Gambling in New Jersey

New Jersey

On February 26, 2013, then State Governor Chris Christie signed Assembly Bill 2578, legalizing online gambling in the state. Shortly thereafter, the first ever fully legal gambling sites in New Jersey officially went live.

New Jersey was among the first states along with Nevada and Delaware to legalize online casinos.

If you’re 21-years-or-older and are physically located in New Jersey, you can sign up and play at NJ online casinos and online poker sites that are operated by the Atlantic City casinos themselves. You don’t even have to be a resident of the state. All that is required is that you are physically located in New Jersey when you log on.

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New Jersey online casinos are operated in partnership deals with a land-based casinos and software providers. The States’ laws require that only existing Atlantic City casinos can operate an online casino, allowing for full security and peace-of-mind as online players.

New Jersey Casino Gambling

In 1976, New Jersey land-based casinos were legalized by the state legislature, and in 1978 the first casinos opened their doors in the beach resort town of Atlantic City. As at December 2018, there are now currently nine casinos in operation in Atlantic City and plans are afoot in the New Jersey State Legislature to expand the land-based casino business beyond Atlantic City.

However, State legislators are currently in deadlock over potential new casino ownership assessment and the tax revenue sharing involved. Casino location and other matters such as tax rates would need to be re-determined by enabling legislation to be passed by the state legislature. A law passed by referendum in 1976 furnished Atlantic City with a monopoly on casino gambling in New Jersey.

Atlantic City’s nine casinos are regulated by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Tribal Casinos

Tribal Casinos, otherwise known as ‘Native American Gaming’, comprises casinos, bingo halls, and other gambling operations on Indian reservations or other tribal land across 28 states of the United States.

At the present time, there are no Native American Tribal Casinos in the state of New Jersey. This is due to the fact that current NJ law says all casinos must be located in Atlantic city, however, in 2012, the Mohegan Tribe of Connecticut became managers of one of Atlantic City’s major Casino Hotels.

Online Casinos in New Jersey

“Is online gambling legal in New Jersey?” I hear you ask and I’m pleased to advise that absolutely, online gaming is 100% legal in the Garden State.

Long story short, online casinos have been operating in New Jersey since 2013 after becoming legal in 2011. At the time, game options were rather limited, but by 2018, twelve separate online casino brands are now offering many hundreds of games including a wide variety that have been brought over from the traditional casino world such online poker, online slots, online baccarat, online roulette and of course, the ever-popular online blackjack.

By 2018, the New Jersey online gambling industry surpasses more than $100 million per annum in tax revenue. An unqualified and outstanding success story, the combined revenues of all online casinos in New Jersey now actually exceed the revenues of the three smallest brick-and-mortar casinos.

What we can expect for the future is for online casinos in New Jersey to continue to generate increased income and fill the state’s coffers with much-needed funds to build infrastructure projects and supply better government services for the state’s residents.

Now that online sports betting in NJ has been legalized, expect that income to continue increase exponentially and the state’s services to improve dramatically in relation to the increase.

It seems clearly evident the NJ sports betting will continue to drive the growth numbers and game quality as online casinos continue to perform seamlessly, and supply online bettors with quality games, excellent customer service options, secure sites powered with SSL encryption for industry-leading player security-and-protection, and increased opportunities to make potentially life-changing massive wins.

Nj’s Legal Online Casinos

Poker in New Jersey

Whilst most types of Poker are actively encouraged in New Jersey Casinos (both land-based and online), unlicensed Poker most definitely is not and is frowned upon by lawmakers.

Poker Rooms

Of course, you can play many different types of poker (Casino Hold’em, Texas Hold’em, Caribbean Stud Poker, No Limit Hold’em etc.) perfectly legally at any of New Jersey’s nine Atlantic City casinos.

For the time being, unlicensed poker, unlicensed baccarat and unlicensed roulette (for example, playing for money with your friends in your own home is actively discouraged – stick to the legal casinos), are all seen as a form of unlicensed and illegal prohibited gaming and can theoretically be charged as a misdemeanor in New Jersey. Possible punishments are big fines and potential jail time if the fines go unpaid.

Online Poker Laws

If you’re interested in playing Poker legally without any fear of legal punishment, stick to New Jersey’s land-based casinos and excellent range of online casinos. At the time of writing, the Poker Game of choice with New Jersey’s online casino poker rooms appears the of the No Limit Hold’em variant.

NJ’s History of Online & Land-Based Gambling

  • 1830– New Jersey Horse Racing begins at the Monmouth track.
  • 1939 – After a period of gambling prohibition, horse racing was officially legalized in New Jersey
  • 1953 – New Jersey voters pass referendum to legalize bingos and raffles for charities.
  • 1959 – Amusement games re-legalized after a 1957 decision determined them illegal.
  • 1970 – New Jersey Lottery established.
  • 1975 – New jersey ‘Pick-It’ established for New Jersey residents to choose their own numbers.
  • 1976 to 1978 – First legal casinos appear in Atlantic City.
  • 2011 – Online Gambling legalized in New Jersey for those residents over the age of 21.
  • 2013 – First online casinos begin including online horse betting.
  • 2018 – New Jersey wins Federal suit as the U.S. Supreme Court legalizes sports betting in New Jersey and across all 50 U.S. states, effectively handing the legislative administration back to each state to make their own decision.

2018 – Governor Phil Murphy celebrates the change in the New Jersey sports gambling law by placing the state’s first legal sports bet (an ultimately unsuccessful $20 wager on Germany to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup of Soccer).

2021 – Voters defeated a measure an initiative to legalize in-state college sports betting, however, New Jersey bettors can still wager on college sporting events taking place outside of the state.

Visit our New Jersey Online Sports Betting Page for information about the Garden States Sports Betting Laws