With Ontario and Quebec just a short drive away across the border, Canadians account for the largest number of international travellers to New York state with more than four million annual visitors.1 While there are countless things to do in the Empire State, with 19 casinos, gambling is a popular choice. In fact, New York is the seventh largest state for gambling in the U.S.
If you’re thinking of visiting New York state and visiting a casino or racino, it’s important to remember that your winnings could be subject to a 30% withholding tax by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS). Fortunately, Refund Management Services (RMS) can help Canadians and other eligible non-U.S. residents reclaim a portion or all of that withholding tax.
Vegas-style casinos have only been operational in New York state since 1993. Before that, there were only bingo halls. Today, you can find 19 casinos in New York state, though not all are created equal.2 There are five full-service tribal casinos open 24 hours that offer table games as well as electronic slot machines. There are also nine racetrack casinos in New York state. The remainder of the casinos are smaller establishments that offer bingo and other associated games, such as pull-tabs.
That said, the state is expanding its casino operations. In 2013, voters passed a referendum allowing for up to seven non-Indian casinos to be built. The first four casinos will be built upstate.3
Three of the casinos are slated to open in January 2017. This includes the $330-million Rivers Casino & Resort at Mohawk Harbor in Schenectady,4 the $425-million del Lago Resort & Casino in Tyre,5 and the $750-million Montreign Resort Casino in Kiamesha Lake (Catskills).6
Until these three casinos open in 2017, the following are the biggest casinos in New York State.
Resorts World Casino
Resorts World Casino in New York City is huge. Covering 175,000 square feet over two floors, the casino has more than 5,500 slots and electronic table games.7
You can play baccarat, blackjack, roulette, craps, and three-card poker, but it’s all electronic and this might take getting used to. For example, baccarat is played with real playing cards, but they are dealt inside a machine.
The casino also has live entertainment and special performances on the third floor and a diverse food court and high-end steakhouse. There is no hotel at the casino, but it is in New York City so there are plenty of great hotels nearby.
Resorts World Casino is also adjacent to Aqueduct Racetrack, a thoroughbred horseracing facility that is home to the Wood Memorial Stakes, Cigar Mile Handicap, Carter Handicap, Gazelle Stakes, and Gotham Stakes.8
Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway
The name says it all: a casino and raceway in Yonkers. The casino at Empire City covers over 150,000 square feet of floor space where you’ll find 5,300 slots, video poker machines, and electronic table games (roulette, craps, baccarat, and sic bo).9
The Aqueduct racetrack features live harness racing all year long with five race days per week and simulcast betting. The first post is at 7:10 p.m. ET on Monday, Thursday, Friday, and Saturday, and 1:00 p.m. ET on Tuesday. The Aqueduct also hosts races on 11 Sundays through the year.10
Seneca Niagara Casino Hotel
Seneca Niagara is just a 10-minute drive from Niagara Falls. At the approximately 150,000-square-foot casino, you’ll find 3,600 reel and video slots that take denominations from a penny to $100.00 per pull. There is also a high-limit slot area with $5.00 to $100.00 limits.11
Unlike the other two casinos, Seneca Niagara offers close to 100 live table games. If you like poker, then you’ll enjoy the 16-table poker room and keno lounge.
Amenities include a spa, salon, fitness centre, indoor pool, entertainment venues, bars, lounges, and restaurants.
After a late night gambling, you can stay in any of the 604 deluxe hotel rooms. The hotel at Seneca Niagara is the largest in the state outside of Manhattan. Every year since 2006, the hotel has received the AAA Four Diamond certification.12
New York Casino Winnings Subject to 30% Withholding Tax
If you’ve visited a casino in New York state or anywhere else in the United States and won a significant amount of money, typically over $1,200, chances are good that 30% of your winnings were withheld by the IRS.
That’s because the IRS considers casino winnings to be income. If, for example, you win $1,500 playing bingo or keno, on a game show, or betting on the horses, you’ll only receive $1,050. But if you live in a country like Canada, which has signed a U.S. tax treaty, you may be eligible for a refund.
There are a number of countries that currently do not have a U.S. tax treaty. However, if you reside in any of the following countries, you could still be eligible for a refund: Australia, Bahrain, Barbados, Brazil, China, India, Indonesia, Israel, Kuwait, Mexico, Malaysia, Monaco, New Zealand, Norway, Saudi Arabia, Singapore, South Korea, Switzerland, Taiwan, Thailand, and the U.A.E.
To see if you meet the criteria and are eligible to get some or all of your withholding tax back, contact RMS.
RMS, the Easiest Way to Get Your 30% Withholding Tax Back
Founded by a Canadian chartered accountant in 1998, RMS is the most reliable and experienced gaming and casino tax refund provider for non-U.S. residents. Only RMS has the One Simple StepTM process. Our customer service agents take care of the rest.
Once you provide us with complete documentation, your claim will be processed and we will submit it to the IRS. We’ve never been refused for an eligible refund! It can take a minimum of one year for the IRS to review the claim and for RMS to receive the refund.
1. “New York State spending $500K on campaign to lure Canadians,” Toronto Sun web site, February 29, 2016; http://www.torontosun.com/2016/02/29/new-york-state-spending-500k-on-campaign-to-lure-canadians.
2. “New York,” Get to Know Gaming web site; http://www.gettoknowgaming.org/by-the-book?state-data#&state=US-NY.
3. “New York voters approve casino referendum despite opposition in Central New York,” Syracuse.com web site, November 5, 2013; http://www.syracuse.com/news/index.ssf/2013/11/new_york_voters_approve_casino_referendum_despite_opposition_in_central_new_york.html.
4. “Rivers Casino & Resort Schenectady,” Rivers Casino web site; https://riverscasinoandresort.com/.
5. “Seneca County’s del Lago casino about half done,” Democrat and Chronicle web site, April 8, 2016; http://www.democratandchronicle.com/story/money/business/2016/04/08/del-lago-resort-casino-half-complete/82797244/.
6. “Empire Resorts Unveils Plan for $750 Million Casino in Catskills,” The New York Times web site, March 13, 2014; http://www.nytimes.com/2014/03/14/nyregion/empire-resorts-unveils-plan-for-750-million-casino-upstate.html?_r=0.
7. “Casino,” Resorts World web site; http://www.rwnewyork.com/index.php.
8. “Aqueduct,” New York Racing Association web site; https://www.nyra.com/aqueduct/.
9. “Games,” Empire City Casino web site; http://empirecitycasino.com/games/.
10. “Racing Calendar,” Empire City Casino web site; http://empirecitycasino.com/racing/race-calendar/.
11. “Casino,” Seneca Niagara Casino web site; http://senecaniagaracasino.com/casino/.
12. “Stay,” Seneca Niagara Casino web site; http://senecaniagaracasino.com/stay/.