New Jersey Online Casinos
Online casino gambling in New Jersey is legal and also a booming business. Since becoming legalized in 2013, online gambling in New Jersey has now amassed over $1 billion in revenue. Online casinos have taken the biggest share of money, with online casino gaming accounting for 93% of all New Jersey online gambling revenue in 2018. The huge success of online gambling in the state is thanks to just 12 online casino brands.
To take part in online gambling in New Jersey, you must be aged 21 or over and physically present in New Jersey when betting. However, unlike some states, you do not need to be a New Jersey resident. You can also set up an account from anywhere in the U.S., although you cannot play for real money.
Legal Online Casinos in New Jersey
The online casinos listed below are the only ones that are currently licensed and legal in New Jersey:
|Betfair Casino||Golden Nugget Atlantic City||Game Account Network
|Golden Nugget||Golden Nugget Atlantic City||NYX Gaming Group
|SugarHouse Casino||Golden Nugget Atlantic City||Rush Street Interactive
|Tropicana Casino||Tropicana Casino & Resort||Gamesys
|Virgin Casino||Tropicana Casino & Resort||Gamesys
|Caesars Casino||Caesars Interactive||NYX Gaming Group
|Harrah's Casino||Caesars Interactive||888
|888 Casino||Caesars Interactive||888
|PartyCasino||Borgata Hotel & Casino||GVC
|Pala Online||Borgata Hotel & Casino||Pala Interactive
|Borgata Online Casino||Borgata Hotel & Casino||GVC
|Scores Casino||Borgata Hotel & Casino||Pala Interactive
|playMGM||Borgata Hotel & Casino||GVC
|Hard Rock Casino||Hard Rock Hotel & Casino||Gaming Innovation Group
|Resorts Casino||Resort Casino Hotel||NYX Gaming Group
|Mohegan Sun Casino||Resort Casino Hotel||NYX Gaming Group
|PokerStars||Resort Casino Hotel||PokerStars
|Ocean Casino||Ocean Resort & Casino||Game Account Network
History of Online Gambling in New Jersey
In February 2013, New Jersey became the third U.S. state to legalize online gambling. The change in the law followed a three year tussle between Senator Raymond Lesniak and Governor Chris Christie. Lesniak first proposed legalizing online gambling in New Jersey in January 2010 as a way to help the Atlantic City economy recover from the Great Recession of 2007 – the city’s casino revenue had been falling steadily since 2006.
Despite the bill being overwhelmingly voted for in the New Jersey Senate, Governor Christie vetoed it twice. His first veto, in 2011, was he claimed due to concerns that the bill had the potential to allow gambling to expand beyond Atlantic City – the only part of New Jersey where gambling is legal.
In reply, Lesniak claimed that Gov. Christie instead was influenced by Nevada-based Caesars Entertainment, who own and/or operate three casinos in Atlantic City: Caesars, Bally’s and Harrah’s.
Although Caesars had spent millions of dollars lobbying Washington to legalize online gambling, Lesniak felt that they wanted a federal solution to online gambling in which they could be a major player. According to Lesniak they didn’t want New Jersey stealing their thunder.
Undeterred, Lesniak returned in 2012 with an amended bill. Again the bill passed through the Senate without a hitch and again it was vetoed by Christie. This time however, Christie’s veto was conditional – he had also recently signed a bill to legalize sports betting in New Jersey. He would support the bill if it was limited to a 10-year trial period and if the tax on casino’s income was increased to 15% from the proposed 10%.
The conditions were met and online gambling in New Jersey was legalized on February 26 2013.
In order to keep competition fair, New Jersey opted for a synchronized launch for all online casino gambling. On November 21 2013, six Atlantic City casinos launched their online gambling sites, a seventh (Golden Nugget) was delayed by technical problems but began operating later that month.
Within a month of the launch, 100,000 people had signed up for accounts. As of 2019, there are 17 online casinos in New Jersey operated by 6 casino companies – including Caesars.
History of Brick-and-Mortar Gambling
New Jersey has one of, if not the, longest history of gambling in the United States: Freehold Raceway in Freehold Borough is America’s oldest racetrack with horse-racing having taken place there in some form since the 1830s.
Despite its early relaxed approach to gambling, a law-change in 1894 and a public vote in 1897 led to all gambling in New Jersey being officially banned. Yet, much like prohibition, this didn’t stop gambling.
In fact, Atlantic City was ‘The World’s Playground’ by a certain Enoch ‘Nucky’ Johnson. Johnson was at various times the Sheriff and Treasurer of Atlantic County. He was also a racketeer who was eventually imprisoned, Al Capone-style, for tax impropriety. Presiding over Atlantic City at the height of prohibition and the New Jersey gambling ban, he was famously quoted as saying:
“We have whisky, wine, women, song and slot machines. I won’t deny it and I won’t apologize for it.”
Between 1939 and the early 1970s, the ban was gradually relaxed. First horse-racing was re-legalized, followed by charitable gambling and amusement arcade games. Finally in 1970 another referendum allowed the creation of the New Jersey Lottery.
In keeping with their track-record of being gambling pioneers, in 1975 New Jersey became the first American state to allow lottery players to pick their own numbers.
Brick-and-Mortar Casinos in New Jersey
By the late 1960s Atlantic City, once the ‘World’s Playground’, was in decline. If once-packed hotels weren’t being bulldozed, they were shutting down or being converted into flats and nursing homes.
Casinos were seen by some as the answer but, perhaps fearing a return to the mob-style racketeering of the Johnson era, a 1974 referendum rejected legalizing casino gambling across the whole of New Jersey by 60%-40%.
Undeterred, those who felt casinos could help rebuild Atlantic City kept pushing. In 1976, an amended referendum – supported by the Atlantic City press – narrowly won the case for legalizing casinos in Atlantic City only.
After some delays, on May 26 1978, Resorts Casino Hotel became not only the first casino to open in Atlantic City, but also the first to open in the U.S. outside of Nevada. By the end of 1980, there were 6 casinos operating in Atlantic City.
A building boom began as more and more casinos opened. By 1988 Atlantic City casinos had larger annual revenues than those on the Las Vegas Strip.
In 2006, Atlantic City casinos hit all-time revenue high of $5.2 billion. However, the Great Recession of the following year and the opening of casinos in Pennsylvania helped to contribute to what would become a decade-long slump in revenue. It wasn’t until 2016 that takings would rise again. That same year, online gambling in New Jersey rose by 32%.
It seems that legalized online gambling came to Atlantic City’s rescue.
Two main bodies oversee gambling in New Jersey. The main one is the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (referred to in New Jersey as simply the DGE). The DGE was formed in 1977 to regulate the newly-legalized casinos in Atlantic City. The DGE oversee casinos and also have a subdivision, Technical Services Bureau (TSB) which enforce laws regarding electronic gaming equipment.
Regulation of Atlantic City casinos is shared between the DGE the NJ Casino Control Commission (CCC). The two agencies belong to different state departments and it’s the CCC which licences casino gambling in New Jersey, often acting on recommendations from the DGE.
An online gaming licence costs applicants $400,000. In addition to this, there are annual fees of $500,000 plus the 15% tax on gross revenue.
In addition to this, casinos also have to pay 2.5% to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA). The CRDA was founded in 1984 by the state to help reinvest casino profits into regeneration projects, such as housing, across New Jersey.
Help for Problem Gambling
New Jersey residents who feel they have developed a gambling problem can contact the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey. Launched in 1983, during Atlantic City’s casino boom years, the Council is a private non-profit organization that offers help, education and resources to both gambling addicts and any organizations that require it.
The DGE also run a New Jersey Casino Gambling Self-Exclusion Program which can be signed up for at their offices in either Atlantic City or Trenton.