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New Jersey Online Gambling Laws

The Garden State is one of only three states in the country with laws to regulate online gambling at the time of this writing, with the other two being Nevada and Delaware. Under a new New Jersey state law, casinos in Atlantic City will be allowed to offer state licensed, based and regulated online betting beginning at the end of November, adding a whole new level of New Jersey online gambling opportunities to the already existing legal offshore options. Currently players who are interested in NJ online casinos, poker rooms, sports betting or bingo games must turn to those legally licensed and regulated online gambling sites based outside of the USA. Once the infrastructure is in place and the Atlantic City casinos begin launching their online gambling sites, NJ players will have a whole new set of options available to them.

All bets, stakes and wagers based on the result of any game, race or gaming by chance or lot; or based on any chance, casualty, lot or a contingent or unknown event is illegal under New Jersey law. The law defines gambling as the risking or staking something of value on a future contingent event or the result of a contest of chance not under the person's influence or control upon an understanding or agreement that the person shall receive something of value in case of a specific result. This law does not necessarily apply to legally licensed and regulated online gambling sites located outside of the state and/or the United States, and naturally does not apply to New Jersey licensed land based casinos and card rooms.

Who Is Targeted In New Jersey Gambling Laws?

The primary focus of New Jersey gambling laws is on the operator. A person who merely takes part in an illegal gambling game will not face a specific charge. However there is only a thin line between a player and an operator. A player who informs his friend about an illegal game will be charged with promoting gambling. This is a far more serious charge. The definition of promoting gambling is broad and includes:

The definition of conduct that materially aids gambling activity includes:

Any other activity associated with gambling can also be considered as conduct that materially aids gambling activity.

The Legalization of Online Gambling In New Jersey

The provisions of New Jersey gambling laws will not apply to NJ online poker and other games that can be played on the sites operated by the casinos located in Atlantic City, nor do they apply to legal online gambling which is based and regulated outside of NJ and/or the US.

Way back in January 2011, a bill sponsored by Senator Raymond Lesniak was passed by the State Legislature. This bill would have allowed New Jersey residents over the age of 21 to engage in online gambling. This bill was however vetoed by Governor Chris Christie as he was concerned that allowing players to place bets using any computer terminal would turn commercial businesses, cafes and night clubs into gambling hubs. To address the Governor's concern, a new bill was drafted. This new bill allowed casinos located in Atlantic City to advertise or allow their facilities to be used for online gambling but prohibited other businesses from doing so. The bill was approved by the State Legislature and Governor Chris Christie signed the bill into law on February 26, 2013. This new law which legalizes online gambling for 10 years also imposes a 15% tax on revenues from online gambling. The online gambling site must be run from a casino located in Atlantic City. The player must be at least 21 years old and must play from a computer terminal located within the State of New Jersey.

New Jersey has discussed the possibility of also providing online sports betting to their residents, however they are meeting head strong opposition from the NFL, NBA, MLB, and NCAA. That being the case this venue may be delayed or even derailed when it comes to state based online sports betting. For now players will have to rely on secure New Jersey online sports betting that is based and regulated outside of US borders.

With the new legalization of online gambling in NJ, residents and visitors to the Garden State will have a whole new set of options available to them which are state based and regulated, and which will benefit the state's budgetary needs, thereby benefiting the residents of the state rather than offshore businesses. While the offshore options still offer high quality and secure gambling opportunities for NJ and US residents in general, we would all like to see our hard earned dollars stay closer to home when possible.

Are There Any Federal Gambling Laws Which Impact NJ Players?

There is no federal law that specifically prohibits online gambling or poker play. Likewise there is no federal law that regulates online poker for any US based gaming options. The Department of Justice has specifically stated in 2011 that the Federal Wire Act applies only to sports betting. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 does not apply to players but rather applies strict regulatory oversight to how online gambling related transactions are processed, which lies on the shoulders of the operators and not the players.

With three states having legalized online gambling, attempts are on to have a federal law that regulates online poker. In July 2013, a bill HR 2666 - Internet Poker Freedom Act of 2013 was introduced in the House of Representatives by Representative Joe Barton from Texas. The bill will allow players located in jurisdictions that do not specifically prohibit online poker to take part in online poker games managed by licensed operators. The bill has been referred to the Committee on Financial Services and the Committee on Energy and Commerce. While the bill still has a long way to go before it can become law, it is evident that Congress will address the issue of online poker sooner than later. The bill only addresses the issue of online poker and not any other form of online gambling.

New Jersey Gambling Laws

For those who would like to review the actual gambling laws and statutes for the state of New Jersey, we suggest visiting the New Jersey State Legislature which will contain all of the laws in their original language. If, however, you are seeking professional legal interpretation of any law or statute, or you are seeking legal advice, we recommend you contact a lawyer. This site is for information purposes only and is not intended to provide legal advice of any kind. We are not lawyers, we do not hold law degrees or certifications. We are experienced online gambling consultants.