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Introduction to New York Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2020

New York slot machine casino gambling consists of eleven tribal casinos, eight pari-mutuel racetracks with slot machines, four casino resorts, and two nearby Canadian casinos.

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A theoretical payout limit exists for the seven Class III tribal casinos. Return statistics are publicly available for the eight racinos and four casino resorts.

This post continues my weekly State-By-State Slot Machine Casino Gambling Series, an online resource dedicated to guiding slot machine casino gambler to success. Now in its third year, each weekly post reviews slots gambling in a single U.S. state, territory, or federal district.

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Relevant Legal Statutes on Gambling in New York*

The minimum legal gambling age in New York depends upon the gambling activity:

  • Land-Based Casinos: 21/19/18
  • Poker Rooms: 21
  • Bingo: 18
  • Lottery: 18
  • Pari-Mutuel Wagering: 18

The legal gambling age is 21 for casinos owned by the Seneca Nation of Indians, but 18 for other casinos in New York. At Canadian casinos in the province of Ontario, the minimum legal gambling age is 19. For the province of Quebec, it’s 18.

Until 1993, tribal casinos in the state of New York had only Class II bingo halls. That year, the St. Regis Mohawk Tribe negotiated a state-tribal compact for Class III Vegas-style slot machines.

As a result, all Class III tribal casinos have video lottery terminals (VLTs) controlled by the New York State Lottery. While these electronic games appear to be typical video slot machines, the results of a bet are instead determined off-site by a central lottery system.

*The purpose of this section is to inform the public of state gambling laws and how the laws might apply to various forms of gaming. It is not legal advice.

Slot Machine Private Ownership in New York

It is legal to own a slot machine privately in the state of New York if it is 30 years old or older.

Gaming Control Board in New York

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Created in 2012, the New York State Gaming Commission has merged from the New York State Division of Lottery and the New York State Racing and Wagering Board.

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Currently, this Commission regulates all aspects of gaming activity in the state of New York including charitable gaming.

Casinos in New York

There are eleven tribal casinos, eight pari-mutuel racetracks with slot machines, and four casino resorts in the state of New York.

The largest casino in New York is Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway with 5,300 gaming machines.

The second-largest casino is Resorts World Casino New York City with 4,995 gaming machines.

The State of New York has an extraordinary gaming industry because of the many types of casinos available to its residents. New York has tribal casinos with and without tribal compacts, casino resorts, racinos, cruise ships, and even readily accessible international casinos just across the border to Canada.

Commercial Casinos in New York

The eight racetracks with slot machines (racinos) in New York are:

  1. Batavia Downs Gaming & Hotel located in Batavia found 44 miles east of Buffalo.
  2. Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway found 22 miles North-northeast of New York City.
  3. Finger Lakes Gaming & Racetrack located in Farmington found 64 miles west of Syracuse.
  4. Hamburg Gaming at The Fairgrounds found 13 miles south of Buffalo.
  5. Jake’s 58 Hotel & Casino located in Islandia found 50 miles east of New York City.
  6. Nassau Downs at Resorts World Casino New York City located in Jamaica, Queens found 17 miles east of New York City.
  7. Saratoga Casino Hotel located in Saratoga Springs found 139 miles east of Syracuse.
  8. Vernon Downs Casino Hotel located in Vernon found 39 miles east of Syracuse.

The four casinos resorts in New York are:

  1. del Lago Resort Casino located in Waterloo found 47 miles west of Syracuse.
  2. Resorts World Catskills located in Kiamesha Lake found 96 miles northwest of New York City.
  3. Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady found 128 miles east of Syracuse.
  4. Tioga Downs Casino Resort located in Nichols found 102 miles south of Syracuse.

Tribal Casinos in New York

The seven tribal casinos with Class III Vegas-style slot machines in New York are:

  1. Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Resort located in Hogansburg found 176 miles northeast of Syracuse on the Canadian border.
  2. Point Place Casino located in Bridgeport found 15 miles northeast of Syracuse.
  3. Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel located in Salamanca found 63 miles south of Buffalo.
  4. Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino located in Buffalo.
  5. Seneca Niagara Casino located in Niagara Falls found 19 miles northwest of Buffalo on the Canadian border to Quebec.
  6. Turning Stone Casino Resort located in Verona found 35 miles east of Syracuse.
  7. Yellow Brick Road Casino located in Chittenango found 16 miles west of Syracuse.

The four tribal casinos with Class II bingo-style gaming machines in New York are:

  1. Lakeside Entertainment located in Union Springs found 41 miles southwest of Syracuse.
  2. Seneca Gaming – Irving located in Irving found 29 miles southwest of Buffalo.
  3. Seneca Gaming – Oil Spring located in Cuba found 69 miles southeast of Buffalo.
  4. Seneca Gaming – Salamanca located in Salamanca found 63 miles south of Buffalo.

Other Gambling Establishments

As an alternative to enjoying New York slot machine casino gambling, consider exploring casino options in a nearby state. Bordering New York is:

  • North: The Canadian Provinces of Ontario and Quebec
  • East: Connecticut Slots, Massachusetts Slots, and Vermont Slots
  • South and West: Pennsylvania Slots and New Jersey Slots

Each of the links above will take you to my blog for that neighboring U.S. state to New York.

Canadian casinos are across the international border from the State of New York in the Niagara Falls region near Buffalo as well as in Montreal near upstate New York.

Otherwise, cruise ships with onboard casinos depart from the New York Manhattan Cruise Terminal for international destinations.

Our New York Slots Facebook Group

Are you interested in sharing and learning with other slots enthusiasts in New York? If so, join our new New York slots community on Facebook. All you’ll need is a Facebook profile to join this closed Facebook Group freely.

There, you’ll be able to privately share your slots experiences as well as chat with players about slots gambling in New York. Join us!

Payout Returns in New York

Each casino type in New York has its own gaming regulations, so theoretical payout limits and return statistics have several varieties. I’ll review them.

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  • Class II competition-style gaming machines at tribal casinos are subject to the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act, a federal law, which does not set payout limits nor require public reporting of return statistics.
  • Class III Vegas-style slot machines at tribal casinos are subject to tribal-state gaming compacts stating VLTs are controlled off-site by the New York State Lottery. These VLTs have a minimum theoretical payout limit of 92%. No return statistics are publicly available.
  • Commercial casino resorts do not have theoretical payout limits. Return statistics are publicly available as weekly and monthly reports. See the Commercial Gaming Reports tab at the NY State Gaming Commission.
  • Commercial racetracks with their video slot machines do not have theoretical payout limits. Return statistics are publicly available as weekly and monthly reports. See the Video Gaming Reports tab at the NY State Gaming Commission.

Regarding monthly return statistics for the commercial sites, player win percentage is available only after performing a simple calculation. Specifically, divide Credits Won by Credits Played and then multiply the result by 100% to get Player Win%.

The monthly Player Win% for February 2020 at each casino resort was:

  1. del Lago: 90.4%
  2. Resorts World Catskills: 90.7%
  3. Rivers: 90.8%
  4. Tioga Downs: 91.6%

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In February 2020, the highest return for a casino resort was at Tioga Downs with 91.6% while the lowest return was at del Lago with 90.4%.

The monthly Player Win% for February 2020 at each commercial racetrack with video slot machines was:

  1. Batavia Downs: 91.6%
  2. Empire City: 93.4%
  3. Finger Lakes: 92.1%
  4. Hamburg Gaming: 91.5%
  5. Jake’s 58: 93.8%
  6. Nassau Downs: 97.4%
  7. Saratoga: 92.2%
  8. Vernon Downs: 91.8%

In February 2020, the highest return for a pari-mutuel racino was at Nassau Downs at Resorts World New York City with 97.4% while the lowest return was at Hamburg Gaming with 91.5%. For the same month, the overall state total was 94.1%.

Summary of New York Slot Machine Casino Gambling in 2020

New York slot machine casino gambling consists of eleven tribal casinos, eight racinos, four casino resorts, multiple cruise ships sailing out of New York City to international destinations, and two nearby casinos across the border to Canada.

VLTs at Class III tribal casinos have a minimum theoretical payout limit of 92%. None of the tribal casinos offer return statistics, but casino resorts and racinos have weekly and monthly reports available online.

Annual Progress in New York Slot Machine Casino Gambling

Over the last year, there has been little change in the slots gaming industry in the state of New York.

Related Articles from Professor Slots

Other State-By-State Articles from Professor Slots

  • Previous: New Mexico Slot Machine Casino Gambling
  • Next: North Carolina Slot Machine Casino Gambling

Have fun, be safe, and make good choices!
By Jon H. Friedl, Jr. Ph.D., President
Jon Friedl, LLC