New Jersey Gambling Laws

New Jersey Gambling Laws

Currently New Jersey has the third largest state casino market in the United States, now only trailing the industry-leading State of Nevada and rapidly catching up to second-placed Pennsylvania in gross gaming revenue.

Legal Sports Betting in NJ

To begin with, let’s clarify resoundingly and completely in the affirmative.

Now, it is a pleasure to say that sports betting in the United States is now legal. There is no ban preventing any of the 50 states from establishing online sports books, if they choose to do so.

Sports betting regulations are now made on a state-by-state basis, including New Jersey following the May 19 2018 Supreme Court ruling.

New Jersey was quick to the punch, with sports betting legislation passing the State Assembly and the Senate (both unanimously) on June 7 2018. That legislation (now law across New Jersey) clearly makes life so much simpler for would-be sports bettors;

  • Allowing for licensed state casinos and horse racing tracks to support land-based, mobile, and online sports wagering. Online wagering went into effect 30 days after the bill’s passage, while other forms of wagering were allowed immediately.
  • Sets the tax rate to 8.5% for land-based casinos, 13% for online sports betting.
  • Restricts the number of individually branded websites, or skins, that a single operator can support to three.
  • Prohibits casinos/racetracks that own a sports team from participation in sports betting. Limitations also exist for potential operators who may have a vested interest in a sports franchise.

Which Online Casinos Are legal in New Jersey and Which are Not?

Whenever you play at a legal New Jersey online casino, you will notice on the site that it is licensed by the Garden State’s ‘Division of Gaming Enforcement’ (DGE). At these licensed sites, you can be absolutely safe in the knowledge that the games are fair and that your money and personal details are safe and secure.

Unfortunately, the same cannot be said of illegal and unregulated, offshore online casinos, many of which operate with little to no governance or oversight and are entirely free to treat customers as they please, without fear of consequences or punitive punishments for poor customer service and withholding players winnings.

While online casinos have been legal in New Jersey since 2013, unlicensed gambling sites also remain open for business.

The availability of both offshore and legal regulated online casinos can be confusing to the average consumer, who may not understand the subtle differences, and put themselves at risk.

The best plan of action is to stick to the legal DGE-regulated sites for peace-of-mind and hassle-free gambling.

If-and-when offshore online casinos become legal for residents of New Jersey, we’ll advise in an unbiased fashion of the best offshore online casinos available with the type of high standards to which you have become accustomed.

Online Sports Betting in New Jersey

As for mobile and online bettors, their location will need to be verified via IP address and/or mobile geolocation to ensure that they are inside the state’s borders when sports betting in New Jersey. Millions of dollars have already been won in New Jersey online sports bets over the first few weeks since the introduction of legal online sports betting.

Many sportsbooks have already been opened for New Jersey residents in the first month of legal sports betting and more are scheduled over the next few months. Millions of dollars have already been won, and critically, the state of New Jersey has also collected plenty of revenue to assist in providing better services to the state’s residents.

All of the online sportsbooks available to New Jersey residents are recommended for online players interested in betting carry the full complement of U.S. and worldwide sports odds markets as NHL odds, CFL odds, Kentucky Derby Odds, NFL Odds, MLB Odds, Odds for PGA Golf tournaments, NCAA Odds, MLS Odds, NBA Odds and much, much, more.

It has been estimated by industry experts that a mature, fully established NJ sports betting market could potentially field as much as $10 billion in annual wagers.

New Jersey Casino Gambling

New Jersey Land-Based Casinos

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 July 2018, there are now currently 9 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.

New Jersey Online Casinos

“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.

Tribal Casinos in New Jersey

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.

Horse Racing in New Jersey

Horse Racing Betting is legal (both on course/track side and online) for all residents of the state of New Jersey. Federal laws allow each state to determine the legality of horse racing betting and most states allow their residents to wager on horse races both Track side, Off Track Betting and online. Many of the largest horse betting websites across the United States have a presence in the state of New Jersey, given the Garden State’s long history with the development of horse racing and horse racing betting across the United States.

Track Side / Off Track Betting (OTB) in New Jersey

  • Track Side – New Jersey is home to four live racing venues that accept wagers on horse races. Horse racing in the state is regulated by the New Jersey Racing Commission and administered under the auspices of the Office of the Attorney General.
  • Off Track Betting (OTB) – Off-track wagering and simulcasts are offered at 5 locations across the state of New Jersey. Wagering on races in New Jersey and all racing locations around the world are all available.

Online Horse Racing Betting in New Jersey

All major U.S. online horse racing betting sites accept customers from New Jersey. Each of the major online horse racing betting sites are all headquartered in the United States and all hold licenses to offer real money bets on horses and greyhounds for New Jersey residents.

Fantasy Sports Betting in New Jersey

Fantasy sports betting has long been exempted from all U.S. federal legislation as it has been generally considered to be a contest of skill, not a game of chance. A few of the more conservative U.S. states prohibit fantasy sports, however, New Jersey never made a move to put an end to Fantasy Sports Betting.

Quite to the contrary, as a matter of fact, New Jersey passed state legislation in 2017 to formally legalize and regulate fantasy sports.

The new law was picked up quickly by Atlantic City’s Casinos in the summer of 2017 as new ‘Fast Pick’ Fantasy Betting Products were quickly introduced just in time for the MLB All-Star game.

Daily fantasy sports (DFS) sites must be licensed to operate in New Jersey and are subject to numerous consumer protection regulations. Requirements include;

  • All sites be licensed with a permit to operate legally in the State of New Jersey,
  • They must only accept players over 18,
  • They be subject to independent audits,
  • They keep players’ funds in a separate account from operator funds (in order to protect customers’ deposits) and;
  • They put in place responsible gaming protocols.

 A major difference in the New Jersey Daily fantasy sports (DFS) legislation to most states is that Fantasy Sports Betting are allowed on U.S. college sports, including U.S. college football and U.S. college basketball, including March Madness and the Final Four.

 Online Players have been able to play DFS online in New Jersey for years prior to the 2018 bill and little has changed now. The biggest DFS sites applied for licenses immediately once the legislation was passed in 2017 and all are currently authorized to continue holding DFS contests in New Jersey.

How DFS works

Fantasy sports betting is a totally different animal to traditional sports wagering. In a fantasy league, you are given a virtual salary cap which is used to ‘buy’ players for your virtual team. Every player in the league is priced according to his perceived virtual market value based on prior seasonal and career performances. If you wish to draft the best goalie in the NHL, for example, you’re going to have to spend a high percentage of your salary cap on that single star goal tender.

Once you have drafted and ‘paid’ for your team, take a seat, watch your week’s games and calculate your team’s points. Your team’s real-life counterparts amass stats (touchdowns, goals, assists, rebounds, strikeouts, yards gained, receptions, etc.) in the real world and subsequently your fantasy league team accumulates points online. The person whose team accumulates the most points, wins the league whether it be weekly, regular season or a stand-alone playoff ‘league’. Big money can be won each week or over the course of an entire season.

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 be the No Limit Hold’em variant.

eSports Betting in New Jersey

Following the Federal Supreme Court ruling for Sports Gambling in May 2018, New Jersey was among the very first U.S. states to have legal eSports gambling offered as an option for its residents to legally place wagers on.

As legal online sportsbooks have already begun, we expect eSports betting to lead the way as an exotic form of sports betting for aficionados of the quickly growing sport, and a lucrative potential money-winner for all NJ Sports Bettors.

eSports has transformed video game playing at its highest levels into a mainstream professional sport. In some game-play scenarios, it’s played on an individual level, however, mostly it’s played by teams with corporate sponsors and across different leagues and tournaments.

The electronic games themselves are like the different sports types. For example, in eSports, League of Legends and Call of Duty are equivalent to, say, football and basketball.

eSports is the broad overarching term and theoretical concept, whilst the different game types are seen as the individual types of sports.

Betting on eSports is growing rapidly and continues to gain in popularity virtually on monthly basis, and an increasing number of online sportsbooks offer a range of betting market action across all major eSports tournaments.

More than $100 billion in gambling revenue will be spent on eSports wagers in 2018, and as such, eSports represents the highest-level competition in gaming today including the best and most professional game players in the world.

Betting on eSports is already available at our recommended range of online casinos for New Jersey players.

History of Betting in New Jersey

New Jersey gambling (including NJ sports gambling) has a long and illustrious history, including the proud position of being more open to legalized gambling than most other U.S. states. Lotteries were established very early on in the state’s history and operated successfully and funded many of the Garden State’s first infrastructure projects, until the lotteries were banned in 1844.

Another New Jersey first includes the establishment of the oldest racetrack in the United States. Informal gambling on horse racing in New Jersey goes back as far as 1830 at the Monmouth course until the race there was formally established in 1870.

After a 45-year period (1894 to 1939) in which gambling was considered illegal, racetrack gambling was re-legalized in 1939. Other key dates in New Jersey’s colorful gambling history include;

  • 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 states first legal sports bet (an ultimately unsuccessful $20 wager on Germany to win the 2018 FIFA World Cup of Soccer).



Back to Top ↑