There is more freedom when it comes to casino gambling in this state. Raymond Lasniak passed the New Jersey legislation in 2011, which allows state residents over age 21 to gamble online. However, due to restrictions in the constitution, it only allows casino gambling in Atlantic City. Therefore, the legislation states that computer services that operate online gambling sites have to be located in Atlantic City at licensed casinos only. With regulations formed by the Casino Control Committee that ensured that all bets were placed from inside the state, the bill evaded federal prohibitions. However, Governor Christie dismissed the legislation. He stated that he believed commercial businesses could become gambling hubs around New Jersey.
A legal opinion on the matter was given by the United States Justice Department, stating that the Wire Act only banned online sports betting and not online casino games. The points raised over the debate included a poker bet not being completed until a server in Atlantic City accepted the wager, meaning no constitutional amendment would be needed to authorize the gambling, argued by John Wefing. State Senator Jennifer Beck also argued that New Jersey voters could not legalize online gambling simply with their approval.
Due to these concerns, new legislation was drafted, which stated businesses other than Atlantic City casinos were prohibited from advertising online gambling (or allowing their facilities to offer the services).
February 26, 2013 saw a revised bill passed, which permitted internet gambling under certain conditions and regulations. The legislation allowed online casino gambling only for a 10-year trial period, and it restricted it to just 11 casinos within Atlantic City. It also imposed a 15-percent tax on the revenues, which is higher than the 8 percent currently charged to casinos. In addition, the law specifies that players must be at a computer within the state and must be over the age of 21 in order to play.
History was made when the first company received an online gambling license in October 2013. It was a combined enterprise involving Boyd Gaming and a divestiture trust (established by MGM Resorts International) called Borgata, marking the start of a new online gambling era for the state. They are working in conjunction with Bwin.party Digital Entertainment Plc., who provide their online service.
In that same year, 37 firms applied for online gambling licenses, including the formidable Wynn Interactive (the Las Vegas casino magnate); however, Wynn Interactive will need to either buy, build, or contract with an existing property in the state in order access the New Jersey market.