New York is one of the biggest US states and is home to NYC, aka the Big Apple 🍎. It’s also one of the biggest jurisdictions where you can play online poker for real money.

We recommend sweepstakes online poker sites in the Empire State. where players can win real cash prizes. Sweepstakes poker sites offer tournaments on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis. There are also ring games available on some platforms.

Sweepstakes poker is also the best option for playing online poker in New York, since the state (like most states) doesn’t have a regulated market for online poker. Lawmakers have tried for more than a decade to establish such a market but have been unsuccessful so far.

We recommend Sweepstakes online poker in New York. Sweepstakes law in New York and almost every other state provides legal cover for sweepstakes online poker sites to operate. That makes them a popular choice among players in New York and other states without a legal regulated market for online poker.

Two sweepstakes online poker sites, ClubWPT and Global Poker, are both available to players in the Empire State. We recommend both of them, but it’s important to know that while they are both sweepstakes poker sites they operate in slightly different ways. We’ll go into detail explaining how the two platforms are different later in this guide, but players can win real cash prizes from both sites.

New Yorkers also have access to many free-play poker sites. We recommend these sites for beginners because they give players a place to learn all about the game without putting any money at risk.

Watch this space for updates on the future of online poker in New York!

Can I play online poker in New York?

Yes, you can play online poker in the Empire State! And as an added bonus, you also have options for where to play. Your choice hinges on whether you want to play for prizes that can be redeemed for real money or you just want to play for free.

If you’re looking for a chance to compete for cash prizes, and for an experience as close as possible to a real cash game, we recommend sweepstakes online poker. But if you’re new to online poker and just want to get your feet wet without putting any money at risk, we recommend free-play sites. This guide explains all of your options for online poker in New York.

Online Poker in New York: Key Facts
📢 What’s LegalSweepstakes, free-play, and social poker sites
🔮 Multi-State PokerCould launch in 2026 at the earliest
Main HighlightsSweepstakes poker offers prizes that can be redeemed for real money
🃏 Available GamesNo Limit Hold’em, Pot Limit Omaha, other variants
🎁 RewardsClubWPT Premium Rewards, Global Poker Daily Rewards
👥 NY Population19.6 Million (ranks 4th)

The Best Online Poker Sites in New York

If you’re looking to play online poker in New York and want an experience as close as possible to a real cash game, we recommend playing sweepstakes poker. On the other hand, if you’re a new player or just want to play for fun and not put any money at risk, we recommend visiting free-play sites.

There are two important things to remember about sweepstakes poker:

  • Players can win prizes that are redeemable for real money
  • “Sweepstakes poker” describes two types of an online poker site allowed under sweepstakes law in New York and most other states — traditional subscription-based and “modern” sweepstakes online poker sites

Players can win prizes that can be converted into real money on both platforms.

Subscription-based sites vs. modern sweepstakes — How do they work? Subscription sites are easy to understand — for a monthly fee, players can enter tournaments and win prizes redeemable for real money. Under modern sweepstakes, players use real money to buy play tokens that have no monetary value and can only be used on play-money games. Players are then gifted a different token, Sweeps Coins, which are considered entries into a sweepstakes. Sweeps Coins are used to access ring games and tournaments, which award prizes that can be converted into real money.

If you’re interested in subscription-based poker, we recommend ClubWPT. On the other hand, if the modern sweepstakes model sounds more like what you’re looking for, we recommend the site Global Poker. Both are solid platforms considered by many to be among the best on offer.

ClubWPT

ClubWPT online poker roomClubWPT is a subscription-based online poker site. It’s a popular platform in part because there are tournaments every day and, for a monthly fee, players have a chance to win access to World Poker Tour events.

You won’t be able to win real money prizes through ring games because ClubWPT is focused exclusively on tournaments. But there are sit & gos, and the California-based operator has a Premium Rewards program and a Loyalty Bonus Program.

Read our full review of ClubWPT »

Global Poker

Global Poker online poker roomGlobal Poker follows the modern sweepstakes model and is the largest such operator in the US. Players use real money to buy play tokens (aka Gold Coins) and are gifted Sweeps Coins to use on sweepstakes tables, where players can win prizes that are redeemable for real money.

The Australia-based site hosts major tournament series every year with millions guaranteed. Global Poker also features cash games and structures various promotions around its tournaments.

Read our full review of Global Poker »

Social and Free-Play Poker in New York

In New York, you also have the option of playing poker online for free without putting any money at risk. Free-play and so-called “social poker” sites are a great option for new players, especially if you’re still learning things like hand rankings and how betting works in a poker game.

Some of the more popular free-play sites available in New York include Zynga Poker, Replay Poker, and Governor of Poker. Most social media sites like Facebook also offer online poker for free. You will also find that two very popular operators, PokerStars and WSOP, also have a free version of their software. They offer a free place to play because they’re hoping the players that learn on their platform will stick around when they feel comfortable enough to play on their paid sites (which, unfortunately, likely won’t be available in New York until 2026 at the earliest).

It should be noted that new players won’t gain insight into poker strategy if they only visit free-play sites. That’s because there isn’t any real money at stake on free-play sites, and that affects the decision-making process when playing poker. But we still recommend free-play sites for anyone new to online poker.

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Real Money Online Poker in NY

Lawmakers have been trying to establish a regulated market for online poker, where players deposit and withdraw real money directly, since 2013. Eleven bills were submitted during that time, but all fell short in the New York State Legislature. This means that sites like PokerStars and WSOP are not available in the Empire State.

Mobile sports betting became legal in New York in January 2022. The vertical’s mammoth success in its opening year led to optimism that online casino and poker wouldn’t be far behind. But opposition to expanded igaming has been firm so far.

Why? Some lawmakers fret that online poker (and casino) could affect three future land-based casinos likely coming to NYC. A powerful hotel and casino workers’ labor union argues that expanded igaming would impact land-based casinos, despite evidence to the contrary.

Neither of those obstacles are deemed insurmountable. We think it’s very possible that a regulated online poker market could launch in New York by 2026. With the caveat that this is all strictly hypothetical, we introduce what we think such a market would look like in the next section of this lander.

Avoid offshore real money online poker sites. Offshore sites offer online poker, but we strongly advise against playing on them. The sites are risky and players have no recourse if they believe their money has been stolen or they feel that they’ve been cheated in a game. We do not recommend offshore sites for these reasons.

New York ranks fourth in terms of population with 19.6 million residents. It would be the most populous state to issue licenses and regulate real money online poker if it chose to do so — that is, unless California, Texas, or Florida were to do the same.

Assuming New York were to regulate online poker, there would be pressure for the state to join a gaming compact with other states. Joining a compact like the Multi-State Internet Gaming Agreement (MSIGA) would allow operators to combine their player pools across the compact’s members states. That creates shared liquidity, which in turn leads to bigger prizes for players.

It should be noted that New York has a population large enough that it could function as a segregated market. The state doesn’t necessarily need to join MSIGA, or any other compact for that matter.

The most recent bill calling for regulated online poker would have authorized the New York State Gaming Commission (NYSGC) to promulgate rules for online poker and serve as the state regulator.

S8185 called for legalizing online casino gaming and to levy a tax rate of 30.5%. The state would issue 10-year interactive gaming licenses, each of which cost $2 million and have an initial term of 10 years.

New York has seven racinos and five commercial casinos, four of which are upstate. The state is currently in the process of citing three future downstate casinos in the New York City metropolitan area. The website 500 Nations lists eight Class III (aka Vegas-style) tribal casinos.

It’s unclear at this stage if the NYSGC would require online poker operators form a partnership with a land-based property — such partnerships were not required when the state launched sports betting in January 2022.

Poker Sites Likely to Launch in New York

If New York sets up a regulated market for online poker, operators will likely need to apply for licensure through the NYSGC. We expect the US’s top three online poker operators — BetMGM Poker US, PokerStars US, and WSOP US — would be very interested in opening online poker rooms in the state.

BetMGM is currently live with online sports betting in New York. So are FanDuel and Caesars, which means that PokerStars and WSOP likely have market access to the Empire State. All three operators could expand into the online poker vertical with either a racino or a commercial or tribal casino as its gaming partner.

Four operators, including BetMGM, lobbied state lawmakers into passing legislation to legalize online casino gaming in January 2024.

It’s unclear if New York will require online poker operators form a partnership with a land-based gaming facility, but if so we expect New York’s regulated market would be set up as follows:

Operator Likely Casino Partner (if necessary) Hypothetical Network Plans
PokerStars US Tioga Downs Casino Resort Could look to create a three-state network across MI-NJ-NY.
BetMGM Poker US Empire City Casino A four-state network of MI-NJ-NV-NY is possible, but first needs to launch in NV and combine its MI and NJ player pools.
WSOP US Point Place Casino, Turning Stone Resort Casino, or YBR Casino & Sports Book Like BetMGM, could make a four-state network across MI-NJ-NV-NY. WSOP is currently the only online poker operator in NV.
Run It Once Poker US Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady RSI will likely launch Run It Once in more than one state when the platform is ready. A network across MI-NJ-NY seems the most prudent.

PokerStars NY

PokerStars online poker room New YorkPokerStars is always looking for opportunities in new and existing markets. For example, it was the first operator to combine its player pools in Michigan and New Jersey, completing the merger on January 1, 2023.

The Flutter Entertainment brand is the largest and best-known online poker operator globally and in the US — PokerStars launched in New Jersey in 2016, Pennsylvania in 2019, and Michigan in 2021. It’s unclear at this stage if PokerStars would need to look to FanDuel, another Flutter brand, for market access in NY. FanDuel runs a retail sportsbook at Tioga Downs Resort, a commercial racino in Nichols.

BetMGM Poker NY

BetMGM online poker room New YorkBetMGM currently runs an online sportsbook in New York, but the license isn’t tethered to a land-based property in the state. The operator will likely look to its database of sports bettors to find poker players for its platform.

While BetMGM, a joint venture between Entain and MGM Resorts International, is a well-known online poker brand in the US (it’s currently live in Michigan, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania), it is not engaged in multi-state poker. Instead, each state on the BetMGM Poker US Network functions as a state-specific network, where BetMGM shares liquidity with Borgata and partypoker regulated sites in the same states.

Should a future online poker bill require it, BetMGM would likely partner with Empire City Casino, a racino in Yonkers owned by MGM. The parent company doesn’t own any other gaming properties in NY.

WSOP NY

WSOP online poker room New YorkWSOP is another online poker brand that is well-known to players, especially since it owns the iconic World Series of Poker, a tournament it has successfully run for more than five decades. It has operations in Michigan, Nevada, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania.

If a future online poker bill requires an operator to partner with a land-based property, WSOP could select one of three tribal casinos in the Empire State: Point Place Casino in Bridgeport, Turning Stone Resort Casino in Verona, and YBR (Yellow Brick Road) Casino & Sports Book in Chittenango. Caesars Entertainment, the parent company of WSOP, operates retail sportsbooks at all three properties.

WSOP has yet to receive authorization from the Michigan Gaming Control Board (MGCB) to launch multi-state poker. With authorization, the WSOP/888 US Network would operate in three of the five member states in MSIGA and would include WSOP MI, WSOP NJ, and WSOP NV.

Run It Once Poker NY

Run it Once Poker powered by BetRivers online poker room New YorkRun It Once is an online poker platform currently in development by Rush Street Interactive (RSI). The Chicago-based company is expected to launch Run It Once sometime in 2024.

RSI is extremely likely to launch Run It Once in more than one state at the outset, and that would be with or without New York being a member of MSIGA. A solo launch is possible, or RSI could wait for additional states to join MSIGA in order to make a big multi-state splash upon launch.

The company deployed its flagship BetRivers brand to New York for sports betting. RSI has a land-based partner available if one is required; Rush Street Gaming, an RSI affiliate, owns and operates Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady.

Other Potential Operators in NY

Other operators are possible. Under one scenario, Playtech could launch its iPoker platform in the state, opening an opportunity for several European operators — including bet365, Betsafe, and Coolbet — to offer online poker in New York. But Playtech would first need a license from the NYSGC to move forward with such a plan.

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Online Poker in New York FAQ

Is online poker legal in New York?

Yes, you can play poker online in the Empire State! If you’re looking to win real cash prizes we recommend sweepstakes poker sites, of which there are two types:

  • Subscription poker sites — where players pay a monthly fee to enter daily tournaments
  • Modern sweepstakes poker sites — players use real money to buy play tokens, usually called Gold Coins, that have no monetary value and can only be used for play-money games. Players are then gifted a different token, Sweeps Coins, which are used to enter sweepstakes tables where they can win prizes convertible to real money.

We recommend ClubWPT for subscription poker and Global Poker for modern sweepstakes. You can also play on free-play or social poker sites (like Zynga Poker) in NY; we recommend these for new players.

Can I play online cash games in New York?

You will find cash games online on Global Poker. Players must use Sweeps Coins to enter games that offer prizes redeemable for real money.

Are there online tournaments in New York?

You will find a very vibrant online poker scene in the Empire State, and that includes tournament action on both ClubWPT and Global Poker. Both sites hold tournaments on a daily, weekly, and monthly basis — and some are branded series unique to each platform.

What types of poker games are available online in NY?

Most tournaments on ClubWPT are No-Limit Texas Hold’em (NLH). Global Poker offers NLH, Pot Limit Omaha, and other niche variants.

Is PokerStars legal in New York?

No, PokerStars and the other top online poker operators in the US, BetMGM and WSOP, are not legal in New York. But if the state sets up a regulated market for online poker, we expect all three operators will launch in the Empire State.

Will New York regulate online poker anytime soon?

Lawmakers have been trying to pass a bill to create a regulated market for online poker (and casino gaming) for the last three years. If supporters of expanded igaming are not successful in 2024, they will likely try again in 2025. At this early stage, markets could launch at the start of 2026 at the earliest.

Can I play online poker using offshore sites?

Offshore poker sites are not recommended because they do not offer the same level of consumer protection as legal, regulated sites. Players are at risk of identity theft when they play on offshore sites because they are disclosing their financial and personal information. Federal officials have warned US citizens not to use offshore sites because they have no legal recourse to collect winnings owed to them.

If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call the Virginia Council on Problem Gambling (VACPG) helpline at 1-888-532-3500