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New Jersey Gambling Laws
New Jersey gambling laws are some of the most lenient in the Country thanks to a few recent laws that opened the doors for online casinos. The Garden State has a deep history of gambling and is in fact home to the world's first casino resorts housed in Atlantic City. With recent changes to New Jersey gambling laws, both casino and poker games can now be accessed by those residing within the state's borders through the internet. This page will give you a full rundown of New Jersey gambling laws.
History of New Jersey Gambling Laws
Let's start with a rundown of New Jersey gambling history. In 1969, New Jersey approved and started its first state lottery in order to fund education within the state. There were quite a few schools that were built using these lottery funds.
New Jersey First Casinos Built
In 1976, New Jersey legalized gambling, becoming the second state to do so. The Garden State authorized the opening of physical casinos in order to fund money for the elderly and disabled. Two years later, the first casino officially opened its doors in Atlantic City. Resorts International Casino gets the props for being the first casino to establish itself in New Jersey, which is still open today and has its own online casino website. 16 new casinos opened their doors in The Garden State after that, most of which were rooted in Atlantic City.
New Jersey Online Casinos Start
In 2011, Governor of New Jersey, Chris Christy rejected the first bill written to legalize online casino activity. However, it was only two years later that a new bill was successfully signed into law. By 2013, the first online casino websites that offer both poker and casino games went live.
Timeline of New Jersey Online Casino Legality
January 1, 2010
Senate, No. 3167 was introduced by Raymond Lesniak. The bill was written to allow Atlantic City casinos to legally operate online casinos in New Jersey. It stated that licensees would be required to buy an annual license to go live and that all equipment (ie. mobile phone, tablet or computer) must be residing within New Jersey.
John Burzichelli started a different New Jersey online casino bill called Bill 2570. This new bill proposed that New Jersey residents could gamble on any type of internet gambling. It also stipulated the same requirements that the senate bill proposed by Lesniak covered. The bill wasn't voted on until 2011.
Lesniak's bill passed in the Senate with a 29 to 5 margin. It had widespread support and was the first bill of its kind to be passed by a US senate. However, this did not mean that it would come into law as it still needed to be passed by the state's assembly and signed by Chris Christy.
January 1, 2011
The bill by Burzichelli also passed, this time in the New Jersey Assembly. The bill moved on to the Senate.
Once amended, the bill ended up on Chris Christie's desk. Although it had a ton of support, he still vetoed it. Many people were against Christie's decision and he was thought to have vetoed the bill due to political motivation.
April 15 2011
Online poker was shut down across the US due to the US Department of Justice who indicted the executives of the most prominent online poker firms within the US.
December 23, 2011
The Wire Act is amended by changing its interpretation concluding that any event outside of sports betting does not fall under the category of the Wire Act.
Beginning of 2012
Chris Christie decides to change his position on New Jersey online gambling. Senator Lesniak introduces a new bill to cater to the initial concerns of Christie of the original gambling bill. The two new bills were Assembly Bill A2579 and Senate Bill S1565.
The bill does not pass the New Jersey Senate.
December 17, 2012
The New Jersey assembly pass the A2578 and it moved to Senate where it passed with a 33 to 3 margin.
Governor Christie finds issue with the current gambling bill and vetoes it. Lesniak attempts to make the changes and by the end of the month the bill is changed to fit Chris Christie's requests.
February 26, 2013
The revised bill passes the senate and assembly quickly. Christie finally signs the new A2578 into law making New Jersey the official third US state to officially legalize online gambling.
April 17, 2013
Caesars Entertainment starts the process of being the first online casino to gain a New Jersey internet gambling license.
July 3, 2013
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released a press release stating that 16 casinos applied to receive their gambling license.
The sites that were initially approved by NJDGE are officially approved and functional. The NJDGE also announces that 100,000 people have signed up for accounts.
October 13 2017
Chris Christie announced that Nevada, New Jersey and Delaware will be sharing player pools for online poker games in unprecedented move.
What Type of Online Gambling is Legal in New Jersey?
New Jersey Gambling Laws: Casino Gambling
Casino gambling is legal both online and in physical casinos in Atlantic City. Online casino gambling became legal in 2013 with the requirement that an online casino site must be joined through being owned by or a partner of a physical casino owner. You must be residing within the state of New Jersey to play.
New Jersey Gambling Laws: Poker Gambling
New Jersey gambling laws state that poker is legal both at social poker games in Atlantic City and online. There are many international partnerships with casino license holders to ensure that you have a wide array of poker room options online.
New Jersey Gambling Laws: Bingo Games
Bingo is allowed within the state of New Jersey, and there is a couple of opportunities to play New Jersey Online Bingo.
New Jersey Gambling Laws: Sports Betting
Online sports betting is still not legal in New Jersey and is only allowed in one of the sate's three authorized racetracks. Although New Jersey is hopping to legalizes sports betting, so far there has been a lot of dispute from professional sports leagues.
New Jersey Gambling Laws: Lottery Games
New Jersey has a thriving lottery that has been in effect since 1970.
Taxes, Fees and Licensing
A2578 allows New Jersey land-based casinos the chance to apply for an online gaming license by partnering with a software operator or provider or by going at it independently. Casinos who want to obtain a license needs to pay a nonrefundable $1000,000 deposit. If the casino is approved, then the deposit will go towards the cost of their gaming license, which costs $400,000.
Once approved, Casinos must pay a $250,000 renewal fee and a $250,000 annual fee each year that goes to the state's mandatory gambling treatment programs. On top of this, iGaming operators pay a 15% tax rate on their gaming revenue, as well as 2.5 percent to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).
New Jersey Online Gambling Regulation
The Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) regulates all online gambling activity. This includes:
- Monitoring for violations
- Assuring the integrity and honesty of casino employees, operators and vendors
- Ensuring casino games are fair
- Vetting license applicants
- Integrity of information systems
- Exclusion list violation monitoring
Licensing to Final Approval Path
Once casinos obtain their license, they must obtain a transactional waver before they can open their online gaming operation to New Jersey residents. This permit allows the site to hold a soft launch which allows their online casino to be opened to a small number of players for a limited time each day. During this time, regulators are closely look at the site to make sure that consumers are safe and that they are following all the laws and regulations that they are held to. If the DGE sees that the site is up to par, it is only then that they'll receive the authorization to fully open its doors to New Jersey residents.
Who Can Play For Real Money on New Jersey Online Casinos?
Not just anyone can play on regulate online casino sites as New Jersey regulators are extremely strict when it comes to restricting who can play for real money on New Jersey online casinos. Here's who can play:
- Players must be at least 21 years old to play for real money
- Players must be located within New Jersey state borders while they're playing
- Players do not need to be a resident of New Jersey
- Players can start and fund a user account from anywhere in the Country, but can't start playing for real money
Each user must go through several verifying steps for every online casino before they're allowed to start gambling. These details are verified using both the user's social security number and by using geolocation software. Online casinos will crosscheck players details with both credit reporting agencies and public databases.