Some more good news, which is perhaps a little surprising given the overall approach to gambling in the state, is that daily fantasy sports are legal. They are state regulated, which means you can play daily fantasy in New York without breaking the law or having to find a work-around (like registering at sites outside the state, for example). An added bonus for players is that they can use more local sites, which are now able to offer cash prizes. Previously only sites like DraftKings and FanDuel where an option (and still are for players in many states).
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The Empire State has a long history of gambling legislation, and most of it has been pretty restrictive. That has continued to this day, where many forms of gambling, especially in the online sphere, are still strictly controlled. Having said that, there are some interesting options even with the tight laws, and given the strength and size of the New York economy, laws could change in the future to make gaming more accessible.
At the time of writing, you can gamble in casinos— mainly at Native American-run establishments. However, there are now a number of commercially-run casinos as well, thanks to a change in the law a few years ago. Betting on horse racing is also legal, as are lottery and bingo betting. Interestingly, sports betting is also technically legal, though the state has yet to take its first bet.
Despite the state’s previous tough stance on online gambling in particular, things are starting to change and this will hopefully lead to further amendments to online gaming laws in New York.
There is currently no way to legally play online casino games in New York, as sites are not allowed to operate or host servers in the state. While this isn't such a problem in some other states, like neighboring New Jersey, there are certain rules in New York's criminal code that make this highly inadvisable. Essentially, even if you are accessing a site that is hosted outside the state, the fact you are doing so using a smartphone or computer means you are breaking the law, as that device is considered paraphernalia for illegal activity under New York law.
The same applies to online poker in New York. There's really no way to play legally at this time. Traditional physical poker and social games are fine—provided no one is making a profit. While this could change in the future, for now it is strictly illegal.
Here's where things look a bit more positive, both for gambling now and in the future. Sports betting legalization is currently legal, but its is stuck in a regulatory review process that has prevented any gaming facility from taking a bet. As to whether you'll be able to place bets online, only time will tell. It may well be in the cards given the overall warming sentiment toward sports betting in New York as well as successful rollouts in some of the state's neighbors.