What You Should Know about New York Casinos

June 22, 2012

New York casinos have a lot to offer visitors, When you think of casinos, Las Vegas may be the first place that comes to mind. This is because it’s the only place in the United States where casino-style gambling is legal throughout the state but there are some too in New York. This may be a little surprising to some people since gambling in New York is illegal, with the exception of lottery and the off-track betting. Every once in a while bingo games and similar events are held but they do need a license to hold these events.

So, since gambling is illegal, you may be wondering how they have casinos in NY. The answer is simple. All of the New York Casinos are owned and operated by Native Indians on their own land. This land is not subject to the New York state law but falls under the “Indian Gaming Regulatory Act” that was passed in 1988 by Congress. This law allows Indian tribes that are federally recognized to hold gambling activities under specific circumstances in any state across the U.S.

Therefore, if you want to gamble in the United States in any state other than Las Vegas, you can visit an Indian Casino. However, this could change in the near future for New Yorkers. There are talks about bringing Las Vegas style casinos to New York. But in the meantime, here’s what the New York Casinos have to offer now.

There are no casinos located directly in New York City but they are located on the outskirts of the city. For this reason, you will need to travel just outside the city limits to visit a NY casino. It’s not that far to go and the unique experience that you’ll have when in these casinos is well worth the short trip you’ll have to take to get to them so it’s more convenient than you might think. If you’re planning a trip to New York City and would like to do a little gambling while you’re there, here’s some information that can be very useful.

General Information about NY Casinos

In New York State most of the legal gaming is restricted to what is deemed as Class II games. These consist of slot machines, poker, bingo and parimutuel betting, which is making wagers on the races. In upstate New York there are four casinos operated by three Native American Tribes. These are allowed to have Class III tables such as craps, baccarat, blackjack and roulette.

The Seneca Nation of Indians owns the Seneca Niagara Casino that opened in 2003. The Seneca Nation has several other casinos scattered around New York State and this was the second one they opened. It’s an enormous 147,000-square-foot and in 2006, they added on a hotel with 26 stories and 600 rooms. It has about 100 table games, 4,200 slot machines and a poker room with 16 tables.

The Oneida Indian Nation owns the Turning Stone Resort Casino that opened in 1993. This casino stretches over 1,200 acres and there are four hotels and an RV Park on the premises. It has 80 table games, 2,400 slot machines and a poker room with 31 tables. It also features a bingo hall with about 1,350 seats.

The Turning Stone Resort Championship held each year by the PGA Tour’s is hosted at the Atunyote Golf Club located on this property. In addition, they have two more golf courses along with a golf-training center built indoors. The state refused to grant the casino a liquor license in 2007 due to legal battles the tribe and state have been involved in since the casino opened but they hired a private caterer to serve alcohol on their property, so it is available.

The St. Regis Mohawk Tribe owns the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino that opened in 1999. This casino is a huge 50,000-square-foot. It has about 25 table games and 1,600 slot machines. There are two restaurants and a fast-food court in this casino. At this time, the “Akwesasne Mohawk Casino” is the only one that has a license for selling alcohol issued by the “New York State Liquor Authority.”

The legal age for gambling in New York casinos is 18 except for one place. At the Seneca Casino, you must be 21 years old to gamble.

Racinos are also available in New York. A Racino is a racetrack that also has slot machines so it kind of like a racetrack and casino combined. They don’t have Sportsbooks in the New York casinos so this is where you’d go if you enjoy betting on the horses.

Types of Games in NY Casinos

You’ll find a variety of games in the New York casinos that consist of table games, video poker, slots and video keno. When you win at one of the games, you’ll receive a ticket that you’ll take to the cashiers cage where you can exchange it for cash. There are no machines that distribute cash throughout any of the casinos.

The casinos in New York have basically the same table games that you would find in Las Vegas. The Roulette table, Blackjack and Craps are some of the most well known games found in New York but there are more to choose from. Here is a list the games you would expect to see in a casino, which are available in the ones in NY: Baccarat, Caribbean stud poker, big nine, big six, keno, let it ride, pai gow, mini baccarat and the money wheel.

Here is a list of the games you may not be familiar with but that are offered in these casinos: Acey ducey, bang, bell jars, the fruit wheel, hazard, beat the dealer, best poker hand, card wheel, chuck-a-luck, color wheel, joker seven, over seven, red dog and the merchandise wheels.

If you’ve never heard of some of these before, you’re probably not alone. However, if you like to try your hand at gambling, it would be great to try out something new. Betting on horse races is also available in the New York casinos and they have a horse race wheel, which is something else you might like to try out if you’ve never played one before.

Something for Everyone

When you visit New York, not everyone in your group may want to visit a casino but that doesn’t mean they’ll be left out with nothing to do. New York is famous for many other things and there are some amazing sites to see. The Statue of Liberty is one of the most famous tourist attraction found in the city followed by the Empire State Building and “Ground Zero.”

If visiting a huge city full of life is not your thing, you can travel north of the city where there is a lot of country and mountains to see. You can find Indian casinos in these areas, too.


Only Indian casinos are allowed in New York and they are located on the outskirts of the city and throughout other areas of the state. They have many of the same gaming options that you may be familiar with and some that you may not have ever tried before.

New York Casinos have a lot to offer visitors in the way of fun and excitement. It’s a lot different from Las Vegas but that’s one of the things that makes it exciting. If you enjoy gambling and love the excitement the Big Apple has to offer, now’s a good time to schedule a vacation in New York and visit one of the Indian Tribe Casinos.

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