It’s a question that gets asked a lot when it comes to sports betting in New York: is it legal?
The short answer is yes, but there are restrictions. While it’s perfectly legal to engage in wagering on sports in New York, you must be aware of the rules and regulations that govern this activity.
To start, it is illegal to sell bets at retail in New York. You cannot go to a bookmaker and lay $100 on the Yankees to beat the Red Sox. You have to do that yourself. The same goes for online wagering. If you are looking to make a sports wager online, you will have to do so anonymously through an affiliate program or a gaming website that is based outside of New York.
Also, it is against the law to bring ‘racehorses’ or ‘athletic books’ into New York. If you are caught with a handicap bet in your hand in the subway, you will face severe penalties.
That being said, there are ways that you can wager on sports in New York without breaking any laws. For instance, there are online sportsbooks that allow for interstate betting or remote wagering. New York’s laws do not apply to your transactions taking place outside of the state. Plus, there are a variety of ways for you to get odds on your favoirte sports team without having to lay your own money at the gaming table. (More on that below.)
Legal Betting in New York
In the eyes of the law, sports wagering is legal in New York. However, there are some restrictions. To begin with, you cannot sell wagers at retail in the state. That means you cannot go to a bookmaker and lay $100 on the Yankees to beat the Red Sox. You have to do that yourself.
Also, it is illegal to use ‘racehorses’ or ‘athletic books’ in New York. If you are found to be possessing these items, you could face severe penalties. That includes everything from probation to jail time. But, as we mentioned above, there are ways around that. For instance, you can use a virtual wallet to bet on sports. That way you are not technically in possession of the item. Instead, you are paying for the privilege of wagering through an affiliate or registering on a gaming website that is based outside of New York.
How to Make Legal Sports Betting in New York
Nowadays, nearly all states allow for some form of wagering on sports. That means you might not have to find a way around every brick-and-mortar bookmaker. Plus, if you are looking for an alternative, there are plenty of states where you can legally place your wagers. (Check with the state regulatory agencies in case you are not sure whether or not this is permissible in your state.)
However, it is important to keep in mind the various rules and regulations that apply to your particular situation. First of all, make sure that what you are doing is indeed legal in New York. If in doubt, consult an attorney or a legal professional. They will be able to advise you of the proper procedures and actions you should take to keep on the right side of the law.
The Legal Vs. Illegal Variations
There are a few ways in which sports betting can be carried out illegally in New York, but it is also possible to do it legally. For instance, it is a crime to bring ‘racehorses’ or ‘athletic books’ into the state. However, if you are wagering on the internet or through an affiliate program, there are no laws that prevent you from doing so. Plus, there are a variety of ways for online bettors to get odds on their favorite teams without having to be in physical possession of the items.
If you choose to wager illegally, you are risking your freedom and maybe even going to jail. However, if you decide to go ahead and bet legally, you are taking the chance that the law could come down on you. (And yes, often times they do come down hard on people who play by the rules and follow the laws. However, it is always important to consider the fact that there will always be someone who breaks the law. That is why it is important to follow the rules and regulations whenever possible.)
The Penalties for Illegal Betting in New York
If you are found to be engaging in illegal sports betting, you could find yourself facing some very serious penalties. First of all, you could go to jail. (Though that is usually only the case if you are found to be organizing betting rings or conspiracies to fix games. But still, it is possible to go to jail for sports betting.)
Secondly, you could lose your professional license. (Though that is normally only the case if you are found to be selling bets at retail in the state or in a case where you are running an illegal bookmaker. Still, it is possible to lose your license for sports betting.)
Third, you could see your taxes increased. (Though that might not be the case if you are a professional gambler and you are making a living off of your betting. Still, it is possible for the IRS to come down hard on independent contractors like yourself if they determine that you are playing a largely passive role in the betting.)
Fourth, you could see your savings or retirement accounts confiscated. (Though that would not be the case if you are independently wealthy and you are able to support yourself without any outside income. Still, it is possible that the IRS could come after your down payment on a home or your IRA if they determine that you are using those accounts to fund your illegal gambling.)
The Rewards For Legal Betting in New York
Despite the risks and the possibility of getting caught, there are still many benefits to betting on sports legally. First of all, you are likely to not encounter many problems. At least not serious problems. Second, you are sure to enjoy a much greater degree of privacy when doing so. Third, you can ensure that your personal information is protected. (Though that depends on how you choose to carry out your wagering. There are legal ways to do sports betting that use a VPN to ensure that your privacy is never compromised.) Fourth, you can ensure that the money you are making is actually yours. (Though that depends on how you carry out your wagering. For example, you could use an escrow service to guarantee that your funds are being held until the conclusion of the bet. Then, when the game ends and the team you bet on wins, they will release your winnings to you.)
Overall, while it is legal to engage in wagering in New York, you should still consult an attorney if you are unsure of how to go about doing so. This is especially important if you are planning on using a bookmaker at all. (Though it is possible to get odds on your favorite teams through an affiliate program or a registration on a secure gaming website.)