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Empire City Casino

Social Casino Action, Plus Skill-Based Games.

Players from United States accepted

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  • Excellent mix of slots titles includes games from heavy hitters like NetEnt and Incredible Technologies.
  • VIP games can be unlocked simple by collecting enough credits, with no purchase or level requirements.
  • Great selection of table games, video poker, and skill-based contests like poker and backgammon.
  • Rewards program offers benefits for players who also visit Empire City Casino in New York.

Empire City Casino Review

The state of New York isn’t thought of as a major gambling destination, at least not yet. In fact, the first few full casino resorts that are set to open in the state are only now being built, and even then they will be located upstate, far from New York City.

But that doesn’t mean that the metro area hasn’t had its share of gambling opportunities in recent years. One of the largest is Empire City Casino at Yonkers Raceway, located just north of NYC. A true racino, the facility has included thousands of slots and other electronic games, a collection that over time has grown to include simulated versions of many table games.

But Empire City isn’t just a land-based brand anymore. Today, you can enjoy playing that same kind of resort action right from the comfort of your home, and all without spending a single penny. That’s thanks to their social casino site, which offers an extensive collection of casino favorites and skill-based games for players to check out. And if you either play at the Yonkers location (or plan to visit), you might also like the fact that you can earn some player rewards here than can be redeemed at the brick-and-mortar resort.

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An Extensive Slots Collection, and More

One of the most obvious strengths of Empire City is that it has an especially strong game selection, especially when you compare it against other social casino sites. One part of that is how much variety there is in game types, but even before getting into that, we can tell you that the slots selection along is worthy of praise.

That’s because this site draws upon many of the top developers in the Internet gaming industry to provide games that players often pay to play on other sites. That includes NetEnt and Konami, both of whom are widely regarded as being among the best development studios for slots games in the industry, as well as Incredible Technologies and Spin Games, who are lesser-known but still highly-regarded by insiders and players alike.

That means that you’ll get to enjoy about 90 different slots in total, many of which you may have seen at real money sites or in real world resorts. However, not all of these titles are available to players right off the bat. When you first open your account, you’ll be gifted with 5,000 credits, which you can use to play about half the games that are offered. The other half are designated as VIP titles, and these titles aren’t opened up to you until you get at least $20,000 (in virtual cash) into your account.

This system has its benefits and drawbacks. On the one hand, it makes for a reasonably achievable goal that will instantly allow you to play anything you want. However, it doesn’t provide the goal-based gameplay that has made so many other social casinos popular, in which you slowly but gradually unlock more and more play options for yourself. Whether or not this VIP system is better or worse will largely come down to personal taste.

Slots on this site are about equally divided between VIP and immediately available titles, with perhaps a few more of the most desirable machines being locked until you hit the VIP barrier. That said, there are still quite a few excellent options that can be accessed even if you never build up your account balance. Some of our favorite non-VIP games are:

  • Pyramid: Quest for Immortality
  • Starry Night
  • Love Bite
  • The Forest of Fortunes
  • Machine-Gun Unicorn
  • Jack and the Beanstalk

Meanwhile, players who unlock the entire casino collection can also try these great titles:

  • Blood Suckers
  • Jack Hammer 2: Fishy Business
  • Total Meltdown
  • Drive
  • Koi Princess
  • Medusa: The Quest of Perseus

Unlike many social gaming sites, however, slots are just the start of the action here. You’ll be able to play a variety of video poker machines if you’re so inclined, including popular options like Jacks or Better, Jester Poker, and Regal Poker. Only Deuces Wild is behind the VIP barrier, but even an alternate version of this machine is offered right off the bat. Several versions of keno are also offered, as are bingo based games like Empire Action.

Table games are also provided, though the selection isn’t exactly expansive. Blackjack, baccarat, and roulette are all presented in pretty standard forms, as is an alternative game known as Hi-Lo Solitaire, in which you’ll be able to placed fixed-odds bets on the next cards to be flipped from a deck. There is also an interesting game called Poker Bet, in which you can bet on simulated hands of Texas Hold’em, picking who you think will win or lose at various points in the hand based on the actual odds of each virtual contestant having the best holdings at the river.

If you really like poker, though, you might be in the mood to play against real live competition in the Empire City poker room. While there isn’t much action here, games including Texas Hold’em and Pineapple can be found, occasionally with big free tournaments that pay out millions in chips that you can use on the site. Texas Hold’em cash games are offered too, with the tables being named after various New York cities.

Other skill-based games are also offered as a part of this poker package. You can set up tables where you can take on opponents in backgammon, dominoes, or gin rummy, or even a heads-up form of competitive blackjack. These areas never seem to be all that busy, but they are still a welcome addition that’s a bit different than the standard fare usually seen at social casinos.

Promotions and Purchases

As at most social sites, Empire City makes it fairly easy to keep collecting at least a small number of credits on a regular basis. For instance, you’ll receive coins each time you log in on a consecutive day, with rewards getting into the thousands of virtual dollars if you’ve been playing daily for a few weeks. You’ll also get more credits as you gain experience on the site, moving up through predetermined levels that offer bigger and bigger rewards. Leaderboard challenges and other occasional promotions also promise additional chances to boost your balance.

Of course, if you want to spend a little money, you can build your bankroll – and unlock the VIP games – a whole lot faster. The site offers up four different packages for those who want to buy more play money, at the following costs:

  • 7,000 Credits: $4.90
  • 17,000: $9
  • 85,000: $39
  • 900,000: $199

New players can get even better deals. There is a 100% welcome bonus that offers twice as many coins for each package, with no promotional code required. And you don’t have to worry about the extensive terms and conditions found at most real money casinos for their bonuses – though that’s only because you can’t cash these chips out for cash, of course.

Empire City Casino Bonuses and Promotions

Type
Amount
Match
Playthrough
Claim
Welcome Bonus
$500
100%
See Site

That doesn’t mean these purchases can’t have any value for you, though. If you are an Empire Club Member at their brick-and-mortar casino, you’ll be awarded with loyalty points every time you make significant purchases on the website. In order to start getting these points, however, you’ll have to spend at least $40. Each week, you’ll be slotted into one of six tiers based on how much you’ve spend, and receive an associated number of points, which can then be activated at a promotions booth at the resort.

In order to take advantage of this promotion, you’ll first need to link your club to your account, which is easy enough to do on the site from your profile section (doing so will also earn you an additional 10,000 chips, which makes it well worth your time). After that, you will receive loyalty points based on your weekly purchases at the following rates:

  • $40-$99: 200 Points
  • $100-$199: 450
  • $200-$399: 1,000
  • $400-$999: 2,000
  • $1,000-$2,999: 5,500
  • $3,000 or More: 15,000

Solid for Most, Great for Established Fans

There’s little to complain about when it comes to Empire City’s social casino site. The game selection is truly top notch, especially when it comes to the skill-based options that are rarely seen in this sector. We love the slots, and while we would rather see a gradual unlocking system for games, we think the one-time VIP barrier might appeal to some players too – that’s more or less a matter of taste.

For most players, then, we can confidently say that this will be a fairly good choice, and could even perhaps be a clear top pick if you’re into playing some of the more skill-dependent games offered here. But where this site really shines is for those who live near Yonkers Raceway and plan to spend a fair amount of time at the live casino, all while also spending some cash at a social gambling site. If that describes you, then the rewards offered here make this the obvious place to play, as every dollar you spend on the play money games will help you enjoy some great amenities at your real world stomping grounds as well.

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