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Home » Online Poker in New York (Best Sites, Legality, and Precautions)

Online Poker in New York (Best Sites, Legality, and Precautions)

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Online Poker in New York
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In New York, like everywhere else, folks who love poker are seeking a good online platform to play. However, it is illegal to gamble on online poker in New York.

That’s because the state’s constitution doesn’t allow gambling, except for certain things like state lotteries, betting on horse races, a few casinos, and some bingo and lottery games for charity. 

Although New York’s lawmakers are thinking about changing this and legalizing online poker, Governor Kathy Hochul didn’t include the expected money from online gambling in the state’s budget for 2024, which put a stop to those plans for now.

This disappointment for online poker in New York follows an ad campaign by a group of online gambling companies pushing lawmakers to make online gambling legal.

They say it could bring in over a billion dollars in revenue each year for the state.

So, what can poker fans in New York do now? Should they just give up on playing poker online? Not necessarily.

We’re here to help! We’ll tell you about some trusted online poker sites you can still play on, like America’s Card Room, Global Poker, and BetOnline.

Plus, we’ll keep you updated on the current state of online poker in New York, and what might happen in the future, and give you tips for playing.

Basically, we’ve got you covered when it comes to online poker in New York.

Best Sites for Online Poker in New York

Despite the fact that real-money online poker is not permitted in New York, New Yorkers can still play poker online through social poker sites.

These sites work differently. Instead of using real money, they use a sweepstakes model and virtual currencies.

 This allows them to operate legally in states where regular online poker isn’t allowed. So, even though you can’t play for cash, you can still have fun playing poker online with friends on these social poker sites.

Platform NameBonusFeatures
America’s Card Room100% match bonus up to $2000– Multiple bonus codes for account- Bonuses released as points are earned- First Time Deposit Bonus and Reload Bonuses available.
Global PokerWelcome bonus of 5,000 Gold Coins– The Vault loyalty bonus feature- No dedicated mobile app- Free daily bonus and other promotions.
BetOnlineVarious bonuses for casino in poker games– Bonus money through contests or email- Maximum release and cash out limits apply.
YourPokerDream (Americas Card Room Partner)100% Welcome Up To $2,000 & Rakeback Deals– VIP deals and rakeback options- Access to Americas Card Room’s games and tournaments.
VIP-Grinders (Americas Card Room Affiliate)100% UP TO $2,000 BONUS & Exclusive Tournaments– Exclusive tournaments for members- Rakeback deals to maximize earnings.

History and the Current State of Poker in New York

Poker has a fascinating history in New York, starting from its underground origins to the possibility of becoming a legal online game.

Back in the 1990s and early 2000s, underground poker clubs were thriving in New York City, like the famous Mayfair Club.

These places were where well-known players like Howard Lederer, Erik Seidel, and Dan Harrington honed their skills. 

Hollywood even took notice, with the movie “Rounders” drawing inspiration from these real-life characters and clubs.

However, police raids and tragic incidents, along with black Friday’s closure of major online poker sites, contributed to the decline of the underground scene.

But the love for poker endured, and attention turned to legalizing online play. In 2024, New York is mulling over laws to make online poker legal.

Bills like A1380 propose recognizing poker games as ones of skill, like Omaha Hold ’em and Texas Hold ’em, and setting up rules for licensing and regulation.

The New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) would oversee issuing licenses, with a 15% tax rate and a $10 million fee for a ten-year license.

The potential for online poker in New York is huge, considering its population of 19.7 million, larger than states like Pennsylvania and Michigan where online poker is already legal.

Joining the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) could make things even better, allowing New Yorkers to play against players from other states, leading to bigger prizes and more chances to play.

Despite the optimism and economic prospects, there have been hurdles. Governor Kathy Hochul didn’t include expected revenues from online gaming in the state’s budget for 2024, indicating a lack of immediate support.

However, advocates for online poker keep pushing for its legalization, pointing to the success of online gaming in nearby states and the potential for significant tax revenue.

Future of Online Poker in New York

The future of online poker in New York is a hot topic in the state legislature. Even though it’s not legal yet, there’s a feeling that things could change soon.

The success of online and retail sports betting since January 2022 has got lawmakers thinking about the money online poker and casino games could bring in.

Since 2013, there have been 11 bills aimed at making online poker legal, but none have passed so far.

The latest one, A1380, introduced in January 2023, is still on the table until June 2024. It suggests a 15% tax on real-money online poker and a $10 million fee for a ten-year gaming license.

If this bill passes, the New York State Gaming Commission could give out up to 11 licenses for online poker.

Although some folks worry about how online poker might affect land-based casinos and future ones in NYC, these concerns aren’t seen as deal-breakers.

Lawmakers can talk about the bill again anytime they’re in session until June 2023 and then from January to June 2024.

If online poker gets the green light, big names like BetMGM, PokerStars, and WSOP are expected to jump into the market. New York might even team up with other states for even better online poker action.

Online Poker Tournaments in New York

Those who are interested in participating in poker tournaments in New York have the option of playing online as well as offline.

In physical locations, Turning Stone Resort Casino stands out by hosting prestigious events like the World Series of Poker Circuit (WSOPC). 

These tournaments draw in big crowds from the US and Canada, with prize pools reaching impressive heights.

The recent 2023-24 WSOP Circuit Event at Turning Stone was a hit, paying out over $5.4 million in winnings, exceeding the previous year’s totals.

It offers a variety of tournaments, including special ones for women, seniors, and even mega satellites for the main event, ensuring there’s something for every competitive player.

For those preferring the virtual feel, online platforms like America’s Cardroom and Black Chip Poker come to the rescue.

Despite New York not yet legalizing online poker within its borders, players can still join in tournaments through these offshore sites. 

They host a plethora of events ranging from multi-table tournaments (MTTs) to sit-and-gos (SNGs), with highlights like the $12.5 million GTD Venom Hold’em tournament.

America’s Cardroom particularly shines with its bustling tables and hefty prize pools, offering New York players a chance to compete in a challenging environment.

Are offshore poker sites a good option for NY online poker fans?

Using offshore poker sites isn’t advisable for online poker fans in New York. These sites lack the consumer protections provided by legal and regulated platforms, exposing players to potential identity theft and financial risks.

Federal authorities have cautioned against using offshore sites due to the absence of legal recourse in case of disputes or issues with winnings.

Although offshore sites might be tempted by a wider array of betting options and bigger incentives, the hazards involved outweigh any potential benefits for New York online poker enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Question

Can you play online poker in NY with a VPN?

While some individuals claim they can play online poker in New York using a VPN without repercussions, this practice is not advisable.

Playing online poker with a VPN in New York violates both the terms of service of poker sites and potentially state or federal laws.

Despite assertions on platforms like Reddit, using a VPN to access online poker may lead to legal troubles.

It’s essential to adhere to the rules and regulations set forth by poker sites and the law to avoid any potential consequences.

Is PokerStars legal in NY?

PokerStars is currently unavailable in New York because online poker hasn’t been legalized in the state yet. Therefore, residents of New York cannot legally access PokerStars for online poker activities.

Can you play WSOP in NY?

As of now, real-money online poker, including platforms like WSOP, is not legally permitted in New York.


Legal restrictions make it crucial for players in New York to choose the right online poker site. It’s essential to opt for reputable offshore platforms that provide a safe and enjoyable gaming environment.

Participating in tournaments, whether online or at venues like Turning Stone Resort Casino, reflects the thriving poker community in New York, offering players chances to showcase their skills and vie for significant prizes.

Having effective poker strategies is vital for players of all levels, encompassing aspects like bankroll management, understanding poker odds, and mastering the psychological dynamics of online play.

These strategies form the foundation of successful poker and can greatly enhance the gaming experience.

As the legal landscape for online poker in New York evolves, staying informed is key. Players should actively seek out updates on legal changes, new site offerings, and strategic insights.

This proactive approach not only ensures compliance with existing laws but also positions players to capitalize on emerging opportunities.

New York’s online poker scene is dynamic and promising. With proper preparation and awareness of the evolving landscape, players can relish the excitement of the game while anticipating future developments that may further elevate the poker experience in the Empire State.


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As an avid enthusiast of the thrilling world of poker, casino gaming, baccarat, and sports betting, Anna Harley brings a wealth of passion and expertise to the virtual pages of gamblingpoker.org. With a keen eye for the nuances of the gambling industry, Anna Harley has been dedicated to delivering insightful and engaging content that resonates with both seasoned players and those new to the excitement of games of chance.