New York

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Major events in New York gaming history


Goshen opens for harness racing


Saratoga Race Course opens in August


The original Aqueduct Race Course opens in September


The State Racing Commission is formed


Yonkers Raceway opens as the Empire City Trotting Club


Jamaica Race Track opens


Belmont Park opens in May


Thoroughbred racing reopens Empire City, which had been closed since its inaugural year


Pari-mutuel wagering is legalized
Batavia and Roosevelt Raceways open in September


Saratoga Raceway opens in June


Buffalo Raceway opens in June
Last year of Thoroughbred racing at Empire City


Empire City returns to harness racing


Empire City is renamed Yonkers Raceway


Last year of racing at the original Aqueduct track


A constitutional amendment authorizes bingo for qualified organizations


A new Aqueduct Racetrack, near the original property, opens in September
Last year of racing at Jamaica


Finger Lakes Racetrack opens in May


 Belmont Park is torn down and is closed for several years during construction


Voters approve a constitutional amendment authorizing a state lottery


The New York Lottery begins ticket sales in June


Belmont Park reopens with a new grandstand


Off-track betting is authorized, allowing communities to operate OTB facilities


New York City OTB is the first OTB operator in the state, followed by Schenectady OTB


The New York State Racing and Wagering Board is created, consolidating oversight of various wagering activities


Western OTB is formed


Suffolk OTB is formed
Capital District OTB is formed and replaces Schenectady OTB
Games of chance are authorized via a constitutional amendment


Catskill OTB is formed
Tioga Downs opens for Quarter Horse racing


The Lottery’s first lotto game is introduced
Last year of Quarter Horse racing at Tioga


Lotto gets a transformation with the debut of a computerized system
The Daily Numbers 3-digit game is introduced in September


Win 4 is the Lottery’s second daily game


Simulcasting with video signals is authorized


The Lottery adds Pick 10, a keno style game


Last year of racing at Roosevelt Raceway


The Lottery introduces Take 5 in January


Turning Stone opens in July


The Lottery introduces Quick Draw keno in September


The Akwesasne Mohawk Casino opens in April


Legislation authorizes video gaming at the state’s racetracks


Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel opens in December
The Lottery joins Mega Millions


In January, Saratoga Casino and Raceway is the first racetrack to open a video gaming casino
The casinos at Finger Lakes, Fairgrounds (Buffalo Raceway) and Monticello Raceway open in February, March and June, respectively
Seneca Allegany Casino opens in May


Batavia opens its casino in May


Tioga Downs reopens as a harness track and casino in July
Empire City Casino at Yonkers and the Vernon Downs casino open in October  


Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino opens in July


The Lottery introduces Sweet Million


Powerball ticket sales begin in January
New York City OTB declares bankruptcy and ceases operations in December


Resorts World Casino New York at Aqueduct opens in October


The New York State Gaming Commission begins operations in February, combining the previous Racing & Wagering Board and Lottery


The Lottery launches Cash4Life in June, a multi-state game together with New Jersey
Seneca Gaming & Entertainment Oil Spring opens in June
The Lottery launches MONOPOLY Millionaires' Club with 22 other lotteries on October 19; the game was discontinued in December


Three new casino licenses are awarded in December
Yellow Brick Road Casino opens in May


In August, Tioga Downs is awarded a full casino license; the casino opens December 2


del Lago Casino and Resort opens February 1
Rivers Casino and Resort opens February 8
Jake's 58 Hotel and Casino, operated by Suffolk OTB, opens February 27 with video gaming machines


Online gaming

The New York Lottery offers in-state players the ability to purchase subscriptions for Lotto, Mega Millions and Cash4Life through its website. The Web-based service began with Lotto in 2005 and allows the use of credit cards.


Casinos and casino-style gaming

2001 legislation authorized video gaming terminals at the state’s harness tracks and at two Thoroughbred tracks. The first to open its casino was Saratoga Casino and Raceway in January 2004. A casino expansion initiative was passed in December 2014, and three new casino licenses were awarded in December 2015 - Montreign (near Monticello), Rivers Casino (Schenectady) and Lago Resort (Tyre, in Seneca County). A fourth license was awarded to Tioga Downs in August 2016; it became the first full casino to open on December 2, 2016.

Racetrack video gaming locations:
Batavia Downs Casino – 834 machines
Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway – 5,222 machines
Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack – 1,549 machines
Hamburg Casino at The Fairgrounds – 940 machines
Jake's 58 Hotel and Casino (Suffolk OTB) – 275 machines
Monticello Casino and Raceway – 1,110 machines
Resorts World Casino New York (Aqueduct) – 5,557 machines (including 460 designated as Nassau OTB machines)
Saratoga Casino and Raceway – 1,708 machines
Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel – 767 machines

Commercial casino locations:
del Lago Casino and Resort – 2,001 machines, 77 table games, 12 poker tables
Rivers Casino and Resort – 1,150 machines, 67 table games, 15 poker tables
Tioga Downs Casino – 894 machines, 23 table games, 12 poker tables

The racetrack gaming operations are run by the New York Lottery; the commercial casino operations are overseen by the New York Gaming Commission.

Tribal gaming

There are three tribes in New York with Class III gaming compacts and they operate ten gaming facilities.

Oneida Nation of New York – Turning Stone Casino, Yellow Brick Road Casino
Seneca Nation of New York – Seneca Allegany Casino, Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino, Seneca Niagara Casino, and Seneca Gaming and Entertainment Centers (Class II) in Cuba (Oil Spring), Irving and Salamanca
St. Regis Band of Mohawk Indians of New York – Akwesasne Mohawk Casino, Mohawk Bingo Palace

The New York State Gaming Commission has oversight of tribal gaming.



The New York Lottery began ticket sales in June 1967 and is the second-oldest U.S. lottery. The current game offerings include instant tickets, Powerball, Mega Millions, Lotto, Cash4Life, Daily Numbers, Win 4, Take 5, Quick Draw Keno and Pick 10.

Lottery proceeds benefit education, providing funding for local school districts.

New York Lottery (New York State Gaming Commission)
P.O. Box 7500
Schenectady, NY 12301
Phone (518) 388-3300

Pari-mutuel facilities

There are currently 11 commercial racetracks operating in the state. Several state fairs offer non-pari-mutuel racing, and the Goshen Historic Track annually offers racing for a few days each summer. Off-track betting began in 1971; simulcasting began in 1984.

Aqueduct Racetrack
110-00 Rockaway Blvd.
Jamaica, NY 11420

Belmont Park
2150 Hempstead Turnpike
Elmont, NY 11003

Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack
5857 Route 96
Farmington, NY 14425

Saratoga Race Course  
267 Union Avenue
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Batavia Downs
8315 Park Road
Batavia, NY 14020

Buffalo Raceway (at The Fairgrounds)
5600 McKinley Parkway
Hamburg, NY 14075

Monticello Casino and Raceway
204 Route 17B
Monticello, NY 12701

Saratoga Casino and Raceway
342 Jefferson Street
Saratoga Springs, NY 12866

Tioga Downs
2384 W. River Road
Nichols, NY 13812

Vernon Downs
4229 Stuhlman Rd.
Vernon, NY 13476

Yonkers Raceway  
810 Yonkers Ave
Yonkers, NY 10704

New York State Gaming Commission 
1 Broadway Center, Suite 600
Schenectady, NY 12305
Phone (518) 395-5400

Charitable gaming

Qualified charitable, religious and other non-profit organizations may sell bell jar tickets (pulltabs) and conduct bingo, raffles and games of chance, including Las Vegas nights, for fundraising purposes.

New York State Gaming Commission 
1 Broadway Center, Suite 600
Schenectady, NY 12305
Phone (518) 395-5400 

Last updated on March 18 2017