Legal New Jersey Online Gambling

In 2013, New Jersey became the second US states to legalize online casinos and poker sites. For several years, Nevada and Delaware were the three states to regulate intrastate online gambling. Over the years, New Jersey surpassed Nevada and other US states in developing the most lucrative online gambling industry in the United States. Borgata, Golden Nugget, Resorts Casino, and Caesars Entertainment in Atlantic City all launched online casinos and cardrooms.

By 2019, New Jersey online gambling generated over $300 million a year in revenues. The state is now the epicenter of U.S. online gaming. Currently in 2020, New Jersey fights the US Department of Justice in court to protect legal online casinos and card sites. This page contains all you need to know about New Jersey online gambling laws, along with revenue figures, top casino sites, and updates on NJ’s ongoing legal battle with the US federal government.

New Jersey Online Gambling Laws

New Jersey long had laws prohibiting any unregulated gambling outside the specific exemptions in statute. NJ law enforcement charges offenders for violating statute, as those promoting and providing games are subject to far more serious charges than mere player participants. In the online gambling industry, individual players are not fined or prosecuted, though online gaming site owners operating inside New Jersey would be.

Land-based gambling is a slightly different matter, but not by much. Merely a player participant qualifies as an affirmative defense against the majority of gambling charges, with the following passage legally defining a player is often regarded as essentially acknowledging an exemption for un-raked social home games;

“A person who gambles at a social game of chance on equal terms with the other participants therein does not thereby render material assistance to the establishment, conduct or operation of such game if he performs, without fee or remuneration, acts directed toward the arrangement or facilitation of the game, such as inviting persons to play, permitting the use of premises therefor or supplying cards or other equipment used therein”.

New Jersey Online Casinos

New Jersey’s online casinos generate almost $300 million a year in revenues for Atlantic City casinos. Revenues built over a 5-year period after a relatively disappointing start. Problems with the geolocation software and credit card issues plagued the rollout period, but regulators and operators since have taken steps to overcome those challenges.

These days, SugarHouse Casino is the leader in the online casino market. SugarHouse offers online slots from top developers like IGT, Bally Technologies, WMS Gaming, and Konami. Borgata Online Casino is second in the market, while most of the other casino sites generate significant revenue for their brick-and-mortar owners.

New Jersey Online Poker

New Jersey’s online poker industry is not as lucrative as its online casinos, but the industry is strong. One reason is New Jersey regulators allowed PokerStars to enter its gaming market. Borgata Online Poker was the top operator in New Jersey prior to Resorts Casino/PokerStars entered the market in the spring of 2016, but PokerStars immediately dominated New Jersey online poker.

Some AC casinos chose not to compete in the iPoker category, which is why New Jersey doesn’t have as many online poker sites as it has online casinos.

New Jersey Sportsbooks

New Jersey now has legal sportsbooks in Atlantic City casinos and a few racetracks. World famous bookmakers partner with the AC casinos and New Jersey racecourses. Sports gambling brands like William Hill, 888 Sport, GAN, FanDuel (Betfair-Paddy Power), and DraftKings each back at least one land-based casinos. Most have their own mobile sports betting app for Android and iPhone, too.

New Jersey’s Land-Based Casinos

Atlantic City is host to 9 casinos. The Borgata is far and away the top choice for poker players in AC at the current time, with a fine spread of cash games and a decent weekly tournament series [1] with most buy-ins pitched somewhere between $100 and $300.

The other AC casinos include Golden Nugget, Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s Atlantic City, Bally AC, Resorts Casino, Hard Rock Atlantic City, Oceans Resort Casino, and Tropicana.

New Jersey State Lottery

The state runs a lottery and pari-mutuel wagering at racetracks as well as charity gambling of various sorts, provided that all games take place within the remit defined by the law. In the case of charity gambling, licenses must be obtained in advance.

If you’d like to read further into the intricacies of the general gambling laws in New Jerseyincluding the scale of the penalties, which can be pretty severe in the state, Gambling Law US [2] has a pretty comprehensive guide to the foundational statutes (although nothing as yet on the new changes), and the New Jersey Legislature [3] of course has all the original documents available to view.

Latest News

Alongside online gambling, New Jersey from 2012 to 2018 pushed for legal sports gambling, wishing to join Nevada in being allowed to run such betting operations. In fact, the state has launched a federal case [4] on this very matter, then launched a second case in 2014 after the first initiative failed.

Despite 5 losses in federal court, then-Gov. Chris Christie’s expressed confidence, “I think that New Jersey will be victorious ultimately”.

That confidence was justified in May 2018 when the US Supreme Court ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) of 1992 was unconstitutional. Overnight, US states could regulate and launch legal sportsbooks and sports betting apps. New Jersey played a huge role in the landmark decision that created a US sports betting industry.

Famous Gamblers from New Jersey

Atlantic City has spawned a number of the absolute best poker players in the world, including Phil Ivey, who famously learned the ropes in the poker rooms of the city. Cash game legend Tom Dwan also hails from New Jersey, as does David Sklansky, one of the foremost experts in the world in both poker and game theory.


What Forms of Gambling are Legal in New Jersey?

Almost all forms of gambling are legal in New Jersey. If you want a taste of the real action in Atlantic City of course, the casinos are the place to be. That being said, you can find many other gambling games, if you look.

The New Jersey State Lottery has sold tickets since 1970. Proceeds from the sale of tickets [5] constitute the fourth biggest source of revenue to the state – hence their slogan “our real winners don’t need tickets”. New Jersey is also a member of the Mega Millions and Powerball lotteries.

If it’s horseracing you’re after, the state has three fine tracks, with the local tourism board offering a guide here [6]. If you’d rather go straight to the best known of the state’s racecourses, Monmouth Park is right here.

Charity gaming is allowed and licenses issued for this, and a fairly lively local scene is supported by this legislation. Social home games appear to have an implied exemption in the law, so long as no host or house takes any consideration, including that derived from selling beverages or other goods to players.

Is it legal to gamble online in New Jersey?

Yes. New Jersey has the foremost licensed and regulated online casinos and poker sites in the United States. Pennsylvania revenues might soon surpass NJ online casinos, but for now, New Jersey is the most successful legal online gambling industry in the USA.

Most importantly, players inside New Jersey can play online legally and safely. You should have no worries signing up to play.

What deposit options do it have at New Jersey online casinos?

Credit cards, debit cards, and prepaid cards all work in NJ online casinos and poker rooms. ACH, also known as eCheck, also work there. Neteller, Skrill, and bank wire transfers are acceptable deposit methods, too.

New Jersey online gamblers have a few other methods not commonly associated with US online gambling. Since the sites are licensed and regulated, PayPal is a payment method. So is the 7-Eleven PayNearMe system. Go into any 7-Eleven convenience store in New Jersey to make a deposit.

Also, online bettors can make deposits at the cage in any Atlantic City casino. Simply walk up to the cashier with your player account information to make a deposit.

Why do some online casinos have multiple gaming portals?

New Jersey gives AC casinos the right to an online casino license, but also offer sub-licenses to partners. You’ll find a Golden Nugget Online Casino, but also a SugarHouse Casino that acts as a sub-licensee. Caesars Atlantic City owns, but also has a partnership with 888 Casino to support its online casino gaming. In these cases, the license holder receives a licensing fee or a portion of the revenues from the secondary license holder.

Will the US federal government ban online gambling anytime soon?

The U.S. Department of Justice reversed its 2011 opinion on online casinos and cardrooms with an announcement in January 2019. The 2019 opinion states that interstate online poker is illegal under terms of the 1961 Federal Wire Act. Under the DOJ’s interpretation, all online gambling is banned under federal law.

That announcement prompted the New Hampshire Lottery to sue the Department of Justice to protect its right to sell online lottery tickets. The attorneys general of New Jersey and Pennsylvania soon joined that lawsuit. The case is still pending in federal court, but licensed online casinos and poker sites can operate until a decision is made.

Readers should know that any decision does not necessarily affect their ability to bet online. Even if the court system rules that online gambling in New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Nevada, Delaware, and West Virginia are illegal, that applies to the online gambling operators themselves. Individual US residents won’t be prosecuted for gambling online. They’ll simply sign up at an offshore online casino, poker site, or sportsbook.

When gambling online at offshore betting sites, it’s especially important to do your research and make wise decisions. Since it’s an unregulated market, you won’t have the consumer protections gamblers have in New Jersey. For that reason, read honest reviews of online casinos to assure you play at a safe, secure, fair, and legitimate online casino. Read casino reviews here on BestOnlineCasinos for trustworthy advice on picking an online casino.

Sources for this article

      1. com: Atlantic City casino guide: Ten great places to play
      2. com: New Jersey
      3. New Jersey Legislature
      4. com: New Jersey wages federal court battle to allow gambling on sports
      5. Gov. Christie signs internet gambling into law
      6. With N.J. poised to allow online gambling, internet betting industry flocks to Atlantic City