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New Jersey Online Gambling

New Jersey gambling laws serve as a model for many US states. New Jersey has embraced gambling like few other states in the Union. Even before the United States existed, the colony of New Jersey used a lottery to fund the French and Indian War. New Jersey’s contribution to the American Revolution was partially funded by a lottery. Monmouth Park, the Oceanport racetrack at the center of the US Supreme Court decision to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), opened in 1870.

While New Jersey’s legislature banned lotteries in 1844 and all gambling in 1894, gaming never really went away. Churches and other non-profit organizations funded projects through bookmaking, numbers games, and even slot machine betting. In 1939, the state legalized pari-mutuel wagering again. That was followed by the legalization of bingo gaming for non-profit organizations in 1953.

By the time New Jersey legalized a state lottery in 1969 and casino gambling for Atlantic City in 1976, the state was one of the leaders in the American gambling industry. In 1989, Atlantic City was the only place east of Las Vegas which had casino gambling. Much has changed in the 30 years since, but it was New Jersey which led the fight to strike down a federal ban on sports betting. After a 6-year fight, the US Supreme Court struck down PAPSA in the landmark Murphy v. NCAA decision. New Jersey opened the door for sports betting throughout America.

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New Jersey State Gambling Laws

Laws That Pertain to New Jersey Gambling

Section 2C:37-1(b)

“Gambling” means staking or risking something of value upon the outcome of a contest of chance or a future contingent event not under the actor’s control or influence, upon an agreement or understanding that he will receive something of value in the event of a certain outcome.

If you wager on a future contingent not under your control or influence, then you are gambling in the State of New Jersey. Since most forms of gambling are legal and regulated in New Jersey, this isn’t a big problem, so long as you play in a licensed casino or race track.

Section 2C:37-1(a)

“Contest of chance” means any contest, game, pool, gaming scheme or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants or some other persons may also be a factor therein.

Again, a contest of chance is defined as anything with an element of chance that the bettors’ skill does not affect. Even if the competitors have skill, though, if the game has a material degree of chance, it is considered a contest of chance. Poker or daily fantasy sports would be considered a contest of chance in that circumstance.

Section 2C:37-1(b)

A person who gambles at a social game of chance on equal terms with the other participants therein does not thereby render material assistance to the establishment, conduct or operation of such game if he performs, without fee or remuneration, acts directed toward the arrangement or facilitation of the game, such as inviting persons to play, permitting the use of premises therefor or supplying cards or other equipment used therein.

Social gaming is legal, so long as the participants don’t pay into a poker rake or pay a vig (juice). The way New Jersey law is written, private clubs that charge a fee at the door, charge exorbitant prices for food and drink, or charge a seat license would be considered gambling. If you want a private game with friends and no organizer charges a fee, then the game is legal.

Is Gambling Legal in the State of New Jersey?

Yes, most forms of gambling are legal in New Jersey. The state has 9 operating land-based casinos in Atlantic City, along with 3 racetracks with pari-mutuel betting. In fact, a fourth race track (Cherry Hill) might reopen for sports betting, if a current lawsuit is successful. The New Jersey Lottery has Pick-3, Pick-4, 5-Card Cash, Pick-6, and Cash4Life drawings. The controversial Quick Draw (keno) still operates, while Instant Games are New jersey’s version of scratch card games. Of course, Mega Millions and Powerball tickets are sold.

Beyond that, New Jersey has legal land-based sportsbooks and live in-play sports betting apps. The Atlantic City casinos all run sportsbooks, while the racetracks also have their bookmaking operations. Brand name companies like 888 Sport, Paddy Power-Betfair, and William Hill all take sports bets in New Jersey, while daily fantasy sports operators like DraftKings and FanDuel have their sports wagering operations.

New Jersey Gambling Laws

Type of Gambling – Offered/Licensed? – Notes & Restrictions
  • Online Gambling – Yes – Online poker discussions since 2013, generating roughly $300 million a year.
  • Land-Based Casinos – Yes – Atlantic City has 9 brick-and-mortar casinos.
  • Charitable Gaming – Yes – Bingo. Many charitable organizations have bingo halls.
  • Lottery Betting – Yes – State Lottery (1974), Mega Millions (1999), Powerball (2010).
  • Minimum Gambling Age – 18 for casinos, lottery, bingo, pari-mutuel bets. 21 for casinos.

Is Online Poker Legal in New Jersey?

Yes, New Jersey is a hotbed of online poker. In January 2011, State Sen. Ray Lesniak introduced an Internet Gambling Bill to the New Jersey Senate. The bill passed in the Senate and General Assembly, but was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie because he feared it violated federal law. Later that year, the U.S. Department of Justice’s Office of Legal Counsel ruled that online poker and online casinos were exempt from the prohibitions of the 1961 Federal Wire Act and the 2006 Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), thus paving the way for legal online poker the Garden State.

After a 2012 statewide referendum in which New Jersey’s electorate voted to legalize online gambling, Sen. Lesniak introduced a second version of the Internet Gambling Bill (S1565), which was passed by a 35-1 margin. The General Assembly passed its sister bill, A2578, by a 68-5 margin with one abstention. Gov. Christie signed the bill into law, claiming it would generate $1 billion a year for Atlantic City casinos.

The $1 billion benchmark never happened, but in 2018, Atlantic City casinos generated an additional $298 million in revenues from online casinos and poker sites. PokerStars, which has a partnership with Morris Bailey’s Resorts Casino, is the undisputed leader in New Jersey online poker. Several other partnerships — Caesars/WSOP/888, Borgata/MGM/Bwin.Party, Tropicana/Virgin Gaming, and Golden Nugget/NYX Gaming — are major operators in New Jersey.

New Jersey Online Casinos

The online casino niche is even more profitable than online poker. After Borgata established itself as the early leader in online casinos from November 2013 to October 2016, Golden Nugget Online Casino took the lead in November 2016 and retains the edge to this day. Golden Nugget’s partnership with Philadelphia’s SugarHouse Casino (PlaySugarHouse) has been wildly successful.

SugarHouse signed licensing deals with IGT, Bally Technologies, WMS Gaming, and Konami to offer some of the most famous and popular video slots in the world, which proved to make all the difference. Since then, Tropicana and Virgin Gaming began offering games from NetEnt, Bally Technologies, SHFL, and IGT, but SugarHouse Casino’s early lead sustains it as #1 in the market. For its part, Borgata is #2 in online poker and online casinos.

Interstate Online Poker Ban

Not everything is perfect with online poker in New Jersey. In January 2019, the DOJ’s Office of Legal Counsel reversed its opinion from 2011. While intrastate online poker and casinos are allowed under the new policy, interstate online poker will be banned on June 14, 2019. All companies which facilitate online poker must comply with the DOJ guidelines by that date.

That means the Multi State Internet Gambling Association (MSIGA), often called the interstate poker compact, will be illegal under US federal law. New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada no longer will be able to share poker player liquidity. The attorney generals of New Jersey and Pennsylvania signed an open letter to US Attorney General William Barr and Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein saying their interpretation of the law in flawed.

Sometime before June 2019, readers should expect to hear that New Jersey and Pennsylvania have sued the US Justice Department to reverse the ban on interstate poker. Already, the New Hampshire Lottery has sued arguing that a ban on online lottery sales is unconstitutional.

New Jersey Online Poker Laws

Name of Bill – Year Submitted – Lawmaker – Supported – Opposed
  • A2578 / S1565 – 2013 – Raymond Lesniak – Steve Sweeney, Chris Christie – Gov. Christie vetoed the first version.

Is Sports Betting / Daily Fantasy Sports Legal in New Jersey?

Yes. Sports betting is legal and widespread in New Jersey. All the Atlantic City casinos have sportsbooks and mobile sports betting apps, or are in the process of creating them. Monmouth Park and William Hill operate a land-based sportsbook in Oceanport, as they intended before they were sued by the US sports leagues in October 2014 (thus leading to Murphy v. NCAA).

Meadowlands Racecourse & Sportsbook in East Rutherford has a partnership with Paddy Power-Betfair and its subsidiary, FanDuel. The New York City-based daily fantasy sports site even produces sports gambling-related content on Betfair’s broadcasting channels, TVG and TVG2.

It is the Meadowlands Racetrack which has the most lucrative sportsbook in the state. Located just miles across the Hudson River from New York City, the Meadowlands sportsbook is accessible to 20 million potential sports bettors in the greater New York City metropolitan area. Until New York legalizes sports betting, New Yorkers will flock to Jeff Gural’s racetrack.

Does New Jersey have land-based casinos?

Yes. New Jersey has 9 land-based casinos operating at the moment — all in Atlantic City. Borgata, which is owned by MGM Resorts, is the leading brick-and-mortar casino in Atlantic City. As late as 2016, Borgata generated as much as 40% of all the revenues among Atlantic City casinos. That number has dropped a bit since two other casinos opened in 2018, but Borgata is far ahead of all other operators.

Caesars Entertainment has three casinos: Caesars Atlantic City, Harrah’s, and Bally’s. Resorts Casino, owned by Morris Bailey and managed by Mohegan Sun, is a mainstay. Tropicana Resort, owned by Eldorado Resorts, and Golden Nugget, owned by Tilman Fertitta’s Landry’s Restaurants, are major competitors. Hard Rock Atlantic City operates in the resort once known as Trump Taj Mahal. Ocean Resorts Casino does business in the former Revel Casino building.


City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Atlantic City Bally’s – Atlantic City 1900 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401-6714 (609) 340-0000 1,788 Gaming Machines, 42 Poker Tables, 129 Gaming Tables, Race Book
Atlantic City Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa 1 Borgata Way, Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401-1900 (609) 317-1000 3,000 Gaming Machines, 75 Poker Tables, 184 Gaming Tables, Race Book, Sports Book
Atlantic City Caesars Atlantic City 2100 Pacific Avenue, Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401-6688 (609) 348-4411 1,854 Gaming Machines, 137 Poker and Gaming Tables
Atlantic City Golden Nugget – Atlantic City Huron Avenue and Brigantine Boulevard, Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401 (609) 441-2000 1,455 Gaming Machines, 10 Poker Tables, 78 Gaming Tables
Atlantic City Hard Rock Hotel& Casino – Atlantic City 1000 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, 08401-7415 (609) 449-1000 2,100 Gaming Machines, 120 Poker and Gaming Tables
Atlantic City Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City 777 Harrah’s Boulevard, Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401-1985 (609) 441-5000 2,169 Gaming Machines, 40 Poker Tables, 141 Gaming Tables, Race Book
Atlantic City Ocean Resort Casino 500 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401-7609 (609) 783-9300 2,000 Gaming Machines, 100 Poker and Gaming Tables
Atlantic City Resorts Casino Hotel 1133 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401-7395 (609) 344-6000 1,553 Gaming Machines, 74 Poker and Gaming Tables, Sports Book
Atlantic City Tropicana Atlantic City Casino & Resort 2831 Boardwalk, Atlantic City, New Jersey 08401-6390 (609) 340-4000 2,301 Gaming Machines, 15 Poker Tables, 110 Gaming Tables

Does New Jersey have any legal betting tracks / shops?

Yes. New Jersey has three operating betting tracks, including Monmouth Park, Meadowlands Racetrack, and Freehold Raceway in Freehold, New Jersey. The Cherry Hill racetrack across Chesapeake Bay from Philadelphia also has a license to operate, but the venue was closed by its owner, Greenwood Racing (Parx Casino).

The city of Cherry Hill is suing to re-open the venue so it can operate a sportsbook, claiming Greenwood shuttered the operation to eliminate competition. Claiming that the move is costing the city tax revenues (thus giving Cherry Hill the right to sue), the lawsuit is still pending at the moment.


City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
East Rutherford Meadowlands Racetrack 1 Racetrack Drive, East Rutherford, New Jersey 07073-5104 (201) 843-2446 Race Book
Freehold Freehold Raceway 130 Park Avenue, Freehold, New Jersey 07728-1969 (732) 462-3800 Race Book
Oceanport Monmouth Park 175 Oceanport Avenue, Oceanport, New Jersey 07757-1298 (732) 222-5100 Race Book

Does New Jersey allow off-track betting?

Yes, a variety of New Jersey OTBs exist. Atlantic City Racing Association OTB in Landing, McLoone’s Woodbridge Grille in Fords, and Favorites at Gloucester Township in Clementon are three examples of the off-track betting facilities you’ll find in New Jersey. Here are other examples.


City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Bayonne Winners – Bayonne 400 Route 440 North, Bayonne, New Jersey 07002 (201) 437-5780 Race Book
Clementon Favorites at Gloucester 1300 Blackwood Clementon Road, Clementon, New Jersey 08021-5610 (856) 441-4253 Race Book
Egg Harbor Township Chickie’s and Pete’s 6055 Black Horse Pike, Egg Harbor Township, New Jersey 08234-4801 (609) 272-1930 N/A
Fords Favorites at Woodbridge 3 Lafayette Road, Fords, New Jersey 08863-1046 (732) 512-5000 Race Book
Hillsborough Favorites at Hillsborough 150 Route 206, Hillsborough, New Jersey 08844-4123 (908) 722-1415 Race Book
Toms River Favorites at Toms River 1071 Route 37 West, Toms river, New Jersey 08755-5026 (732) 240-1210 Race Book

Does New Jersey allow charitable gambling?

Yes, New Jersey has about 12,000 registered non-profit charitable organizations which run bingo games and raffles. The Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission, which is a division of the New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs, provides licensing and oversight of the charitable gambling sector in New Jersey. Below is an example of the type of charitable bingo hall you’ll encounter in New Jersey.


City Name Of Casino Address Phone Number Details
Pleasantville Mainland Bingo 701 Black Horse Pike, Pleasantville, New Jersey 08232-2301 (609) 641-0454 N/A

Is Social gaming allowed in New Jersey?

Yes, Private poker games and other smalltime wagering among friends is permitted. Social gaming of the like is allowed, though the host cannot charge a poker rake, entry fee, or seat license fee from those who attend.

Also, New Jersey allows social gaming apps like Double Down Casino, Big Fish Games, Zynga, and Playtika’s Slotomania. Players can play these social games with friends on sites like Facebook or download a gaming apps to play on their Android or iOS smartphone.

PlayMGM, a free-to-play social casino owned by MGM Resorts, is available to New Jersey social casino gamers. While PlayMGM offers free social casino games, players can win comps and other rewards that are usable at MGM Resorts casinos across the United States. That means you can win PlayMGM rewards which are cashable when you visit Borgata in Atlantic City.

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