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Regulation and legality of online gambling

Yes, online gambling is fully legal in NJ. In fact, it wouldn’t be a stretch to call New Jersey the most liberal US state, gambling-wise. This might seem like a strange claim when Nevada also exists. However, despite the cultural impact of Las Vegas as a whole, NV still doesn’t have a legal and regulated online casino market. Due to them omitting this important part of gaming, NJ takes the crown.

Atlantic City had been the hotspot for brick and mortar casinos, ever since the opening of the now-infamous Trump Castle and Trump Plaza. The addition of these two venues further accelerated the evolution of the city’s bustling casino market. It further developed into the 2000s, until everyone realized the overcrowding was a real issue.

Since New Jersey was always willing to mix things up, it didn’t take long for legislators to start drafting online gambling bills. One of them was passed and signed by then-Gov. Chris Christie, on 26 February 2013. Interestingly, NJ also had a seven-day test period before finally launching the first casino apps on 26 November 2013.

In addition to casino sites, NJ also offers a plethora of sportsbooks, fantasy sports apps, poker rooms and websites, and much more. If you didn’t know, Atlantic City is the only place in NJ where brick and mortar casinos are allowed.

Due to overcrowding concerns, going online was somewhat of an obvious solution. By allowing online casinos, NJ solved the problems while still maintaining the rest of the state as a casino-free area.

Currently, there are 20+ legal sites available, with most of them being the extension of an existing land-based venue. You can find all of them on the official site of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE). If you encounter a site that’s not on the NJDGE list, it doesn’t operate legally, and you should avoid such casinos. In case of any dispute, you have the right to legal arbitration from the NJDGE.

New Jersey Governor Chris Christie signed the A2578 bill in 2013, legalizing online gambling in the state. The State of New Jersey legalized gambling over the internet to support its land-based casinos and to generate tax revenue for the state budget. The state solved the issue of jeopardizing brick and mortar casinos with online gaming by tying the websites to land-based casinos and their partners. This way, the land-based casinos benefit from a new way to reach customers, and the online gaming market is thriving, becoming a source of massive, stable and direct revenue for the state. The law imposes a 15% internet gambling tax on the operators.



Gambling history in New Jersey

Known as one of the main gambling oasis in the United States, New Jersey wasn’t always so gambling-friendly. Looking at gambling histories of the other states, it has still been notably more permissive. But, let’s start at the beginning. Lottery draws were common in New Jersey territory in the early 1800s. Lotteries helped finance the military during the French and Indian War, as well as the years of the colonial revolt. It’s known that proceeds from the lottery helped pay for the construction of Queen's College and the College of New Jersey (now Rutgers University and Princeton).

The first racetrack opened in the 1830s, the Freehold Raceway. Known as the first racetrack in the US, it held races informally. Pari-mutuel gambling was prohibited in 1894, and soon all gambling was banned through a referendum which amended the state constitution in 1897. In the following years, gambling expanded despite the overall ban; spotty enforcement of the law enabled bookmakers, slot machines, bingo and racing to take place in The Garden State. During the prohibition, casino gaming went underground and it was associated with the mob.

It was in 1939 when racing was officially legalized, and charity bingo followed in 1953. The New Jersey Lottery was created in 1970 after 81.5% of New Jersey voters supported it in the referendum. However, they stuck to being against commercial casinos and there was still no legalized casino gambling in NJ. Instead of legalizing casinos statewide, the legislators restricted them to Atlantic City and the area remains one of the most popular gambling destinations in the United States. The most recent change to the gambling landscape of New Jersey happened in 2013, when online gambling was legalized and the first NJ-licensed sites went live the following year.


New Jersey land based casinos

New Jersey is home to over a dozen land-based casino establishments, and all of them are concentrated in the Atlantic City area. These venues are regulated by the New Jersey Casino Control Commission and the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement and receive millions of visitors from all over the world. A person must be 21 years of age to gamble at Atlantic City casinos, where gaming comes in every variety. Some of the more notable brick and mortar casinos are Bally's, Borgata, Golden Nugget, Harrah's and Tropicana.

Bally’s facilities include two casinos, Bally’s and The Wild Wild West. While the first one has a modern theme and look, the other one is themed on the American Old West. Together, they cover 185,000 square feet of gaming area and offer over 3,200 slot machines and more than 125 table games, including blackjack, dice, roulette, Big Six, Mini-Baccarat, Pai Gow, Let it Ride, Caribbean Stud Poker and 3-Card Poker. Bally’s features 10 restaurants, a pool and spa, as well as over 1,700 hotel rooms for luxurious accommodation.

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is located in the Marina District of Atlantic City, offering a 161,000-square-foot casino floor with 4,100 slot machines and 200 table games. It is themed on Tuscany and boasts scenic views in combination with 2,000 contemporary luxury guest rooms and suites. At Borgata, you can play poker, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, Pai Gow tiles and Sic Bo. Its poker room is the largest in Atlantic City, holding daily and high-stakes tournaments.

The Golden Nugget Casino is themed on the Gold Rush Era and it’s been operational since 1985. The winner of the AAA Four Diamond award, Golden Nugget boasts over 80 table games including outdoor tables, plush poker tables, and over 1,300 slot machines across 80,000 square feet of gaming space. The venue incorporates a spa, salon and fitness center as well as casual, fine dining and world-class restaurants. The resort also features a 2000-seat ballroom and a 462-seat theater, along with nightclubs, bars and lounges.

Harrah's Resort is also located in the marina district, featuring 177,000 square feet of gaming space filled with over 5,500 slot and video poker machines and more than 130 table games. Harrah's Atlantic City Poker Room features 40 poker tables open 24/7. Tropicana Casino has an Old Havana vibe. It offers 2,400 guest rooms, over 25 restaurants, 25 retail shops, 20 bars and lounges and 4 pools. The casino went through a renovation in 2018 and added AtlantiCare Life Center Fitness and Garces restaurants, as well as more hotel rooms. Tropicana is home to over 2,400 slot machines and over 130 table games, including blackjack, craps, roulette, baccarat, Three Card Poker, Caribbean Stud, Let it Ride, and Four Card Poker.

Neighbouring States: Delaware, New York, Pennsylvania



What’s the age limit for playing at New Jersey online casinos?

21. New Jersey uses the same limit imposed in many other states with legal gambling. The NJDGE is notoriously tough on underage gambling, and law enforcement won’t spare any expenses or amount of effort to apprehend those responsibly.

Many New Jersey online casinos also require you to provide document scans for identity verification, which makes it impossible to gamble whilst underage.

Which games can you play at casino sites in NJ?

As you have access to probably the best-developed iGaming market in the whole country, there is literally nothing you can’t play. NJ sites are aware of the competition and the rise of offshore brands, so they work hard to add new titles to their rosters on an almost weekly basis. Some operators even offer niche options, so you can experience everything that even remotely interests you.

Are live dealer games available, as well?

Yes, live casino sections are present at almost every NJ online casino. It can get a little crowded at the venues in Atlantic City, so players love the fact that they can get the same experience from their computer or smartphone.

What payment options can you use at NJ online casinos?

New Jersey is home to many online casinos, so the presence of a plethora of payment options makes perfect sense. Despite the fact that it’s 2020, most sites still offer wire transfers and ACH as standard platforms. They’re mainly aimed at older casino aficionados who don’t want to go through the hassle of creating an eWallet account.

However, despite the familiarity factor, these two options are very inefficient, less secure than modern platforms, and are notorious for their excruciatingly long waiting times.

Credit cards are, believe it or not, the most popular payment platform in NJ. Despite card fraud being a hot topic in recent years, players love the fact that they only need to input three sets of numbers in order to deposit and withdraw money.

eWallets are emerging as an ideal solution to many problems that surround both iGaming and the fintech industry. Not only can you conceal your credit card info from casinos, but you also get added security benefits and fast transfers.

If you’re really crazy about security, then cryptocurrencies are the way to go. You can deposit and withdraw money in a completely anonymous matter. Cryptos like Bitcoin are based on blockchain technology, which makes transactions immune to all forms of manipulation.

Do New Jersey casino sites pay withdrawals in a timely manner?

If the casino doesn’t impose any identity verification measures for withdrawals, then the only thing you need to ‘worry’ about is the payment method you’re using. The fastest platform, by far, is any eWallet. Thanks to the technology they’re using, virtual wallets allow for instant transfers. You’ll find PayPal or Skrill at almost all New Jersey online casinos.

The next fastest option is, of course, cryptocurrencies. While waiting times vary between the currencies that are used, you shouldn’t expect a pending period of more than 60 minutes.

Credit and debit cards, despite their popularity, boast some of the longest waiting periods. On average, you wait up to 3-5 business days, so good luck if you request a withdrawal on Saturday. ACH and wire transfers are also slow, with 7 days being the worst-case scenario.

Fun Facts about New Jersey 

  • New Jersey was where drive-in movie theaters were invented. The idea was developed and patented by Richard Hollingshead Jr. He opened the first drive-in movie theater in 1933 outside of Camden in New Jersey.
  • The streets in Monopoly, the fast dealing, property trading board game, are actual streets in Atlantic City.

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