Batavia Downs – Video Slots At A Veteran Track

you will find only video slots based on the lottery in NY

Batavia Downs is a racino — a harness racing track with a casino on the property — located in Western NY not far from Buffalo and Niagara Falls, near the Rochester area. Its Casino is open from 9am to 4am daily and has free parking. This veteran track opened in 1940. It is a half-mile track. The Western Regional Off-Track Betting corporation runs the gambling for Batavia Downs. The video lottery terminals (“slots”) were installed in 2005, 4 years after New York’s state lawmakers approved the granting of licenses for the gambling machines. Expansion has been continuing on the casino, with new restaurants and more gaming room planned.

Batavia Downs & Casino Details:
8315 Park Road, Batavia NY 14020

Things to Do:

  • Gaming: Has over 600 electronic slots including a progressive jackpot. Also has electronic poker and electronic Keno.
  • Dining: 2 restaurants — The Clubhouse Restaurant and the Grandstands Bar & Grille, which serves sandwiches, seafood and pasta.
  • Entertainment: live music weekends in the Grandstands Bar & Grille.
  • Lodging: The Clarion Hotel is near and is a convenient place to stay when you visit the casino & racetrack.

Racetrack: There is Live harness racing from the end of July thru December. The driver & sulky harness racing is with Standardbred horses, mostly 2 and 3-year-olds. New York Sire Stakes races (NYSS) of horses born in New York and registered with the U.S. Trotting Association are run here.

In the Simulcast Center, you can watch the live races from many of North American racetracks, thoroughbred and harness racing, 7 days a week.

For Paul White’s photos and links to his Youtube videos of races at Batavia Downs, see: He also photographs races at Buffalo Raceway.

Online OTB: A couple of gaming companies have joined forces to open an online betting platform for you to check out and gamble on the races from home, at

What’s Said about this Racino: This is a smaller casino and lacks the noise and bluster of the big places. You can relax and enjoy the slots and win some money.

Worth Remembering: Check Twitter and Facebook for special savings and promotions. Your Players’ Club card will get you extra benefits, such as an earlybird extra points if you come before 9am, which is redeemable for play.

Akwesasne Mohawk Casino: Review

poker tournament at akwesasne

New York’s northernmost gaming place, Akwesasne Mohawk Casino is Class III gaming, so it contains all that New York allows in a casino. It is of course Native American; recently the Mohawk Bingo Palace relocated and is now part of this one. There is a hotel and small RV park. The Casino just held its yearly qualifier tournament for the World Series of Poker, with the prize of a $10,000 seat in the Main Event of the WSOP in Las Vegas. Look for all kinds of other promotions, because this resort is likely to rev up its specials and games to attract gamblers from Canada and adjoining states.

Akwesasne Mohawk Casino Details:
873 State Route 37, Akwesasne NY 13655

Things to Do:

  • Bingo & Electronic Slots: Over 1,600 slots
  • Table Games: Blackjack, Craps, 4-Card Poker, Let It Ride, Mini-Baccarat, Pai Gow Poker, Roulette, Spanish 21, Texas Hold Em Bonus, 3-Card Poker, Mississippi Stud, and Blackjack Switch.
  • Dining: 4 Restaurants. Family dining for all 3 meals at The Native Harvest Buffet, which offers pizza & Italian favorites, Asian foods, grilled meats, salad & dessert bars, shrimp, crepes. Finer dining at The Maple Room Steakhouse, which is open from 5pm to 9pm and offers seafood, choice wines, steaks and savory dishes. Sticks Sports Bar offers 12 specialty beers & cocktails plus a menu of salads to grilled items to sandwiches. And then there’s the Rapids Food Court, where you can get a fast slice of pizza, a burger, deli sandwich and more in between your gaming or other enjoyments.
  • Hotel: Akwesasne has its own hotel with 150 fine rooms & suites. Guests should definitely visit and make use of the Sweetgrass Spa, Exercise Room, Indoor Pool & Jacuzzi, Banquet & Conference Center. Rooms have coffeemakers and mini refrigerators. If you wish there is also a list on their website of nearby hotels and motels too such as the Wolf Clan Hotel, at 1450 State Rte 37 in Hogansburg.
  • RV Park: Yes

Things Worth Remembering: Use your Winners Club Card every time you play and you automatically are eligible for a bunch of other prizes. You’ll also get Free Slot Credits, Arrow Points that can be redeemed for hotel, gas, dining, etc.

What’s said about the casino: It’s a popular destination for blackjack players looking for a game with good odds. Many complaints are heard concerning low slots payouts, but the blackjack odds are better than nearby Canadian casinos due to Akwesasne’s Double-Deck Blackjack game, and the shoe games use 6 decks instead of 8.

What’s Nearby Hogansburg: St. Raphael’s Ruins in Cornwall, Ontario, Canada. If you are up to running across the border for a look, this is a Great historical site and fascinating ruins of old Scottish church. When you get hungry you can try the highly-rated Truffles Burger Bar at 155 Pitt Street, Cornwall in the same area. There’s also Magiano’s Mediterranean Restaurant at 800 Cumberland street, Cornwall, Ontario, which is rated even higher.

Additional Information: You may be wondering, What is 4 card Poker? It’s a table game offered by Akwesasne which pits you against the dealer, like in blackjack. Each player is dealt 5 cards, and he must make the best 4-card poker hand out of them he can and discards 1 card. The dealer gets 6 cards, 5 dealt face-down and 1 faceup. The dealer discards 2 cards to make his hand.

This is an Ante poker game. You pay an ante to be dealt cards; you also place a bet on the Aces Up spot to begin. Aces in your hand are high except in the case of the hand A-2-3-4. After viewing your hand you must decide to fold or bet; you can bet up to 3 times the Ante. Best hands in 4-card poker are 4 of a Kind; Straight Flush; 3 of a Kind. If your hand is equal to or stronger than the dealer’s you win. If you made a hand, you win a Bonus even if your hand didn’t beat the dealer’s.

Indian Casinos Of NY State: Things To Know

Niagara Falls possible spot for new casino

Indian tribal casinos in one state will often differ from those in another, and New York’s tribal gambling places are unique. Because they are located on sovereign territory — tribal land which is self-ruling in many aspects — they may have rules which are different from those you’d expect at a racetrack or racino. We’ve gathered some tidbits on the tribal gaming places.

Some Things of Interest About Native American Casinos in New York:

  1. There are 3 gaming tribes of native Americans in New York. They are the Oneida Nation, the Seneca, and the Mohawk. They have negotiated gaming compacts with the state, permitted to do so because they are among New York’s 8 federally-recognized tribes. A compact with the state is necessary to conduct Class III gaming, which generally means table games; to conduct Bingo, pull tabs, or other Class II games on tribal land requires no state agreement because these are already permitted by U.S. legislation passed in 1988 (the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act).
  2. An old preconceived image of Native American gambling casinos is that they are small, seedy places like sometimes portrayed in movies. But in New York State, the exact opposite is true. Due to healthy tourism, casino properties of the Oneida, Seneca and Mohawk are large and beautiful, set in gorgeous New York landscapes like gems. They are also big operations, attractive to investors, and are able to rebuild or expand often. Some specialize in cuisine or entertainment that especially draws foreign visitors too.
  3. There is just one Mohawk casino now, since the Mohawk Bingo Palace moved its video slots to its brother location, also in Hogansburg NY, the Akwesasne Mohawk Casino — which is still of course Class III gaming, with slots, table games and a poker room.
  4. Most of the NY Indian casinos still allow smoking within the casino or certain areas of it. All their hotels offer nonsmoking rooms as well.
  5. All Indian gambling casinos have liquor licenses and may serve alcoholic beverages, with the exception of Seneca Buffalo Creek.
  6. Turning Stone Casino has won multiple awards from the media for its fine cuisine. They have 10 restaurants.
  7. An employee of an Indian casino from another state wrote a series of interesting and realistic columns on his work:
  8. It is said by some that Native American casinos don’t comp you. They do; however, it may be a considerably lower level than you were used to in Nevada establishments. So, ask to be comped and see what you can get. Always sign up for the club card so your play is tracked, and when you call for a room reservation on a return visit, try to get a free room, for example. And don’t be shy of asking for other things such as food and drink freebies when you’re playing.
  9. Some gamblers say Indian casinos do things like having considerably lower payouts on slots than all other casinos, to the tune of 85% or 90%; or that they cheat the blackjack players by removing tens from the deck. However, you can check on some of this. For instance, most blackjack dealers will display the decks used for the players to see, prior to dealing or putting them in the shoe, if one is used. And when a deck is changed, the procedures are rather airtight. You are playing at your own risk when it comes to the VGMs, however. Payout percentages on non-Class III games — i.e, VGMs or “slots” — are self-regulated by the tribe in conjunction with the National Indian Gaming Commission, not the state.
  10. Generally, Indian gaming in the state is overseen by the New York Gaming Commission:

Cruise Ship Casinos Embarking At New York

cruise ships leaving NY have casinos

You can add a few to the list of casino entertainment spots that the New York City area offers. In addition to its 10 racinos (gaming racetrack with facility offering VGMs or electronic slots), Class II Native American casinos (allowed VGMs or electronic slot machines only), and 5 Class III Native American casinos (permitted table games as well as electronic slots), there are a few more casino options in state for the gaming aficionado: Cruise Ships with casinos. New York has several, listed below.

  • The Norwegian Cruise Line
  • has 2 ships that leave from New York: the Jewel and the Gem. They offer hot tubs on deck, pools, restaurants, live entertainment and a casino. These cruise to the Caribbean, Canada, Bermuda and the Bahamas. It is one of the 4 largest cruise companies in the world.

    Norwegian is operated out of its headquarters in Florida. It is owned partially by Genting Group of Malaysia and partially by Apollo Management, an American private equity firm. Both these corporations are heavily invested in casino and gaming; Genting Group owns Resorts World Casino in New York City, and Apollo owns Caesars Entertainment Corp.

  • Carnival Cruises
  • has ships which depart from New York City and have a full gambling casino, too. The Carnival Glory ship is 952 feet long and has 13 decks. It has 22 different bars and lounges, dancing, shows, a theatre, kids’ entertainment, and a host of different restaurants from 24-hour pizza to fine dining and buffets.

    History: Carnival is the largest cruise ship operator in the world, and is owned by a combined British-American-Panamanian corporation. It is also the oldest cruise ship operator, the parent company having begun in 1844 as the Peninsular and Oriental Steam Navigation Company — which founded P & O Princess Cruises, which later formed Carnival Corporation & plc. Today Carnival has over 100 ships run by their 10 brand cruise lines.

*NOTE: Although several online casino directories list MSC Cruises as a choice for New York casinos, all MSC ships are listed as departing the U.S. from Miami, NOT New York. The company headquarters is in NYC, which may cause some confusion.

**NOTE: Fred Olsen Cruise Lines is also listed by online guides as being a New York casino. They are not — they have offices in NYC but their ships sail from the UK.

Racinos in New York: A Racetrack + Casino

Racinos hope for expansion into table games

Harness racing at a racino

There are 39 casinos in the state of New York. Nine are racinos — a racino is a racetrack property which also holds a facility with slots or gambling machines. If a property is a casino but it isn’t a Native American establishment, then it is a racino. If you’re unfamiliar with this sort of gaming in NY state, it’s a little difficult to understand which casinos and racetracks are where, exactly. The explanation is this: Previously, no casinos other than Native American casinos were permitted in New York. There were only the Native American ones and horse racetracks, where betting was also permitted.

The regulations were changed in recent years, and now casino-type gaming — limited to video slots or electronic table games — is permitted, but only at racetracks which already had a gaming history and compliance with the state. The licenses for this new entity, a “racino,” were granted to 9 racetracks. Most racetracks, however, have given its casino facility a name different from the track itself. Therein lies the confusion: The casino seems to be a separate thing. But it exists only under the authority of the racetrack. There are 10 betting racetracks in New York, and the only one that did not become a racino is Belmont Park. Many of Belmont’s races were moved to Aqueduct since needed renovation and expansion had not taken place, due in part to political disagreement. Belmont is owned by the state.

There are 10 horse racetracks in New York (and 1 nonwagering track, called Historic Track), 9 of which are racinos. The racinos list:

Aqueduct Racetrack & Resorts World Casino NY 

Located within the New York City limits, in Queens, NYC, NY.

The track is at South Ozone Park.

The subway has a station set apart just for the racetrack. It is open from 11am to 7pm when the track is open. The associated casino is Resorts World Casino, 110-00 Rockaway Blvd., Jamaica NY 11420

The Aqueduct has a long history, having been built in 1894 by the Queens County Jockey Club. It has 3 concentric tracks, the longest of which is one and one-eighths mile long. There is both a dirt track and a turf track, so racing can go on all year round. It also has heated stands and provides an important venue for the racing fans of the community.

Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct has 5,000 video gaming terminals and electronic table games, which include craps and Sic Bo. It is a rare, inner New York City experience which we’ve written a full article about.


Yonkers Raceway / Empire City Casino

Located at 810 Yonkers Ave., Yonkers NY 10704

Phone: 914-968-4200

Yonkers Raceway was founded in 1899, named then the Empire City Race Track. It is a standardbred harness racing track and is a half-mile long. It is a dirt track. It is owned by the Rooney family, who still hold part ownership of the Pittsburgh Steelers (which in recent years brought the Rooneys’ compliance with NFL regulations, to be uninvolved with gambling interests, into question).

The Empire City Casino at Yonkers opened in 2006 with 1,870 video gaming machines. They now have 5,300 slots machines which include Wheel of Fortune, Video Poker, progressives, and keno. The slots range from 1-cent machines to $100 games. Both reels and video games.

They also have electronic roulette, electronic craps, baccarat and electronic Sic Bo.


Fairgrounds Gaming: Buffalo Raceway & Hamburg Casino

Located at Hamburg Fairgrounds, 5600 McKinley Parkway, Hamburg, NY 14075-0038

Phone: 716-649-128

Fairgrounds is just about 14 miles from downtown Buffalo, and the half-mile track, Buffalo Raceway, is a harness racing track established in 1942. Even before they rebuilt extensively, it became a top ten track and some famous racers made their mark there. Attendance has been large since the 1960s. With the improvements over the decades to the site, winter racing was added. Today simulcast racing covers major thoroughbred and standardbred races across the country, and visitors may wager on these in the facility. If you wish to bet on Buffalo races but can’t get there, there is a long list of OTB facilities you can visit, here:

The casino, first known as Fairgrounds and later as Hamburg Casino, opened in 2004 with over 900 video gaming machines. Today it has 940 slot machines for video poker, progressive jackpots, penny slots. You may use cash or tickets in the machines, but they pay out with a ticket you can redeem with the cashier.

There are 16 penny slot games, many of them progressives; 25-cent slots; $1, $5, and $10 slots. This racino is open Monday-Sunday, 8am to 4am.

The horse racetrack season for 2014 runs from January 9-July 21. Live races happen on Wednesday, Friday and Sunday. Free admission and free parking. There are 5 different restaurants including the Midway Buffet, and The Winner’s Circle Cafe. The Winner’s Circle’s 75 tables overlook the racetrack, and reservations are suggested, call 716-649-1280 ext. 300


Finger Lakes Casino & Racetrack

Located at 5857 State Route 96, Farmington NY

The Finger Lakes Racetrack hosts live thoroughbred horse racing from mid-April into early December.

The casino houses almost 1200 slots. This establishment is open daily from 8am to 4 am. Racing doors open at 11:30am. Free admission and free parking.


Monticello Casino and Raceway

Located at 204 Route 17B, Monticello NY 12701

Phone: 866-777-4263

Monticello Raceway hosts standardbred harness racing on a half-mile track all the year round.

Monticello Casino has over 1,000 slot machines including progressives, penny slots, high limit machines, video poker. They are expecting to add electronic table games soon. As for dining, there are 3 choices: The buffet, offering prime rib, lamb chops, and shrimp; The Terrace Restaurant for fine dining, and the Food Court.


Saratoga Casino & Raceway

Saratoga is a standardbred harness racing track, and is a half-mile oval course. Races go from March into December. (Across the street is the old Saratoga Race Course, open July thru September, which hosts thoroughbred racing.)

In 2004 the Casino opened with more than 1,700 VLTs, or video lottery gaming terminals. They have also introduced Electronic Craps and Electronic Roulette. The upper floor of the casino houses a food court, a buffet called Lucky Joe’s, a nightclub and bar. Open from 9am to 4am daily.


Tioga Downs

Located at 2384 W. River Rd., Nichols, NY 13812

Phone: 888-946-8464

Tioga is a standardbred harness racetrack. Up until about 35 years ago it was a quarterhorse track.

The casino has 802 electronic gaming machines or VLTs. These include progressives. The property is owned by Jeffrey Gural and his company American Racing & Entertainment LLC. Gural is currently considering the construction of a 6-story hotel — and applying for a license for regular casino table games. Governor Andrew Cuomo is planning to offer 3 gaming licenses of the sort for upperstate NY.


Vernon Downs Casino and Hotel

Address: 4229 Stuhlman Road, Vernon NY 13476

Phone: 877-888-3766

Vernon Downs Racetrack is in central New York and offers harness racing. Races go from April to November.

The casino has 767 gaming machines including video poker from 1cent to $5, in-house progressive slots, and more. Hours of operation are  Sunday-Thursday: 9am to 2am; and Friday-Saturday: 9am to 3am.


Batavia Downs

8315 Park Rd., Batavia NY 14020-1272

The Batavia Downs racetrack features harness racing from the end of July thru December. It is the oldest lighted harness track, opened in 1940.

Their Casino is open daily from 8am to 4am. They offer 640 electronic games.

Learning Casino Games

Learn poker to play in live casinos

In New York and many other states allowing gambling, casino entertainment is a popular product. In order to push that product, casinos need to familiarize the public with the favorite games that take place in their halls. And that is why businesses such as School of Cards have come into being — to teach you how to play gambling games well enough so you’ll have fun at them.

The School of Cards, NYC
Gaming instruction is offered in several courses: Introduction to Poker, Profitable No Limit Hold Em, Strategic Blackjack, and Mixed Game Madness, which teaches you a basketful of variations of poker — variations which you’ll run across in most card rooms and tournaments. The courses help give people the tools they need to participate in Poker and Blackjack, the two most popular table games in any casino.

An interesting note is the course on Body Language for poker. You are taught to control the “tells,” signals and leaks that your movements and expression tend to give away to your poker opponents. For this class you are videoed from many angles, and with your teacher you’ll work to find and disguise your tells.

The School of Cards is located at 548 West 28th Street, New York, NY. Its phone number is: 212-542-0799. It has been gathering quite a few positive student reviews since its opening. Founder Blake Eastman became obsessed with poker at the beginning of the boom, around 1998, after seeing the film Rounders. He was hooked, he said; and although today he teaches psychology at the City University of New York, like with many another card player, poker never left his system.

Other instructors at the School of Cards include one working in the financial industry, another is in book publishing. All seem to hold poker as their favorite game.

What generally goes without saying is that card rooms exist outside any casino, in New York. NYC is famous for its illegal, underground poker rooms. The film Rounders portrayed a high-stakes card room of this type. Some adventurous citizens have sought the poker skills (and nerve) to play in them.

Gambling in Higher Education
Over a decade ago, community colleges even in non-gaming states began offering courses and certificates in casino employee positions such as card dealer. This may have also been due to the poker boom. And now, as we might expect, universities offer majors in casino and resort management. Even Mississippi, which has been very slow to move on this issue, is now considering allowing its state-related universities to offer similar college majors.

These latter courses are for the purpose of developing job skills; schools are merely recognizing and responding to the opportunities new casinos and expansion of existing ones offer. Although Las Vegas construction has met serious stagnation, other states than Nevada are still busy building.

For serious poker players, higher education is a good tool. Both Brown and MIT have offered classes in poker playing and on creating/programming poker bots. Writing a poker bot program requires the person to understand deep decision-making in the game of poker.

The Future of New York Casino Gaming
At present, casinos in New York are limited to the Native American casinos, which have table games and basically full casino gaming; and racinos, which are racetracks with associated gambling halls that are allowed to offer electronic slots/video games — but no live table games with dealers. Soon, that will probably change. Negotiations are beginning right now on where and whether full-fledged casinos will be licensed. Gov. Cuomo has stated he prefers casinos to stay out of the Big Apple. Upstate New York is being looked at as a possible locale for new casinos.

So it seems more table games are on the way. So the School of Cards and similar schools where people can learn or advance their skill at blackjack or poker, are likely to have plenty more people interested in the near future.

Turning Stone Casino Review


Bear Clan of the Oneida Nation

The Turning Stone Casino and Resort, one of the largest casinos in the state of New York that is permitted to operate table games, is owned by the Oneida Nation of Indians. As part of the tribe’s compact with the state it operates as a “Class III” gaming property. It is well-known and a popular destination for visitors and tourists from other countries as well as other states.

{Class III Indian Casino with traditional table gaming.}
VERONA, NY 13478

Turning Stone has top quality entertainment and offerings all year round. It is located in central New York state and near wine country. AAA gives it the highest rating in its hotel accommodations and dining, and it is convenient to fishing & boating, golf and relaxation in the surrounding country. This is in the heart of very attractive spreads of territory, the Mohawk Valley and Adirondack Mountains. Here we’ll describe the basics of what you can find here. There is so much more, however, when you visit.

GAMING – THE CASINO: The property has over 2400 electronic gaming machines, and more than 80 table games. The casino is classified as a Class III Indian Casino and thus permitted to run classic casino table games. A poker room, Bingo hall, Keno lounge. Their poker room — which hosts state Holdem championships games, among other large events — is large and comfortable, has tableside food and beverage service, 12 large screen TVs to watch sports on, computerized waiting lists for players displayed on large screens. You can also book a seat in any of their big-prize poker tournaments by visiting

Table games offered:

  • Blackjack — including tables with Double Deck Blackjack
  • Craps
  • Caribbean Stud Poker
  • Let It Ride
  • Roulette
  • Acey Deucey (Red Dog)
  • Pai Gow Poker
  • Three Card Poker
  • Four Card Poker
  • Baccarat
  • Sic Bo
  • Texas Hold’em
  • Mini Bac
  • Midi Bac (Macau style)
  • The Big Six Money Wheels
  • Casino War

SHOWS: What you’ll never be disappointed by is the range and quality of shows scheduled throughout the year at Turning Stone Casino. This year, Barry Manilow, Randy Travis and Hugh Laurie of “House” TV fame are doing concerts in the showroom, for example. There’s a comedy club nightly, laser shows, more. I used to look up their schedule for some favorite oldies bands I can’t see ordinarily. It’s a favorite destination for out-of-staters if only just for the concerts.

DINING: Wine Spectator Magazine picked 4 of the Turning Stone Casino’s restaurants and awarded them the 2012 Award of Excellence. Those restaurants were: Wildflowers, a fine dining spot which was also given 4 Diamonds by AAA; the Pino Bianco Trattoria, Rodizio Churrascaria, and the Forest Grill, a steakhouse.

Wine Spectator’s award is for a dining place which offers a wine list of at least 100 high-quality vintages which must coordinate with the restaurant’s menu. The Turning Stone’s Director of Food and Beverage, Vince Farrar, explained that the wines offered in their various restaurants are both international and domestic, some from around the world and some from as nearby as New York’s Finger Lakes region vineyards. The local vineyards, for proud New Yorkers, include: grapes from Dr. Konstantin Frank, Hermann Wiemer, Lamoreau Landing, Bully Hill, and Hazlitt Vineyards.

There are at least ten restaurants, about half of them serving all three meals. Even fine dining at Wildflowers is available all day long. One of the featured cuisines offered is churrascaro, which is Brazilian or Argentinian style barbecued meats skewered and marinated in spices. It is served hot from the huge skewers, in multiple courses so you get to try different meats. Very appealing and considered some of the best dining found in the Americas. You can try it at the Rodizio Churrascaria.

There’s also a traditional steakhouse with the best steaks, chops, and lobsters from Maine. This is the Forest Grill, and it has a lovely copper-topped fireplace and elegant but cozy ambiance.

The Peach Blossom offers Thai-Chinese creations, very tasty and artistic; the Delta Cafe has hearty sandwiches and other wonderful foods all day; and Season’s Harvest will feed you foods sampling several different cuisines represented in the other restaurants — South American, Asian, etc. And for dessert, you can visit Opals and see absolute gems of confections and baking.

HOTEL: Of course you’ll want to stay. This is a resort, and no shortage of rooms. Choose between luxurious accommodations in The Lodge where all rooms are suites, rooms or suites with a view in The Tower, The Hotel, or a cozy stay in The Inn. Or if you brought an RV, there’s the Villages RV Park a short drive from the resort, with added recreational features of its own.

The grandest stay would be in The Lodge, which is connected to the Casino and Bingo hall as well as the Spa, Showroom and Event Centers, and the dance club. The Lodge’s dining room is the award-winning Wildflowers restaurant. There is a Fitness Center with pool too.

More Resort Details:

  • 700 rooms with free wireless internet
  • Golf course
  • Indoor & outdoor tennis courts
  • Sauna and fitness center
  • 15 restaurants, plus a snack bar/deli and a coffeeshop.
  • Event space: conference center, banquet facilities
  • Casino Shuttle – complimentary
  • Free parking
  • 24-hour room service for hotel
  • Bar & cocktail lounge
  • RV park

The Oneida Nation has built a very appealing casino and recreational resort in the Turning Stone. Their website gives even more details on the various features of the properties.

Resorts World Casino New York City

new york city has a real casino

Resorts World, the very first casino to be located inside the Big Apple, opened its doors on Oct. 28, 2011. It is not technically a “casino” but a racino, a racetrack licensed by the state to operate slot machines, or rather electronic gambling machines, on its property. These electronic gambling machines are more than big video consoles, however. Some, such as the baccarat machines, have actual robotic arms dealing real cards. No other racino has such machines.

The Aqueduct Racetrack is a late comer to the racino party in New York state. Other tracks, such as Saratoga and Tioga Downs, installed video gaming some time ago.

HOURS: 8am to 4am

Resorts World Casino NYC is divided into three levels, named “Times Square Casino Level” on the ground floor and “Fifth Avenue Casino” upstairs, but of course they’re part of one casino. The third level is called “Central Park” and is a vast events area available for weddings and more. Not precisely green space but perhaps as close as it comes within a gambling house’s doors. After all, Times Square level has 2,200 slot machines, from penny slots on up. And the Fifth Avenue level is crowded with 2,245 slots and over 260 electronic table games.

Resorts has a private High Limit Gaming section called Crocksfords Casino, with a view of the racetrack. Near to hand is the Palm Beach Lounge.

Slots games:

  • Wheel of Fortune Slot
  • Sex and the City Slots
  • Treasures of the Pyramids
  • Playboy Platinum Slots
  • Jolly Roger Slots

Electronic Table Games:

These also fall within the category of slots or “electronic gambling machines” permitted to racinos, even if they depict traditional casino table games. Resorts has:

  • Let It Ride
  • Craps
  • Vegas Star Roulette
  • Sic Bo
  • Baccarat

As with any casino, it’s definitely recommended you get a casino rewards card. The RW card immediately gives you a discount on show tickets, a 10% discount in the stores, and there are occasionally parking specials offered even to a member at the starting level. As you play, your points are tallied and keep giving you perks as you go along.

Right now Mondays are promotional days, from 10 to 10 you get a bonus of $5 to $100.


For entertainment, visitors can go to Bar 360 for dancing, live entertainment, and a massively big 16-by-28-foot HD TV for sports. The calendar of Resorts World’s entertainment lists mostly the nightly dances. Concerts by big names are fewer than you’d expect in the heart of NYC. But perhaps that is because big shows aren’t so necessary — as they are to other casinos — to draw visitors to the city’s only casino.


Because it’s New York City, you should expect the dining choices at Resorts World to be exceptional. And they are. First, there’s the Food Court. For quick food and snacks while you’re enjoying the games or entertainment. Includes some very simple but tasty treats from: Popeyes (spicy New Orleans style fried chicken), BBQueens (barbecued ribs, pork, brisket), Wolfgang Puck Express (fast but gourmet-level pasta, pizza and salads, accompanied by wine & beer), Good Friend Noodle House (fabulous oriental soups, dim sum, noodles, rice dishes), Queens Burger (fantastic gourmet burgers), Stage Deli (Dagwood-height sandwiches), Cups N Cones at Starbucks, and MidTown Express (snacks, fast meals).

Also, there’s a bar in the Food Court, with live music: Bar 360. It’s open all day from 10 am until 4 am. You can stop in almost the entire time the casino is open.

The Aqueduct Buffet is an international smorgasbord-style (meaning: All you can eat) spread of great food from vegetarian specials to seafood, pasta, and fresh fruit as well as delectable desserts. Serves lunch and dinner all week.

Fine Dining:

RW Prime can only be described as elegant. It is a steakhouse of high quality. It’s best to have a reservation when you plan to go. The menu is pretty big, with the various cuts of beef, lamb, veal, seafood. The beef is certified Angus and dry-aged (cold-aging is done only with prime cuts of beef), which makes for a wonderfully tasty and tender steak. They will cook it anywhere along the “done” continuum you want, from “shining a flashlight on a cow” to blackened in and out. That’s how confident they are of their meat dishes, that it’ll taste good.

Besides the filet mignon and rib eye beefsteaks, there’s veal, rack of lamb with purple-raisin mustard, and rosemary chicken. Prices are also grand. We’re wondering about that $112 Snake River Rib Eye Wagyu Steak; does it make for a genetically perfect dinner? Maybe.

They also serve fresh seafood dishes such as broiled or steamed lobster, scallops with bacon, black sea bass with bay and parmesan cheese.

The Genting Palace Restaurant is a nod to its Asian roots, as the Genting corporation is part owner of Resorts World. This fine restaurant offers favorites like Chinese barbecue, Roasted Peking Duck, Crispy Duck, and all sorts of fried or steamed rice dishes. Its offerings are as plentiful as a neighborhood Asian restaurant, but of an exquisite quality you won’t find easily.

Seafood dominates the Chef’s Recommendations, with abalone in oyster sauce, sauteed lobster, and fried prawns with milky sauce & crystallized walnuts as examples.

There’s any number of greens dishes, and different tofu versions of meat dishes. The whole assortment of food on their menu presents a picture of delicate tastes along with filling meats and seafood.

Resorts World Casino NYC, located in the most desirable commercial place in the U.S., looks to be doing big gaming business as time goes on.

Seneca Indian Casinos of New York


Turtle, emblem of one of the Seneca Nation's clans

There are 5 Seneca Indian casinos in New York. One is in downtown Buffalo, two are in Salamanca, NY, one is in Niagara Falls, and the last is in Irving, NY, on the shore of Lake Erie. The Seneca are one of the largest Indian tribes of North America and they are spread over West New York State, up across the U.S.-Canadian border into Ontario, and down into Pennsylvania. (There are also many Seneca in Oklahoma. There are some who settled in Ohio after the Revolutionary War, but were displaced and sent south to Oklahoma in 1831 as the first part of the Indian Removal Act.) Seneca are part of the Iroquois League (formed in the year 1570), which also includes the Mohawk, Oneida, Cayuga, Onondaga, and Tuscarora tribes.

There are 3 bands of Seneca, each with a separate reservation. Living in this country since prehistoric times, the Seneca have a fascinating history. Some interesting things about the Seneca Indians:
– On the 2 reservations within the United States, every enrolled tribe member receives a few yards of calico or cotton cloth from the federal government once a year, as tribute determined by the Treaty of Canandaigua, a pact made in 1794 under the administration of George Washington. This is sometimes called the Calico Treaty, or Pickering Treaty. Some Indian tribes who signed receive money instead, according to what they chose long ago. Because the treaty did not contain any adjustment for inflation, the amount of cloth received by those tribes who chose it changes and has decreased drastically over time. In 1941, for instance, each Seneca tribal member received only 3 yards of cloth, due to high prices.
– Senecas are matrilineal, and trace their relatives from the maternal line. Therefore, if you’re Seneca, your mother’s brother is your uncle, but your father’s brother is not considered a relative.

The tribe established gambling casinos under pacts with the state of New York. They are permitted to do so because they are a federally-recognized tribe, and have been almost since the beginning of our nation. The casinos the tribe operates are described below.

Seneca Gaming & Entertainment – Irving
Their main website: The casinos in Irving and Salamanca are Class II gambling establishments, limited to slot-type electronic gambling machines and Bingo. While their website also shows a poker page replete with a photo of poker pro Mike Matuso visiting a Seneca property, this is referring to the Class III casino in Niagara Falls.

The Irving casino is just off the shore of Lake Erie, on Erie Road (which is Route 5). They feature big promotions for their Bingo games, with jackpots of $3,000 up to $15,000 frequently. Regular bingo games can win around $500 and over. There are special prizes too — cars, and bonanza prizes of tens of thousands of dollars. There are regularly 3 bingo sessions every day.

Seneca Irving has over 650 video slots. The video gaming machines accept cash and pay out with a card you take to a cashier, or use in another video slot machine.
Food is served daily — morning, noon and night. Specials of homestyle cooked meals, mostly.
Open 7 days a week, and hours are Sunday-Thursday from 9:30 am to 2 am, and Friday-Saturday from 9:30 am to 4:30 am.

Seneca Gaming – Salamanca
This is farther south of the rest of Seneca land, closer to the southern NY border. A more modest gaming site, Seneca Casino Salamanca is in a location where there’s no other casinos. It provides entertainment for local New Yorkers or Pennsylvanians, who have almost no gaming in their state. Like its sister property, it offers bingo and electronic gaming — slot machines. It is open from 9:30 am to 1 am Sunday thru Thursday, and until 2 am Saturday and Sunday.

The Seneca Gaming Corporation runs the Seneca Niagara Casino & Hotel, Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel, and Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino.
Main website: These properties are Class III gaming operations — which are permitted to offer traditional, casino-style table games such as Blackjack, Craps, and Roulette — in addition to electronic reel and video slots. Seneca Gaming Corporation is owned by the Seneca Nation of Indians, and it operates all the Nation’s Class III gaming in western New York.

Seneca Niagara Casino opened in 2002, and its hotel, a 26-story building, opened December 2005. Entertainment is offered in the Niagara Events Center, where big-ticket acts come.

Their slots, of which their vast floor holds over 2,000 machines, vary from penny spins to $100 a pull. Progressives are widely available, and there is a High-Limit Slot area where the machines are $5 to $25 a spin. 46 different games are listed on their site. Table games are: Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Mini Baccarat, Caribbean Stud Poker, Let It Ride, Pai Gow Poker, 3 Card Poker, and Spanish 21.

Also a large poker room on the first floor which spreads games of Texas Hold’em, Omaha and 7-Card Stud. There’s no shortage of restaurants and cocktail lounges. There’s both a VIP lounge and a quiet corner for drinks, and dancing nightly at Club 101. For food? A great steakhouse in The Western Door, Asian cuisine and seafood at Koi, and La Cascata is fine Italian dining. If you want casual dining, you still have four places to choose from, whether it’s burgers, home-cooked chicken and pasta, omelets, noodles or a complete buffet. And still there are quick bites or desserts at 4 other spots.

Turtle Island, the casino at Seneca Niagara, is named for the great turtle of Seneca mythology, on whose back the world lies.
Seneca Niagara is open 24 hours.

Seneca Allegany Casino opened in 2004. Its 212-room hotel opened 3 years later, in 2007. This casino has about as many slots as Seneca Niagara, but some variation in the slot games offered. Table games include Blackjack, Craps, Roulette, Caribbean Stud Poker, Let It Ride, 3-Card Poker, Big 6 Wheel, Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker and Spanish 21.

Six restaurants offer a wide range of food. For the finest dining, it’s either steaks at the Western Door or Italian choices at Patria. In the middle range, Thunder Mountain Buffet is all-you-can-eat for lunch and dinner, or sit down at the Seneca Cafe. A quicker meal is available in soups, sandwiches at the Bear Claw Cafe and the Cafe Express. The cafes also serve breakfast.

The Indian casinos of New York are known to draw some great acts to their entertainment halls, and the Allegany runs true. Country singer Gary Allan, and Bachman & Turner (of Bachman-Turner Overdrive fame) are examples.

And of course, when you’re in western New York you are surrounded by great country landscapes for hiking, biking, and just driving for the view.

Seneca Buffalo Creek Casino was built after the Nation acquired 9 acres of land in downtown Buffalo. In 2007 it opened the casino; in subsequent years it expanded its buildings. In March of 2012, the Corporation began a completely redesigned casino, which is projected to open in summer of 2013.

Right there in downtown Buffalo, the casino is smaller than its brother properties farther out; but the Buffalo Creek Casino is a fun addition to the city. There are 450 slot machines at present, penny slots up to $5 a pull. There aren’t table games offered. The construction that is going on right now and due to finish next fall will allow them to double the number of slots, and bring table games in too.

The casino expansion will cost about $130 million, and bring in 500 new jobs.

New York’s Indian Casinos – Tribes, A Few Tribulations

Casinos, tribal and otherwise, may face a battle royal in the near future as New York’s Indian tribes see the state offer inroads on gaming to more people. The 7 table games licenses that are to be dispensed by the state might not go simply to already-existing racinos, although this is most likely. However it could mean that new groups, new gaming corporations, could step onto the scene… and the locations where they choose to set up operation will be closely scrutinized by the Indians.

When New York granted several harness racetracks permits to run video lottery terminals, many of the state’s Indian tribes objected, saying this broke the compact they had with the state, which promised no non-Indian gambling would be permitted on tribal territories. At issue are some lands west of the Finger Lakes where these racetracks are located. The Seneca have claimed their exclusive right to gambling within the area has been encroached upon. Several tribal casinos, including the large and wealthy Seneca properties — Salamanca, Niagara, and Buffalo — stopped paying their contracted casino payments to the state as long ago as 2009. The Mohawk tribe has also ceased paying the state.

The withheld money represented the main livelihood of some small municipalities including Salamanca and Niagara Falls.
With the additional licenses for table games soon to be granted, there is a distinct possibility that the future license winners will also be objected to by various tribes.

The controversy over cigarettes sold on Indian land, which the state wants to tax, may be a part of the problems between Indians and the state.


What games have provided different groups a way into offering gaming to the public?

Well, there’s bingo. That was the doorway for Indian tribes in New York and other states to begin to earn revenue from gambling. A simple game that was innocent enough to be a mainstay for churches, it worked well to give tribal gaming a foot in the door. Other simple things followed, like scratch-tickets. Also very innocuous, such gambling methods were deliberately chosen by gaming groups, so as not to turn public regard against Native Americans as they began to take advantage of their special status and open new sources of income for their populations.

The state of New York has historically been more liberal towards its tribal peoples than some other states. Perhaps its location, and sharing a border with Canada are part of the reason. When our nation’s borders were drawn, they were found to have been created without regard to the large indigenous populations living all over and across them. The borderlines, agreed upon by our leaders after the Revolutionary War, split asunder the lands that Indians occupied, separating tribes and even families. That is why free passage rights were granted to Native Americans on this side of our northern border — to correct the unfortunate impact the drawing of the country’s borders had on the tribes. Customs agents were severely restricted in what identification they could demand, and could not enforce restrictions on certain personal items, especially religious ones, carried across by Indians.

Perhaps these days, border security has changed most of that reckless freedom; but what still remains are the protective laws of New York which not only permit and tolerate Indian casinos within the state, but allow visitors — New Yorkers or not — to enjoy those casinos to the hilt.

During the height of the poker boom, which popularized both online and live poker games, New York — especially New York City — was discovered to be the hottest and most thriving spot for illicit poker. Soon people around the world had heard about NYC’s underground card rooms.

Their exclusivity, however, is waning. Not too long from now, 7 establishments will have the opportunity and the actual state-blessed license to open their own poker rooms, as well as blackjack tables, craps tables, and roulette wheels and be as much casinos as any of the Indian ones that dot the land.