How to Get a Betting License in New York

In the state of New York, pari-mutuel betting is perfectly legal, provided you have a license. The process seems easy enough: you apply for the license after purchasing the required equipment, and then you can start making wagers. But, as with most things in life, there are actually several steps involved. Before you begin, it is essential that you familiarize yourself with the basics of betting and pari-mutuel wagering. Also, be aware that there are reporting requirements that you must follow, as well as licensing limits that you must observe.

The Basics Of Betting

Before you begin taking bets, it is essential that you understand the basics of the activity. First, you must have two players involved in the activity. Second, you must have an even number of participants (at least six, but not more than twelve, according to most legal guidelines). Third, the players must be of legal age to gamble (a minimum of eighteen years of age, with some exceptions). Finally, you must be physically situated in the state of New York (this may also be restricted to licensed locations, such as casinos or racetracks). If you meet these criteria, you are ready to apply for a betting license in New York state.

The Process Of Getting A LICENSE

As mentioned above, in order to legally engage in pari-mutuel betting in the state of New York, you must first obtain a license. To do this, you will first need to contact the New York State Gaming Commission at 516-486-5000, or visit their website at The Gaming Commission is the agency that regulates and monitors all aspects of the industry, so this is the place to start if you are interested in getting a license.

After submitting the application, you will receive a response within four to six weeks. Once you have received a response from the New York State Gaming Commission, you can begin taking wagers. Keep in mind that you must renew your license every year, and you must pay a fee for the privilege of doing business in New York state (this fee is currently set at a whopping $25,000).

Pari-Mutuel Wagering

In the above section, we discussed the basics of betting. Now, let’s discuss pari-mutuel wagering. This is a type of betting in which the payout is based on the sum of all the bets made on the event. For example, if there is a $10 wager placed on each of the four horses in a race, then the payout will be $40 (2 x $10).

This form of betting is becoming increasingly popular, especially with sports fans who want to wager on their favorite teams and athletes. Also, since pari-mutuel wagering is based on the total amount of money wagered, it is an efficient way of doing business when there are large numbers of bettors. Bookmakers (those who receive wagers and payouts) usually assign specific odds to each event, which means the odds of getting a specific payout (win, place, show, and score) are determined by the amount of money wagered on that event.

Reporting Requirements

It would be a mistake to think that all the paperwork involved in getting a license is the responsibility of the licensee. You, as the bettor, are actually required to report certain information about your wagers to the appropriate authorities (this is called ‘racing and wagering’ or ‘gambling’ reporting).

For instance, if you are placing a wager at a racetrack and the sum is more than $10, you must report that activity to the IRS. You also need to report your winnings (and losses) at bookies and casinos to the IRS. Further, in order to maintain your license, you must keep records of all your wagers and reporting activities for three years. If you violate this requirement, you may be issued a fine (this is all done automatically by the New York State Gaming Commission).

In some cases, gamblers have gotten in trouble with the law for failing to report their wagering activities. Keep in mind that if you do get in trouble, you are not doing this alone. The lawyer who handles your case will also be responsible for ensuring that the required paperwork is filed and that you are not liable for any taxes associated with your gambling activities. If you are looking for an experienced team that can handle all the legal paperwork and tax issues associated with gambling, then contact a reputable law firm, like Majestic Anapolous LLP, for help. Alternatively, you can use a service like Tax Attorney Zebra, which handles all the information and forms for you, so all you have to do is pay the bill.


Just because you have a license to gamble does not mean that you can do so any old place. For instance, you must maintain a physical location in the state of New York, and you are normally restricted to accepting wagers from residents of that state. In most cases, you also cannot accept wagers from overseas bettors. Finally, you must ensure that your betting activity does not interfere with the operation of the racetrack or casino where you are conducting your business. If you break this rule, you may be deemed to have committed an illegal activity and subject to enforcement action by the state or federal government.

Final Thoughts

In the above section, we discussed the basics of betting and pari-mutuel wagering. Now, let’s discuss some of the pitfalls that you need to avoid. First, make sure that you are physically situated in the state of New York. Second, make sure that you have the legal right to engage in the activity (this is usually restricted to licensed locations, such as casinos or racetracks). Third, make sure that you report all your gambling activities to the IRS (this is done automatically; you do not have to do it yourself). Finally, make sure to obey all the rules and regulations pertaining to your license (this includes maintaining accurate records, not accepting wagers from out-of-state residents, and adhering to the location restrictions placed upon you by the state government). If you meet these criteria, then enjoy the fruits of your labor and look forward to a long and prosperous career in the exciting world of gambling!