Introduction to New York Betting Laws

Legal gambling activity in the state of New York is governed by a combination of state and federal laws, with state law actually having minimal impact on legal NY sports betting opportunities. This portion of our guide will provide an overview of the primary laws, both federal and state, that dictate sports gambling regulations for New York residents. This page is not designed to serve as professional legal advice or any type of legal services. We are not lawyers. We are experienced sports bettors with an intimate understanding of the industry and how it works and functions. If you are actually looking for any type of professional legal service, we recommend that you contact a lawyer. We are providing this information so that anyone considering participating in the online sports betting industry will have access to information concerning the legalities of their gambling decisions. This information does apply to New York NFL betting and New York NBA betting opportunities.

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New York State Betting Laws

State laws and statutes actually have very little impact on sports betting for New York residents. In actuality, NY state gambling laws do not even mention sports betting, however their laws do impact your choices and decisions when it comes to sportsbook wagering. First, NY state law does render it a crime to participate in unlicensed gambling operations, and specifically to operate one. This means that NY residents need to be cautious about where they choose to bet, knowing for certain that their gambling destination is licensed and regulated, and operating legitimately within the industry. Secondly, NY residents must adhere to the state's legal gambling age restrictions when enjoying online sports betting activities. This means that bettors must be at least 21 years of age to legally participate in any type of gambling entertainment, regardless of whether or not that destination requires a lower minimum age. For example, many online sportsbooks allow bettors as young as 18. This does not supersede state law, hence New York bettors must be 21 or older to legally gamble online. Other than these two requirements / restrictions, NY sports wagering is governed by US federal laws.

Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act

This law was passed in 1991, and effectively outlaws sports betting everywhere aside from a few select destinations. When passed, the law actually provided a one year grace period for states that were interested in adding sports betting to their list of legal gambling offerings. This grace extension period was actually conceived with the state of New Jersey in mind. Oddly, the state of New Jersey did not take advantage of the opportunity despite their strong gambling presence, something they are likely kicking themselves for right now after their demoralizing loss on the legalization of sports betting in the Garden State. PASPA does provide four exemptions to the ban, including Nevada, Delaware, Montana and Oregon. New Jersey recently attempted to challenge the law as a violation of state's rights, but was unsuccessful, and was opposed strongly by the NFL, NBA, MLB and NCAA. This law applies only to US based sportsbooks, and does not apply to those offshore sports betting sites that are located outside of the US.

Federal Wire Act f 1961

This controversial law remains intact as of this writing, though it has been challenged by many a naysayer. This law prohibits bets from being placed through a wire communication transmission. The DOJ has clarified the definition to include Internet access. The reason this law is considered controversial and is often debated and argued, is because it was passed long before the Internet was a possibility or concept, and was specifically created to stop the mob related illegal sports betting that was taking place via telephone communication. Many argue that the interpretation of the Federal Wire Act is misapplied by including Internet transmissions in the restrictions set forth in the law. Despite the controversy, it is enforced as the law of the land and effectively prohibits US based online sports betting. Like the PASPA law, it does not apply to legally licensed and regulated offshore sportsbooks.