New Jersey is home to a number of popular casinos that draw players from around the globe. Atlantic City has established itself as a major resort casino hub on the eastern coast of the United States and even the World. However, most recently a number of New Jersey casinos have been forced to close due to suffering revenue. As technology grows and online gambling has become more popular, New Jersey has begun the shift to online casinos.
In January of 2010, Raymond Lesniak introduced a bill that would permit Atlantic City casinos to operate internet casinos within the state of New Jersey. As it was presented, Senate, No. 3167 would require online casinos to obtain licenses on a yearly basis allowing them to operate if all equipment is located in New Jersey. Shortly after, John Burzichelli introduced a separate bill that proposed all New Jersey residents could wager on any form of online gambling.
At the start of 2011, New Jersey Legislature passed a bill that combined these two concepts and allowed online gambling in the state of New Jersey for residents who are over the age of 21. In order to follow the state constitution, only licensed casinos in Atlantic City were given permission to operate online gambling websites. However, Governor Chris Christie stepped in and vetoed the Lesniak bill. The bill, which permitted the Casino Control Commission to create regulations for online gambling would ensure bets were placed from inside the state of New Jersey, was widely supported before being vetoed by Gov. Christie.
Christie’s argument was that allowing customers to bet online could lead to commercial businesses like nightclubs or cafes becoming a place where customers would go and gamble. The fact that all online gambling would be through licensed Atlantic City Casino’s caused Christie to believe there would be legal friction about the fact that any bet placed in the state of New Jersey would count as an Atlantic City bet. Shortly after Christie’s veto Lesniak reintroduced the bill, adjusting it slightly to prevent gambling cafes from popping up across the state.
On April 15, 2011, the U.S Department of Justice indicted executives shut down all online poker in the United States. Some of the biggest online poker companies’ executives were indicted and the future of online gambling hung in the balance. Shortly after, United States Justice Department altered their opinion and claimed that the Federal Wire Act only prohibited online sports betting, and not online casino games, which gave the bill new life.
Due to this it was hypothesized that no constitutional amendment was needed to authorize online gambling because and bet placed online would not be completed until the server, located in Atlantic City, accepted the wager. Wagers, by law, are contracts and the law recognizes that contracts occur where the final action needed to take place occurs. Opposition argued that a bet takes place in both the place of the gambler and the website.
In the beginning of 2012 Gov. Christie had changed his opinion of online gambling in the state. Senator Lesniak finally addressed Chris Christie’s concerns in new legislation that prohibited businesses other than Atlantic City casinos from advertising online gambling, or allowing their facilities to be sued for online gambling. On February 26, 2013 Chris Christie signed A2578, and online poker and casino sites in New Jersey were officially legalized. The bill was widely supported by New Jersey Legislature and was officially launched on November 21, 2013.
All of the online casinos in the state of New Jersey are affiliated with an existing Atlantic City casino. The following online casinos are approved to conduct continuous 24-hour Internet gaming operations, as permitted by the Department of Law & Public Safety Division of Gaming Enforcement:
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
The Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa is a household name in the United States. However, it wasn’t until recently that the Borgata firmly established itself as an online gaming institution in the state of New Jersey. In early 2016 Borgata ended its partnership with bwin.party in order to offer its new online poker software provided by Pala. The following online casinos are operated by the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa:
Caesars Interactive Entertainment New Jersey – Affiliate of Boardwalk Regency Corporation
Caesar Entertainment was one of the earliest casinos to begin the application process to obtain a New Jersey internet gaming license. By July of 2013, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement had announced that Caesars was one of 16 partnership casino companies that had applied. The following online casinos are operated by Caesar Interactive Entertainment New Jersey:
Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Golden Nugget was also included in the 2013 announcement of the 16 partnership casino companies. Golden Nugget Atlantic City launched a new and updated casino software system at the end of 2015. In 2016 the Golden Nugget added virtual reality sports to its repertoire and eventually solidified itself as an innovator in the industry with the introduction of live dealers at its online casino. Golden Nugget offers live dealers for blackjack, roulette, and baccarat. The following online casinos are operated by Golden Nugget Atlantic City:
Resorts Casino Hotel
Resorts and its partner site, PokerStars, was part of the July 2013 announcement for companies that had applied to be an online casino. Resorts did not officially launch its online casino until February of 2015, and they partnered with both PokerStars and the Mohegan Sun. The following online casinos are operated by Resorts Casino Hotel:
Tropicana Casino and Resort
Tropicana was also an early partner for online gambling in the state of New Jersey. The Tropicana Casino and Resort was a large supporter of the original bill to legalize online gambling. The following online casinos are operated by Tropicana Casino and Resort:
The act explicitly states that gamblers must be 21 years old or older to play from a computer in New Jersey. Gambler’s locations will likely be verified through a GPS. It is important to note that under this act there is no residency requirement, which means visitors are allowed to play at NJ’s regulated online gambling sites. Atlantic City has already established itself as a massive tourist destination and the ability to gamble online anywhere in the state of New Jersey adds a new incentive for tourists to come visit.
Players can also set up an account and handle all of the banking related to your account from anywhere in the U.S. This means that only the act of gambling need take place in the state of New Jersey. Players are able to access their accounts outside of the state and ca deposit or withdraw when it is convenient for them.
All online casino and poker play servers must be in Atlantic City in order to fall under the New Jersey Constitution. The only companies permitted to operate online gambling in New Jersey are the Atlantic City casino owners. The state of New Jersey collects 15 percent of gross gaming revenue from online casinos, while land based Atlantic City casinos are only taxed 8 percent. Law also requires Atlantic City casinos to reinvest 1.24 percent of brick-and-mortar and internet gaming revenue into projects that will create jobs and benefit Atlantic City.
The objective of regulated online gambling in the state of New Jersey is to generate revenue. So far, the industry has not disappointed. At the end of 2016, online gambling sites had generated over $80 million in tax revenue. The generated revenue not only benefits the state, but also the land based casinos that operate the online gaming industry in the state. After struggling financially in recent years, Atlantic City experienced its first year of growth in over a decade in 2016. Part of this growth can be attributed to these online casinos. Through the regulation of online gambling the state of New Jersey can ensure that players will have a safe and secure online gambling experience.