The New York Penal Law 225.30 prohibiting gambling

Under this law, it is prohibited to possess and operate a device that is used in illegal gambling. Such devices include roulette wheels. Manufacturing, possession, transportation and sale of such devices leads to prosecution. Though these offenses are misdemeanors rather than felonies, they are still crimes. Violation will lead to1 year in jail or payment of a fine.

The prohibited gambling devices

Any device used in enabling illegal gambling to take place is prohibited. The only acceptable forms of gambling in New York are lotteries and bets on horse racing. There is a long tradition of these forms of gambling in New York. All other forms fall under the prohibited category. The list of disallowed devices is as follows.

  1. Roulette tables and other slot machines
  2. A coin operated gambling device
  3. Any other type of gambling device

The law allows lotteries to operate, since they are considered as contributors to social welfare and charity programs. Betting on horse racing is gambling, but there is a long-established tradition of this practice in the state. So, it has come to be accepted as part of the general New York culture that cannot be abandoned.

Exceptions under the law

You will not be considered guilty of any offense if you are operating the device, but it does not give you anything of value as a return. This also applies to a person playing using such a device. If there is no evidence that someone used the device for personal gain, then the charge becomes null.

The other exception applies to persons who can demonstrate that what they gained from gambling went into public interest causes rather than personal gain. There exists a gray area in the law about the issue of personal gain, which is often exploited in this way by gambling operators. Nevertheless, most gambling merchants prefer to operate in neighboring states.

What is the legal status of online gambling?

Gambling online is a whole different kettle of fish. Though it is not legal, it has not been explicitly prohibited either. Numerous New York casinos provide online gambling under the social casino tag. These are apps or websites in which you play without betting real money or winning any. Social casinos are completely legal in New York.

However, they are different from actual casinos that operate online. There are no clear laws governing such casinos, since they are a fairly recent phenomenon. The general rule of thumb is that online casinos are as illegal as actual casinos. This poses serious challenges to law enforcers, since it is difficult to monitor people playing in their houses.

Can you play online roulette in New York

A simple answer would be misleading in this case. It is generally illegal to enjoy your game of roulette online in New York. However, the games are legal in other jurisdictions and federal laws don't prohibit them. Another legal query is whether the stat of New York really has jurisdiction online. Many people navigate around these laws by:

  • Playing privately in their houses
  • Playing on mobile platforms while on the move

Until the state of New York will provide clear directions on the status of online gambling, confusion shall continue to reign. Meanwhile, New Yorkers who prefer to gamble will continue to use the online version of their favorite games. Some of them even argue that a game that is duly licensed online is not subject to local legislation.

How do you provide roulette services if you are in New York?

If you prefer to operate a game of roulette in a physical casino, then you should go to other states outside New York, which allow gambling. This is the only way you can operate the game without fear of being jailed. Any other way will land you in trouble with the county authorities.

In case you wish to operate an website, there is more leeway. It is not explicitly legal, but there is little possibility that the authorities will follow you up. In any case, you will not get your license in the state, but you can have clients there. Still, people in New York play roulette online.

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