Whether living in the Big Apple or stopping by for a whirlwind weekend, the number of options for entertainment can be dizzying. Without a solid itinerary for travelers or an apartment with a prime location, it’s hard to catch it all.
Some prefer to make it to a Michelin-star restaurant or a Broadway show. Others may want to follow tour guides through the Lower East Side or head to the top of the Empire State Building.
However, gamers may feel a bit out of luck. Those traveling to New York City may notice the city isn’t home to brick-and-mortar casinos. The nearest locations include the Bronx, Queens, and even New Jersey’s famous Atlantic City.
Still, those looking to stay downtown have options for real-money action. Most of New York City is WIFI-enabled, which means that a mobile-ready online casino and a bit of cab fare is all a traveler needs to transform the Highline Park or Katz’s Deli into a truly unique experience—even by New York standards.
When it comes to ranking locations where live gaming would be fun, three criteria are important: seating, WIFI, and the view. Any New York native knows these three factors are often mutually exclusive… but not always.
The Greens Seaport District includes the famous Pier 17 facility in downtown Manhattan. This location doesn’t skimp on views or activities. Not only is it nestled in one of the most interesting parts of the city, but it’s also one of New York’s newest investments—and it shows.
The facility includes a rooftop bar, cinema, fitness center, public art installations, and a slew of brand-name and indie retail shops. Most of the Seaport district includes high-speed public WIFI, which means that this location is great for an online gaming session.
The rooftop of Pier 17, in particular, includes an area called The Greens. True to its name, this is a plant-friendly urban space with plenty of areas to lounge and relax.
Given that the Brooklyn Bridge will be twinkling in the background and the Pier is located near to Wall Street, this location would be a great spot to play card games that require some counting and strategy, like poker or blackjack.
Like the Seaport District, the Highline Park is a relatively new addition to New York. The park is a minimalist and modern interpretation of what a park can be. It’s situated in an abandoned railway that’s raised above the busy West Village streets.
The WIFI offered here is reliable and quick, though seating may be tougher to come by. Most visitors spend an afternoon walking through the park, so find a spot and claim it as your own (just not on the grass).
Given the mix of classic architecture with modern skyscrapers surrounding the park, this location will make any online game feel like outdoor activity. Not to mention, West Village was once home to some of New York’s earliest casinos.
The high energy of the park combined with the grandeur of surrounding architecture makes this location perfect for an exciting game like slots or roulette. Remember, in New York City, it’s okay to make some noise.
Staten Island Ferry
Unlike The Greens at Seaport and the Highline Park, the Staten Island Ferry might raise a few eyebrows when posited as a tourist destination. Sure, locals know the massive, orange ferry as an easy way to spend an afternoon with no plans or, though less likely, a legitimate form of transportation from Lower Manhattan to Staten Island.
While not as refined as the other locations, the Staten Island Ferry is a cultural activity that straddles the line between utility and tradition. There’s plenty of seating, reliable WIFI, and a clear view of Manhattan, Brooklyn, Staten Island, New Jersey, and, most importantly, Lady Liberty herself.
The Staten Island Ferry operates 24 hours a day regardless of the weather. Food and beer are available onboard but don’t expect a Pier 17 menu. Instead, sit back, open up a mobile gaming app, and watch the world go by.
Given the casual environment and the stunning views, the Staten Island Ferry is an ideal location for classic jackpot games or, if the Ferry’s moving fast enough, a casino race game.