As casino gambling has spread throughout the country, New Yorkers have a whole range of options within a three hours' drive of the city. Atlantic City had been the only option besides cruise ships and Las Vegas until the early 2000s. One casino is in Queens, and the rest are close enough to be a day trip or an easy weekend getaway.
The Resorts World Casino at Aqueduct in Queens is the only casino within New York City's boundaries. The casino opened in 2011 as a racino at Aqueduct, the horse racing track. New York State allows video slot gambling at selected horse racing arenas, hence the name "racino." Video slot machines and table games are offered. With 4,400 slots, blackjack, baccarat, three-card poker, roulette, craps, a Big Six Wheel, and high limit rooms, you'll be in gambling paradise. There's free parking if you drive, or you can take the subway, bus, or Long Island Rail Road.
Nine casinos await you in Atlantic City, New Jersey. It's the largest concentration of gambling in the Tri-State area, and the drive from New York City is about two hours. Casinos are located on the boardwalk and at the marina, and all of the casinos are open 24 hours a day. You have to be 21 to gamble in Atlantic City.
Located in Uncasville, Connecticut, about a 2.5-hour drive from New York, Mohegan Sun is one of the largest casinos in the United States. The casino has slots, table games, and poker. Besides gambling, you'll find live music by local bands and big-name comedy and musical acts. Think of it as Las Vegas lite and close to home.
Foxwoods is also about 2.5 hours from New York City. There are six casinos at the gambling-hotel complex, and also it's one of the largest gaming destinations in the country with slots, table games, sports betting, and poker. MGM Grand at Foxwoods is an expansion connected to the main resort by a moving walkway. Foxwoods books entertainment performers like Trevor Noah, Toby Keith, and Alison Kraus. There's also a long list of bars and restaurants to choose from, so this is a great place for a weekend getaway.
Empire City in Yonkers, New York, is another racino like Aqueduct, with video slot machines. It's connected to the Yonkers Raceway in Westchester, New York, about 20 miles north of Times Square. It's just north of the Bronx and about 30 minutes from Queens. The racino opened in 2006, and stands out in part because the minimum age to play the slot machines is 18, unlike other casinos in the region, where the minimum age to play slots is 21.
The Sands in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is just under two hours from New York City. It opened in 2009 and now features slot machines and table games. Besides gambling, at this resort you'll find upscale dining at three Emeril's restaurants, live entertainment, deluxe hotel rooms, a spa and fitness center, and an outlet mall.
Yes, beautiful Mount Airy Lodge is now Mount Airy Casino Resort. A casino and hotel resort opened in 2007. It has slots and table games, and there's A-list live entertainment, from comedy to rock and theater. Find a spot at any one of several bars for a late-night drink or settle in for some live entertainment at the Wet Nightclub. And if that's not enough, there's golf. Mount Airy is an easy drive from New York City; it takes about two hours to get there.
Located in Bensalem, Pennsylvania, this horse racing and casino gambling resort was formerly known as Keystone Racetrack and Philadelphia Park. The casino offers slot machines, table games, and card games. It has a slew of dining options and late-night bar options. It's between Trenton and Philadelphia, a bit more than a 90-minute drive from New York City.
This racino in Pennsylvania bears the same name as the more famous and much larger Mohegan Sun casino in Connecticut. It offers slot machines, table games, and horse racing. When the sun goes down, so do the lights, and there's dancing to live music along with great dining choices at 20 restaurants and a comedy club. It takes about 2.5 hours to get there from New York City.