in both state and federal laws.
A lot of misinformation circulates out there about the legal aspects of online gambling, so we’ll break it down by both federal and state laws. Remember that laws change all the time, though, so it’s your responsibility to do your research and stay up-to-date on the most current online gambling N.Y. laws.
According to Legal Zoom, federal law makes it illegal to place bets at online casinos located within the United States. That means that as long as the online casino you’re gambling at in New York is based in another country, you’re in the clear as far as federal law goes.
Fortunately, many online casinos (like the ones in our list) are located offshore and cater to Americans, specifically New York residents.
Always double-check that any online casino you place bets with is located outside of the United States to keep yourself out of trouble.
New York Laws
As you probably know, each state has its own laws that residents must follow in addition to federal laws, which is why some things are legal in certain states and illegal in others. As you might expect, gambling is a perfect example of an activity highly regulated in some areas (like New York) but less controlled in other places (like Las Vegas).
FindLaw states that banned online gambling activities in New York include: “Promoting gambling; possession of gambling records; bookmaking; possession of gambling devices [are] illegal.”
Most people take that to mean that while it’s illegal to run online gambling operations in New York, everyday players are in the clear. Some players choose to cross state lines and head to New Jersey before placing bets, just to be on the safe side.
It’s highly improbable that an ordinary player in New York will ever be prosecuted for gambling at an online casino, as long as that casino’s based outside the U.S.
One variant to online casinos worth mentioning if you live in New York is the social casino. Social casinos are purely for fun, and you can’t win real money from them.
That makes them a risk-free online gambling experience that still provides players with the thrill of the game without having to worry about significant financial losses or legal ramifications. Because you’re not gambling with real money, social casinos have no limitations on location.
Some social casinos have found loopholes that allow players to cash in their virtual winnings for real money – if playing on these sites, be sure they’re located offshore, just to be safe.
As you can see, there’s a lot to consider when choosing the best online casino for your needs in New York. The most important things to consider are the legality and safety of the site you’re playing on, but you also want to make sure that it offers a decent selection of games. Be sure to keep in mind that you don’t have to stick to just one site – many online gamblers have a handful of sites that they hop between.
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