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New Jersey Online Gambling Laws

New Jersey State Flat IconThe Garden State is one of a few states in the country with laws to regulate online gambling of all kinds. State laws allow New Jersey casinos in Atlantic City to offer state-based, licensed, and regulated online casinos, poker sites, and sportsbooks. This adds a whole new level of New Jersey online gambling opportunities.

Prior to NJ's gambling legislation, players who were interested in NJ online casinos, poker rooms, sports betting, or bingo games were compelled to turn to legally licensed and regulated online gambling sites based outside of the USA. Recently, lawmakers have pushed away legitimate offshore sites to increase revenue for their state-regulated services. While offshore gambling sites can be accessed outside of New Jersey, most legitimate sites have pulled out for the time being.

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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 typically not face a specific charge. However, there is only a thin line between a player and an operator. For example, a player who informs his or her friend about an illegal game could be charged with promoting gambling. This is a far more serious charge. The definition of promoting gambling is broad and includes:

  • participating in the proceeds of a gambling activity
  • any conduct that materially aids gambling activity.

The definition of conduct that materially aids gambling activity includes:

  • the establishment or creation of a contest, device, game or scheme
  • acquiring or maintaining the premises used for gambling activity
  • possession of paraphernalia, equipment or apparatus used for gambling
  • soliciting or inducing others to participate in gambling
  • conducting the actual playing
  • arranging finances and keeping records
  • contributing to any other phase of the gambling operation

Any other activity associated with gambling can also be considered as conduct that materially aids gambling activity. These laws were enacted to protect the community from illegal operations and to provide punishment for anyone who assists in an illegal gambling scheme. In order to remain 100% safe, it is recommended that you stick with domestically licensed and regulated NJ gambling products and services.

The Legalization of Online Gambling In New Jersey

The restrictions within New Jersey gambling laws do not apply to NJ online poker and other casino 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 NJ State Legislature. This bill would have allowed New Jersey residents over the age of 21 to engage in online gambling. This bill was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie, however, as he was concerned that allowing players to place bets using any computer terminal would turn commercial businesses, cafes, and nightclubs into gambling hubs.

To address the Governor's concern, a new bill was drafted. Senate Bill-3536 was enacted to allow casinos located in Atlantic City to advertise or allow their facilities to be used for online gambling but prohibited other businesses from providing online gambling options without a proper facility or license. The bill was approved by the State Legislature and Christie signed the bill into law on February 26, 2013.

SB-3536 legalizes online gambling for 10 years (through 2023) but also imposes a 15% tax on revenues from online gambling sources. An online gambling site must be run from a casino located in Atlantic City, and players must be at least 21 years old and located within the State of New Jersey.

In 2018, New Jersey passed domestic sports betting laws (A-4111) for their Atlantic City casinos and statewide racetracks, and in June of that year, the first legal sports bet was placed in the Garden State. One month later, online sports betting was authorized and is now available to NJ residents located inside state lines. All AC casinos and two of the state's three racetracks (Monmouth Park and The Meadowlands) now have on-site and online sports betting.

The legalization of online gambling in NJ gives residents and visitors a whole new set of state-based regulated gambling options. Domestic wagering options will benefit the state's budgetary needs and benefit residents of New Jersey.

New Jersey online sports betting is still in its infancy, and many seasoned players still prefer to use offshore sites for their proven reputation and generous bonus offers. However, you cannot reliably or safely use these sites within NJ borders at this time.

Are There Any Federal Gambling Laws Which Impact NJ Players?

There is no federal US gambling 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 DOJ's formal opinion allows each individual state to determine how they want to handle online casino and poker gambling for their respective territory.

Since the repeal of PASPA, the Federal Wire Act has prevented online sportsbook operators from accepting bets from across state lines or from other countries. The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act of 2006 (UIGEA) does not apply to players but rather imparts strict regulatory oversight to how online gambling-related transactions are processed, which lies on the shoulders of gambling operators and domestic financial institutions, not on individual players.

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 contains all of the laws in their original language. If, however, you are seeking a 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.