Is Online Poker Legal in New York?
New York, the seventh most populated state in America. Whilst it is most commonly associated with the sprawling metropolis of the same name, there is so much more to see here. This includes an absolutely stunning landscape just outside of the main cities, which plays host to a couple of national parks, but perhaps more importantly, the beautiful Niagra Falls. Let’s take a little look at what the gambling laws are like in the state of New York.
Gambling Laws in New York state that somebody is engaging in gambling when they stake something in a competition based on chance, with the agreement that they will receive something should a certain outcome occur. In New York legislation, a game of chance means a contest or game where the outcome is dependent on an element of chance, whether skill is involved or not. In short, any form of gambling (unless the state has given it express permission to go ahead) is completely illegal in the state.
The penalties for breaking the law do not effect players. In fact, there are no charges applicable to players who engage in illegal gambling. However, those who run the gambling activities will be subject to the full force of the law, of which the penalties are fairly severe. The majority of charges here are felonies and can include charges for avoiding tax. There are regular patrols out trying to crack down on illegal gambling in New York and thus it is hard to run an operation.
There are some forms of gambling which are allowed by the state of New York. This includes horse racing, a state lottery and tribal gambling casinos. Charitable gambling is also allowed providing it sticks to certain rules. One of the key things about the legislation in New York is that unlike some other states it makes special provision for those that are gambling socially, and as long as the establishment does not make a fee then it is allowed.
Casinos and Live Poker
Only tribal casinos are able to offer live poker as an option, and even then they are subject to specific rules. In addition to this, you will be able to play poker socially as long as nobody is making a profit from operating the table. There is no such thing as charitable poker in the eyes of the law as it is specifically excluded from the legislation. All forms of commercial gambling are illegal here.
Online Poker in New York
There is no specific mention of online gambling in the New York legislation, although various statements from officials in the state have indicated that it will be completely illegal. However, as mentioned before, it is only illegal to operate a commercial venture in New York, which means legally players would be able to place bets online on websites based in other states.
There is a good chance that online gaming will be allowed, albeit highly regulated, in the near future. This is due to support from many of the residents of New York and of course support from those making the legislation, although it is unknown how long it would take for this legislation to be pushed through, all we know is that the chances are much better than a number of other states.