New Jersey is considered to be ahead of times as it is one of the few US states to offer online gambling. If you reside in NJ, you can play your favourite casino games online, as well as compete in cash games and tournaments at poker rooms on the web. Sports betting is a different story in New Jersey, which we explain why below.
Online casino and poker laws in New Jersey
New Jersey’s former governor, Chris Christie, has been integral to shaping New Jersey’s online gambling environment. On February 27, 2013, he signed a bill authorising online casinos and poker in the state. Online casino and poker games became available to New Jersey residents on November 21, 2013, including slots, table games, speciality games and poker games.
However, there are only a few licensed gambling sites in the state, since land-based casinos in Atlantic City, as well as licensed partners, are the only operators allowed to offer online gambling games in NJ.
Players can only gamble at these sites if they are within state borders. If they leave the state, they will be unable to access their account until they return. Tourists can also gamble online at these sites, with the player’s location determined by a global positioning system (GPS).
The casinos and poker rooms are regulated by the NJ Division of Gaming, ensuring games are fair and the operators adhere to responsible gambling policies, making NJ one of the best US online gambling states.
Online gambling age limits
The legal gambling age in New Jersey both online and offline is 21. Players are required to verify their age when signing up online, and any minors caught gambling will be prosecuted under The Casino Control Act.
The legal gambling age for some games, like the lottery, online and offline bingo, and horse and dog racing, has been advertised as 18, however, it is recommended to research whether it is legal or not to avoid a criminal conviction.
NJ online casinos and poker sites
There are six main casino operators in New Jersey, which run several online casinos, including;
- Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa – four online casinos, three poker rooms and one bingo site
- Caesars Interactive Entertainment – three online casinos and three online poker sites
- Golden Nugget Atlantic City – four online casinos
- Resorts Casino Hotel – two online casinos and one poker room
- Tropicana Casino and Resort – two online casinos
While nearly all of the online casinos are extensions of NJ land-based casinos, the operators teamed up with the biggest poker brands in the world, including WSOP, PartyPoker, PokerStars and 888 to deliver online poker to NJ residents. While Ultimate and Betfair both had an online poker room, both closed down in 2014.
PokerStars launched in New Jersey in 2016, and holds a huge market share. However, it may lose some of its business when the shared online poker liquidity deal becomes a reality.
NJ online poker shared liquidity deal
In October 2017, Christie announced a shared liquidity agreement between Delaware and Nevada, the only other states in America to offer online poker. These two states already have a shared poker pool on WSOP.com, and the New Jersey addition will significantly expand the size of the player pools.
However, PokerStars is unlikely to benefit from the agreement as it is banned from Nevada due to a bad actor clause.
Offshore online casinos in New Jersey
Since players are limited to casino sites run by operators with a physical presence in the state, catalogues are somewhat similar. Some offshore online casino operators still accept New Jersey players who are looking for more variety.
You can check out a huge range of these online casinos on our US online casinos page. It’s important to only play at secure offshore casinos, so check out our reviews before signing up to find out why we recommend these sites.
Sports betting laws in New Jersey
Sports betting is currently illegal in every US state except Nevada, Oregon, Delaware, and Montana under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) 1992.
Christie has been fighting for the right to legalise sports betting in the state since 2014 when NJ amended its laws to allow sports betting. However, the state still doesn’t have a regulated sports betting industry due to ongoing legal challenges.
1992: Federal government introduces PASPA.
2009: New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak plans to sue the federal government and to have PASPA repealed due to the billions of dollars lost to offshore gambling companies.
2011: New Jersey residents support referendum seeking to legalise sports betting in the state. US House Rep. Frank Pallone Jr announces plans to introduce legislation to set up a regulatory framework for a legalised sports betting industry. Sen. Lesniak announces plans to introduce legislation authorising the Casino Control Commission to regulate sports betting at casinos and racetracks.
2013: State approves bill supporting Pallone Jr and Lesniak’s plans, which is signed into law by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Christie fights for a legalised sports betting industry, while the professional sports leagues, including the National Football League, National Basketball Association, National Hockey League, Major League Baseball, and the National Collegiate Athletic Association file a federal lawsuit against NJ, arguing it is illegal to offer sports betting under PASPA. US District Court and the US Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit side with the major sports leagues.
2014: Gov. Christie appeals decision and legalises sports betting. The leagues file a suit, and the US District court issues a temporary restraining order.
2015: New Jersey appeals the restraining order, the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals upholds lower courts decision, Gov. Christie appeals the decision again, and finally the full Third Court agrees to hear the case.
2016: The state of New Jersey presents its case to 12 judges of the US Third Circuit Court of Appeals. The court rules against the state. New Jersey appeals the decision and takes the case to the US Supreme Court.
2017: SCOTUS agreeS to hear the appeal and will try the arguments for and against a legalised sports betting industry on December 4. Interested parties submit amicus briefs supporting the case, and while the pro leagues have come around they maintain their stance against a legalise sports betting industry. Federal New Jersey Congressman Frank Pallone, Jr. releases a draft of a bill called the Gaming Accountability and Modernisation Enhancement Act (GAME Act), which would repeal PASPA.
If New Jersey wins the appeal, any casino or racetrack in the country will be able to offer sports betting.
Offshore sports betting sites
Since operators cannot offer sports betting in the state, NJ punters are forced to look elsewhere. There are several sportsbooks which accept US and NJ gamblers and you can place a bet on local and international sports here.
Horse racing and greyhounds wagering in New Jersey
Wagering on horse and greyhound racing is legal in NJ, as the activity became exempt from gambling restrictions in 2006. Punters can place a bet on a race at one of the three local racetracks in the state, including Monmouth Park, The Meadlowlands, and Freehold. The state also has several off-tack betting hall.
There are also no restrictions in place when it comes to betting on horses, and you will find a range of local and international horse racing markets at the bookmakers
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