New Jersey Online Poker

New Jersey became the third state to legalize and regulate online poker and the second state to legalize online casino games in February 2013.  The law allows the Atlantic City casinos to operate online gambling sites.  The servers must be located in Atlantic City.  Casinos pay a 15% tax rate.  Unlike other states that have considered online gambling, companies that accepted US players after the UIGEA passed are not automatically excluded.

There are five online poker sites in New Jersey.  Party Poker and Borgata share an online poker network.  WSOP and 888 share player pools. PokerStars is a standalone site. The sites combine for about 800 peak players each day, according to PokerScout.

Betfair Poker closed its New Jersey site in December 2014.  It was not missed by players as it had virtually zero games.

Ultimate Poker operated in the New Jersey market from November 2013 through October 2014.  Trump Taj Mahal was its Atlantic City partner, which filed for bankruptcy in September 2014.  This forced Ultimate Poker to leave the New Jersey market.  The company cited non-payment as the reason for ceasing its New Jersey operations.

PokerStars received approval to launch in 2015 under the Resorts interactive gaming license.  The site opened to the public on March 21, 2016.

New Jersey Online Poker Reviews

New Jersey Online Poker FAQ

History of New Jersey Online Poker

Past Legislative Effort Failed

New Jersey was set to become the first state to legalize online poker and other online casino games.  The New Jersey State Senate passed the bill by 29-5 margin on November 23, 2010, and a comparable bill passed the New Jersey Senate by a 34-2 vote.  The final bill passed through the New Jersey State Assembly by a 63-11 margin on January 10, 2011.  New Jersey was set to become the first state to legalize and regulate online poker and online casino games, but the bill was vetoed by Governor Chris Christie on March 3, 2011.

Governor Christie Cited Constitutional Issues

Governor Christie made it clear that he supported the bill, but felt that there were state constitutional issues involved with allowing Atlantic City casinos to online gambling wagers.  The allowable games included online poker, online table games such as blackjack and roulette, online slots and video poker.  Any game allowed in an Atlantic City casino would have been allowed through this bill in a video version over the internet to New Jersey residents.

Governor Christie demanded the state legislature resolve his constitutional concerns.  He felt that just because the servers would have been based in Atlantic City, the bettors home’s would be the origination of the bet, even though the nearly 90% margin of victory in the state’s legislature showed how much support there was for this bill.

State Senator Raymond Lesniak predicted that the bill would have generated a minimum of $35 million annually for the state’s racing industry and would have created a product that would have helped the ailing Atlantic City casinos fight competition from neighboring states.  The total tax would have been 15% of gross receipts.

Governor Christie Changed His Stance

After vetoing this bill, Governor Christie has shown his support for the expansion of gambling in New Jersey.  Neighboring states have expanded gambling aggressively over the past few years.  State lotteries in Maryland and Delaware have opened casinos recently.

Commercial casinos have opened in Pennsylvania and the Aqueduct Casino in New York City has proven to be detrimental to slot revenue in Atlantic City.  Reservation casinos in Connecticut have also eaten away at Atlantic City casino revenue.  Atlantic City casinos have posted seven years of declining month over month revenue.  Many of these monthly declines have been in the 5-10% range.

New Jersey Sports Betting

New Jersey voters approved sports gambling in a non-binding referendum in November 2011.  This referendum compelled the New Jersey State Legislature to approve sports gambling in January 2011 and it was signed into law by Governor Christie during the same month.  Governor Christie vowed that sports gambling would go live at New Jersey racetracks and Atlantic City casinos later in the year.  The problem was that the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, often referred to as the Bradley Act, forbids New Jersey from offering sports gambling.

The Bradley Act forbids states from allowing sports gambling.  The only exempted states from the Bradley Act are Delaware, Montana, Oregon, and Nevada.  These states were exempted because the states offered sports gambling in the years before the law passed and Congress did not want to pre-empt existing gambling.  The law allowed states with an established casino industry one year to regulate sports gambling.  New Jersey was the only state that qualified at the time, but they failed to pass a law in the allowable time frame.

Atlantic City History

New Jersey casinos are only allowed within the city limits of Atlantic City.  Atlantic City casinos have been legal since January 1978.  Resorts Atlantic City was the first casino and 12 casinos currently operate in the resort city.  The state also allows horse racing, which has been legal since 1976.  The state lottery has been active since 1970.

Read the New Jersey online gaming law here.

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