When people think of New Jersey, a few things immediately come to mind: New York’s neighbor, The Sopranos, Bruce Springsteen, and Atlantic City would likely be near the top of everyone’s list. What many people may not know is that Atlantic City once hoped to be Las Vegas on the east coast of the United States has seen far better days. Between the Boardwalk being battered by tropical storms and the casinos aging and losing patrons to other states, the city was no longer looked upon as a great tourist destination. Add in the advent of online gambling, and the state needed to do something.
What New Jersey decided to do early on in the 2010s was important for their state, but it is hard to believe anyone would have realized the impact it would have across the country. First off, the state passed legislation to allow for legalized, regulated online poker and casino games. This meant that for the first time, sites were allowed to be regulated, pay taxes and offer online games to the residents of the state. Online companies jumped at the chance to be some of the first licensed operators in the state, partnering with the land-based casinos that were to receive the first online licenses. Slowly, online casinos and poker rooms came online, and today, there are many options for players from New Jersey.
The Game Changer
What happened next was nothing short of game-changing for the gambling industry. In 2014, with an eye to finding more ways to save Atlantic city and to generate more tax revenue for the state, Governor Chris Christie passed legislation that would allow for casinos and racetracks to take sports bets legally. This was not met well by the sports leagues around the country nor by the federal government. In 1992, the U.S. enacted a law known as the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), making it illegal outside Nevada for operators to take sports bets.
The leagues decided to sue the state of New Jersey to have this law repealed, and the fight was a long one. After several rounds of appeals, the case was actually heard by the Supreme Court of the United States. While it is shocking that a gambling law could make its way to the highest court in the land, the end result was even more of a shock: the Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey on May 14th, 2018 and PASPA was repealed, opening the door to legalized sports betting in the state.
Sports Betting in New Jersey
It goes without saying that the doors were blown off the state when PASPA was repealed. The state’s regulations offered up 14 land-based sports betting licenses, each of which would include 3 online skins, bringing the total number of potential brands in the state offering legal sports betting to 42. To date, almost all of the land-based operators are up and running (Freehold Raceway seemingly still has not made a decision on their partner).
Here is a current list of regulated sportsbooks in New Jersey:
- 888 Sportsbook
- Bet365 NJ
- BetAmerica Sport
- BetMGM Sports
- BetStars NJ
- Caesars Sportsbook NJ
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- Golden Nugget Sportsbook
- Hard Rock Sports
- Resorts Online
- SugarHouse Sportsbook
- Unibet Sportsbook
- William Hill NJ
All of these brands offer apps for your mobile devices as well as online betting from your computer. Some of the brands, like The Score, are digital-only and therefore do not currently have a land-based partnership. However, since the majority of betting is happening online in the state, this is an excellent start for you to find the site that works best for you.
Online Casinos in New Jersey
As we mentioned earlier, the state has actually had regulated online casino sites for years, dating back to 2011. Casinos didn’t fall under the PASPA regulations, as that law was limited to sports. Many of the big names in the global online gaming industry find themselves running operations in the state, although a company with the geolocation rules in place, they cannot mix New Jersey players with their other databases.
Online Poker in New Jersey
Poker is also available to players in the state of New Jersey. With the same geolocation rules in place as casinos and sportsbooks, the challenge that is faced by both operators and players is finding the liquidity to create larger tournament prize pools and cash games. However, given the options available to players across the United States these days, having any type of regulated online poker is a win.
Horse Racing in New Jersey
Horse racing is alive and well in New Jersey! With several local tracks still offering races, residents can head to their favorite track like the Meadowlands, Monmouth Park, or Freehold and find some ponies to place wagers on. Also, each of the tracks has OTB betting on races simulcast from other tracks around the United States, giving bettors more options.
With the introduction of sports betting into the racing facilities, there is a hope that more people will find horse racing as a fun way to spend a day betting, which should breathe some life into an industry that has been somewhat stagnant in recent years.
Online horse racing is also legal in New Jersey, so you don’t even have to go to the track to get your betting fix! There are several options for players who want to bet on tracks from around the country from the comfort of their own homes.
New Jersey Online Gambling FAQ
Do I have to download an app to bet on my phone?
No, you don’t. Many people don’t want to download apps directly to their phones for different reasons, which is understood by the operators of the online betting sites. While there are some advantages to having an app locally on your device, each of the sites offers a mobile web version that can be accessed by your browser. There, you can register an account, make a deposit and play just as you can from the app.
How do I make a deposit at a New Jersey online gambling site?
Anyone who has tried to deposit at an offshore gambling site knows the pain in trying to get money sent to those companies. This is no longer an issue for New Jersey residents! Each site has its own set of payment options, which range from credit and debit cards to PayPal. Those sites that have a land-based partnership also allow you to make a cash deposit locally at the facility in case you want to use cash for your transactions.
What makes one site better than another?
With so many choices, it can seem like all the sites are offering the same thing to players. While at the core, each site should be offering the same games, there are some differences that appeal to different player groups. These include:
- Software supplier
- Number of games
- Payment methods
- Customer Service
- Bonuses and Promotions
Can I play at a New Jersey online sportsbook if I don’t live in New Jersey?
The geolocation rules are such that you can use an online sportsbook based in Jew Jersey if you are physically located within the state borders. You do not have to be a resident of the state to gamble on these sites. However, the second you leave the jurisdiction, you will not be able to access the website, so make sure you take that into account if you happen to have a large balance on any of the sites.
Can I still play at offshore sites from New Jersey?
You can still access offshore sites from New Jersey, but we do not recommend it. Getting money to and from the sites is a significant pain point for players, and with so many legal competitors in the state, you are far better off dealing with a company that is being watched by the DGE and therefore has to ensure the utmost safety for players.