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History of Gambling in New Jersey
New Jersey is only second to Nevada in terms of the success of its gambling industry. The state has a long history with gambling that began over 40 years ago. Today, New Jersey continues to be a pioneer in the industry, and it is at the forefront of new offerings.
Even prior to legalizing gambling in 1976, New Jersey had long attempted to pass legislation to permit betting in the state. After many years of efforts, New Jersey voters approved a referendum that permitted gambling, but only in Atlantic City. In 1978, the first casino, Resorts Atlantic City, opened to much success. Soon, there was a flourishing gambling industry in Atlantic City which became a destination for gamblers all over the East Coast.
As competition began to proliferate in the 1990s with Native American casinos opening all over the United States and the internet gambling bonanza, Atlantic City began to fall on hard times. By the early 2000s, several casinos in Atlantic City closed their doors. In a bid to further boost its gambling industry, New Jersey legalized online casinos in 2013 and immediately they began to experience success. Additionally, in 2014, New Jersey brought a legal challenge to the federal law that made sports betting illegal, which resulted in the subsequent overturning of the law by the Supreme Court.
Today, gambling is a lucrative industry in New Jersey. New Jersey has 23 casinos operating in the state as well as 17 online casinos. In June 2018, the total monthly revenue from the state’s casinos was $233 million which was an increase from the previous year. The industry continues to create and promote jobs in the state while increasing New Jersey’s bottom line.
Online Gambling in New Jersey
As mentioned above, New Jersey has a multitude of online casinos operating in the state. The legislation that legalized online casinos, A2578, permitted online gaming so long as casinos were partnered with a New Jersey land-based casino. The bill passed both houses of the legislature by wide margins as there was strong sentiment to use online gambling to prop up the struggling industry. This followed a three year push for approval as the bill made its way through the New Jersey Legislature.
Each land-based casino is permitted under the terms of the law to apply for a license in partnership with an existing online gaming operator or software provider. The overall license costs $400,000, with $100,000 of that total due upfront as a payment to fund the application process. The operator is required to renew the license yearly at a cost of $500,000, half of which goes to the state and half to a fund that assists with compulsive gamblers. Each operator must pay a total tax rate of 17.5 percent, which is markedly lower than taxes in neighboring states Delaware and Pennsylvania. Casino operators are not the only participants in the gambling industry that must obtain a license. Software partners, telecommunications providers and tour operators are among the groups that also require some sort of licensing. Once licensed, casino industry participants are regulated by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Many of the online casino operators launched very soon after the bill legalizing online gambling was passed in New Jersey since they had ample time to prepare for the possibility of online gambling in the state.
The Top Online Casinos Operating in New Jersey
|Online Casino||Partnerships||NJ Permit #||Mobile App||Website||Technology Partner||Launch Date|
|888 Casino||Caesars Interactive||NJIGP 14-007||Yes||https://us.888casino.com||888||11/26/2013|
|Betfair Casino||Caesars Interactive||NJIGP 15-002||Yes||https://casino.betfair.com||GAN||11/26/2013|
|Borgata Casino||Borgata Hotel & Casino||NJIGP 15-001||Yes||https://casino.borgataonline.com/en/casino||GVC||11/26/2013|
|Caesars Casino||Caesars Interactive||NJIGP 15-007||Yes||https://www.caesarscasino.com||NYX Gaming Group||11/26/2013|
|Golden Nugget||Golden Nugget Atlantic City||NJIGP 15-002||Yes||https://nj-casino.goldennuggetcasino.com||NYX Gaming Group||12/13/2013|
|Hard Rock Casino||Hard Rock Hotel & Casino||Yes||https://www.hardrockcasino.com||Gaming Innovation Group||6/28/2018|
|Harrah's Casino||Caesars Interactive||NJIGP 15-007||Yes||https://www.harrahscasino.com||888||11/26/2013|
|Mohegan Sun Casino||Resort Casino Hotel||NJIGP 15-008||Yes||https://mohegansun.com/play-online.html||NYX Gaming Group||7/23/2015|
|Ocean Casino||Ocean Resort and Casino||No||https://www.theoceanac.com/casino/online-gaming/||GAN||7/10/2018|
|Pala Online||Borgata Hotel & Casino||NJIGP 15-001||Yes||https://playcasino.palacasino.com||Pala Interactive||11/25/2014|
|PartyCasino||Borgata Hotel & Casino||NJIGP 15-001||Yes||https://casino.nj.partycasino.com/en/casino||GVC||11/26/2013|
|playMGM||Borgata Hotel & Casino||NJIGP 15-001||Yes||https://casino.nj.betmgm.com/en/games||GVC||8/1/2017|
|PokerStars||Resort Casino Hotel||NJIGP 15-008||Yes||https://www.pokerstarsnj.com/||PokerStars||3/21/2016|
|Resorts Casino||Resort Casino Hotel||NJIGP 15-008||Yes||https://www.resortscasino.com||NYX Gaming Group||2/27/2015|
|Scores Casino||Borgata Hotel & Casino||NJIGP 15-001||Yes||https://www.scorescasino.com||Pala Interactive||9/20/2017|
|SugarHouse Casino||Golden Nugget Atlantic City||NJIGP 15-002||Yes||https://www.playsugarhouse.com||Rush Street Interactive||9/15/2016|
|Tropicana Casino||Tropicana Casino and Resort||NJIGP 15-005||Yes||https://www.tropicanacasino.com/#/||Gamesys||11/26/2013|
|Virgin Casino||Tropicana Casino and Resort||NJIGP 15-005||Yes||https://www.virgincasino.com/#/||Gamesys||1/24/2014|
Caesar’s is also one of the pioneers of online gambling in New Jersey as it was one of the first operators to obtain approval in 2013 soon after legalization. Caesar’s affiliates online with known industry players such as 888.com and poker behemoth WSOP. Caesar’s has earned over $150 million in revenues since the beginning of online gambling, including $43 million in 2017. Caesar’s is able to take advantage of product synergy with its land-based operations in New Jersey. Its strong presence in online poker place it in a position to expand its revenue as New Jersey has entered into a poker pooling arrangement with Delaware and Nevada.
Harrah’s Casino is one of the state’s oldest and most respected brands, and it is intimately connected with wagering in the state of New Jersey. Harrah’s was one of the first land-based casinos to open in Atlantic City and has long been thought of as a pioneer in the New Jersey marketplace. The same has held true in online gaming as Harrah’s has been one of the first to market since online casinos were legalized in the state. Harrah’s has a more limited amount of online games, but offers players access to its industry leading rewards program. Harrah’s has a loyal customer base that has translated to its online gaming offering.
Although it did not open until 2016, Sugarhouse online casino has wasted no time in establishing itself as a preferred destination for New Jersey gamers. Among online casinos, Sugarhouse has a unique way of presenting its games to its customers. Sugarhouse has also partnered with Golden Nugget, leveraging the brand name and expertise of the brand that has taken the New Jersey market by storm since its introduction six years ago. In addition to its online casino, Sugarhouse has also recently opened an online sportsbook. The differentiating factor for Sugarhouse is the low wagering requirement for its customer bonuses, making it easy for customers to quickly convert this bonus into cash.
Pala Casino is a partnership between a California Indian casino and the well-known New Jersey brand Borgata. Pala Casino is unique in this regard since no other Indian casinos have entered the New Jersey market. Pala operates both an online casino as well as a poker site. One unique aspect of Pala is that it offers its customers a free daily spin on a million dollar prize wheel. Pala’s bonus offerings are otherwise strong, giving players the chance to win bonuses. Pala’s online casino offerings are focused on mostly slot machines. Pala has a strong roster of offerings when it comes to micro stakes games. In addition, Pala has a strong offering of video poker games.
Golden Nugget is currently the top-earning online casino operator in New Jersey. Golden Nugget has a wide variety of games and a strong technological platform. In addition, Golden Nugget continuously runs promotions to attract new players. As an established brand in the state and a market leader, Golden Nugget is in a strong position to expand its offerings and broaden its customer base. In 2017, Golden Nugget became the state’s leader in online casino revenue, passing Borgata for the top spot. This was in part due to its offering of virtual sports as a betting option.
888 Online Casino is one of Caesars major online partners and has made its mark in New Jersey through continuous innovation as well as a very generous deposit match. 888 pays plenty of attention to the marketing side of things with daily promotions and a steady stream of new games. 888 is also known for the quality of its online poker offering, where it is a market leader. 888 was one of the first casinos to offer a live dealer function to enhance the user’s playing experience and make the game feel more realistic. This innovation is paired with a diverse variety of online slots to constitute a solid online offering.
Offering over 300 online games, Betfair is known for its diverse roster of games. In addition, Betfair’s claim to fame is that it has made the largest online payment in New Jersey’s history, exceeding $1.5 million. Although Betfair has lacked continuity with regard to its land-based partner in New Jersey, Betfair has maintained the quality of its online offering. Its current partner is Golden Nugget Casino, which is one of the most popular casinos in the state. The combination of Betfair’s deep experience in online gaming with Golden Nugget’s enduring popularity has made for a market leader in New Jersey. In addition, this casino is known for matching up to $2,500 of a customer’s deposit.
Virgin Online Casino was the second online casino to commence operations in the state of New Jersey after legalization of online gambling. Virgin entered the New Jersey market through its partnership with New Jersey land-based casino Tropicana. Virgin makes its mark through the sophistication of its technology. At the same time, the technology is easy to use, intuitive and offers a great playing experience. In addition to its virtually unmatched technology. Virgin has established its reputation in New Jersey through its excellent customer service. In addition, Virgin offers the unique “loss back” program to its customers whereby Virgin reimburses customers for initial losses in their accounts up to a certain amount.
Borgata is a well-known operator of online casinos which has strong brand recognition in New Jersey even though it is one of the newer casinos in the state. The casino was one of the first to enter to online casino space in 2013 and has continuously expanded its offerings since then. Borgata has earned over $200 million in revenue since the inception of online gambling in New Jersey. Borgata partners with MGM and offers over 250 online games. The company has a strong presence in the online poker market, although that position is experiencing a strong challenge from Caesar’s.
As the original land-based casino in New Jersey, Resorts possesses an immense brand familiarity with New Jersey gamblers. Resorts still trails behind the other operators in terms of revenue, but continuously pushes the envelope in terms of new offerings. Resorts offers a whopping nearly 500 online games. This includes a daily fantasy sports offering, which Resorts was the first online casino to offer. Resorts has immediately obtained a strong position in the online poker market through its partnership with PokerStars, an established online poker operator.
Tropicana does not have as broad of a product line as the other casinos, but what it does, it does well. Tropicana has a relentless focus on quality over quantity, offering roughly only 200 online games. It prefers to center its activities on its established games as well as bingo. Tropicana takes an innovative approach to marketing. Instead of offering deposit bonuses as most other casinos do, Tropicana offers loss rebates for customers. Tropicana’s online partner is Virgin Casinos. Tropicana features an easily navigable platform that is complex yet appealing in its visual aspects.
Recently, several new entrants have announced plans to enter the New Jersey online casino market. Ocean Resort Casino began a soft launch in June 2018, offering games such as slots, poker and blackjack. Full-time play began in July 2018. The online casino is powered by a partnership with GAN. That same month, Hard Rock Casino entered the market for online casinos. Hard Rock has partnered with Gaming Innovation Group. This represents Hard Rock’s first online effort after years of operating physical casinos. Additionally, it has been rumored that FanDuel will enter the online casino market in New Jersey as a rebranding of the old Betfair brand.
Eligibility to Bet in New Jersey
Online players are not required to be New Jersey residents in order to wager online in the state. Instead, players must only be physically located in New Jersey at the time that they are placing a wager. In other words, those from out of the state may still wager while in New Jersey. Players must be at least 21 years of age to wager. Players may establish an account from anywhere in the world, but cannot actually wager until they are in the state. Casino operators are able to track a player’s location through the use of geolocation software.
Online Casinos Impact
Online casinos have a number of positive impacts on the state of New Jersey. The first, and most obvious impact, is on the state’s bottom line. As mentioned above, casino operators pay both application and licensing fees as well as taxes on gambling revenues. In the first three years of operation, online casinos contributed nearly $125 million in tax revenue to state and local governments. In addition, these casinos were directly responsible for the addition of approximately 3,300 jobs in New Jersey. In total, online casinos had nearly $1 billion of economic impact to New Jersey in their first three years of operation.
For years, some established land-based casinos had opposed the introduction and expansion of online gaming. Their fear was that, having the option to wager from the comfort of their home, players would not visit the physical casinos and revenue would fall. These casinos had exerted efforts to influence the political process to prevent approval of online gaming. These fears have not been realized since the introduction of online gambling. Instead of cannibalizing land-based casinos revenues, online gaming has been accretive to total profits. Not only has online gaming increased and grown its revenues since introduction, but the total pie for casino revenue in New Jersey has increased. Online casinos have allowed the established casino operators to offer various programs to build brand loyalty. Online casinos have given players an easy entry point into the gambling market which they have then pursued by visiting a physical casino.
Top Available Online Games
Slots – Online slot machines are like the Rose Bowl of online games. They are simply the “Granddaddy of them all.” Progressive online jackpots in New Jersey can climb in excess of $1 million. Online slots are plentiful with a wide variety of offerings and are easy to play.
Poker – Poker has been one of the most popular online casino offerings dating back to the advent of online gaming. Online poker in New Jersey has grown rapidly since its introduction and will continue to expand in the wake of New Jersey’s tripartite partnership with Delaware and Nevada.
Blackjack – One of the most popular physical casino games, blackjack has smoothly made the transition to becoming a popular online game. Recently, New Jersey has started to offer live dealer online blackjack.
Roulette – New Jersey online casinos offer three variants of the game, including Roulette Royale and Three Wheel Roulette.
Craps – Craps is a more limited offering in the New Jersey online marketplace. At present, only five online casinos offer craps.
Keno – Online Keno offers a much easier playing experience than wagering in a physical venue. This game has become widely available online in New Jersey.