Can You Play Online Poker in New York?
No, you cannot play online poker for real money in New York. Unfortunately, for poker enthusiasts in the state, New York offers no state-regulated online poker rooms at this time. Poker has been a popular game in New York, with live poker clubs running since as far back as the 19th century.
Today, the state has many commercial and tribal casinos with live poker rooms. Despite this, New York online poker remains illegal and may remain so for the next few years. Although efforts are underway to legalize online gambling in the state, only sports betting has been legalized so far.
Why Not? What Are the Online Poker Laws in New York?
Unlike some of its neighbors like New Jersey and Pennsylvania, New York has yet to legalize online poker. Online poker is not explicitly banned in the state’s laws, but it has not been explicitly criminalized either. This is sort of ironic since tribal and commercial casinos have been offering live poker rooms for New Yorkers for several years.
Due to the unclear nature of New York online poker legislation, there are no legitimate online poker operators offering games to players within the city. The only (risky) alternative for New Yorkers is to play on offshore gambling sites or poker rooms. These are sites with international licenses that allow registration from poker players in New York.
Despite their growing popularity, MyPokerCoaching does not recommend playing poker on offshore sites because these sites pose significant risks for players. Since these sites are not licensed by US authorities, there are no legal protections for players who deposit money on them. This means you’ll have no legal recourse if you encounter any problems on offshore sites.
Also, since these sites are not held by any standards, there’s no guarantee of game integrity or the security of player funds. There have been reports of collusion, cheating, fraud, and other issues on these sites in the past. There have also been cases when the sites were shut down without notice, with no chance of recovering player deposits and winnings.
Potential New York Poker Sites to Launch in the Future
Poker has been popular in New York for many years, but the state is still to regulate online poker sites. There have been several attempts at it over the years, but so far, none have come to fruition.
It is a pretty safe bet that online poker in NY will be regulated at some point in the future, so the only real question is when. While it’s hard to give any definitive answer at this point in time, we continue to monitor the situation and will keep you updated with any important developments.
When online poker is finally legal in NY, there are a few sites that we can expect to go live. These are all operators with a major presence in the regulated US market, and they’ll likely jump at the opportunity to expand their presence.
BetMGM Poker New York
BetMGM has established itself as a household name in the regulated US online poker space, and the operator will likely be among the first to stake a claim in such an attractive new market.
We expect BetMGM Poker will bring out a platform similar to that in other states like PA, MI, and NJ. A poker client powered by the PartyPoker technology offers a modern and very reliable solution for all online poker fans, even if it is not as rich in functionalities as some other platforms.
In terms of game variety, players can look forward to a nice mix of online tournaments, a wide range of cash game stakes, and, in all likelihood, BetMGM Poker’s staple SPINS – a hugely popular sit & go variation featuring a random jackpot.
It is also likely that BetMGM Poker NY will come out of the gate swinging, offering a generous welcome bonus. With what’s likely to be heavy competition in the state, all sites will look for ways to stand out, and this is generally a good thing for the players.
PokerStars New York
Although the company couldn’t enter the US before 2016, PokerStars has established itself as a staple name of online poker in the country, just like they have done in the global market.
Once the regulation is finally passed, the launch of PokerStars is pretty much a guarantee. This is especially true if the state passes a law with the expectation of joining the MSIGA, as the operator seems eager to take advantage of opportunities provided by interstate poker.
But even without that particular element, NY is a big enough market on its own.
What PokerStars brings to the table is the operator’s experience in organizing major online series, first and foremost. US versions of ‘COOP events have been hugely successful in all states where the site currently has a presence, and there is no reason to think New York would be an exception.
PokerStars also offers one of the best software solutions for desktop computers and mobile devices alike. This enhances the player experience and certainly helps push the site towards the top of the list when deciding where to play.
WSOP New York
The third NY poker site likely to go live as soon as legal requirements are met is WSOP.com. Right now, WSOP is the only operator present in all regulated US markets with active poker sites, and the company is on the constant lookout for expansion opportunities.
WSOP.com has one trump card that no other operators can match, which is its ability to host bracelet-awarding events and exclusive satellites to live World Series of Poker tournaments. This has helped the operator remain competitive across the country.
A launch in a new state would likely mean an exclusive bracelet series, giving players in the state great opportunities to win some WSOP silverware from the comfort of their home, and if past experience is any indicator, this is an opportunity that players jump on.
WSOP should have no problem claiming its fair share of the new market despite competitors, with the operators’ numbers surging during major live and online events.