New Jersey became the first state to legalize and regulate online casinos on February 26, 2013, with the passing of bill A2578. Senator Ray Lesniak was behind the push for legalized online gambling as he viewed it as the best way to stimulate Atlantic City’s struggling economy.
John J Burzichelli, Vincent Prieto and Ruben J Ramos sponsored the bill, it passed the Assembly by 68 votes to 5 and the Senate by 35 votes to 1. Chris Christie then signed the bill into law saying that it was a “responsible yet exciting option that will make Atlantic City more competitive while also bringing financial benefits” to the state.
The bill means that New Jersey’s land casinos are apple to apply for an online gambling license and to collaborate with an iGaming software provider or operator, such as 888. In order to apply, casinos have to pay a nonrefundable deposit of $100,000, should they then be approved for a license the money is put towards the $400,000 cost of the gaming license.
Casinos that receive approval must also pay a $250,000 renewal fee together with an additional $250,000 annual fee that goes towards New Jersey’s gambling treatment programs. Furthermore, the iGaming operators pay a 15% tax on their gross gaming revenue, and 2.5% of the gross gaming revenues to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).
In addition to casino permits, there are three different types of iGaming licenses available in New Jersey. The first is the Casino Service Industry Enterprise License; this is for the software partners of land casinos and for those who provide customer lists of players who have played online in the past. The second is the Vendor Registrants. These are for companies that provide services not specifically meant for online gambling, such as telecommunications. The final license is the Ancillary Casino Service Industry Enterprise License. This is for companies such as marketing affiliates, payment processing companies, geolocation verification, age verification, and so on.
The Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) regulates online gambling in New Jersey. They are responsible for a number of things include examining license applications, checking the “honesty, good character and integrity of casino owners, operators, employees and vendors”, ensuring that casino games are fair, monitoring for exclusion list violations, and checking information systems integrity.
In order for a casino to launch an online gaming operation in New Jersey, it must first apply for a transactional waiver from the DGE. This is a temporary permit that allows a site to test itself with a soft launch. The site can accept a limited number of players for a limited amount of time each day. During this testing stage, the regulators will be examining the site to ensure that it is safe, fair, and meets all of the legal requirements. Once this has happened, the site will receive the final authorization from the DGE and can launch fully.
There are strict regulations governing who can legally play at New Jersey online casinos. First of all, players must be at least 21 years old in order to gamble for real money. Secondly, players must be physically located inside the state of New Jersey when they play, but they do not have to be a New Jersey resident. It is legal to open and fund an account from anywhere in the world, but not legal to play until in the state. This means that it is possible to setup an account in advance of visiting on holiday.
It is the operators’ responsibility to make sure that players meet these requirements. This is mainly done with geolocation software, which can locate where a player is based, and then by crosschecking players’ details with various public databases and credit reporting agencies. They will also occasionally use cellphone tracking technology and software that checks Wi-Fi data.
A huge range of games can be enjoyed legally in New Jersey. Bill A2578 allows poker, slots, blackjack, craps, roulette, video poker and many other casino games, and it also left room for more games to be legalized in the future.
The bill states: “Roulette, baccarat, blackjack, craps, big six wheel, slot machines, mini baccarat, red dog, pai gow and sic bo; any variations or composites of such games, provided that such variations or composites are found by the [DGE] suitable for use after an appropriate [test period]; and any other game which is determined… to be compatible with the public interest.”
In order to help prevent gambling addiction, all online casinos must prominently display contact information for an organization where players can receive help. Each year the DGE must submit a report to the governor including details of the impact that online gambling has had on problem gambling within the state. Furthermore, as mentioned earlier, the state receives a $250,000 fee each year from operators and it is given to the Council on Compulsive Gambling of New Jersey and other addiction programs.
Checkout our top recommended legal New Jersey online casinos below. Find all the information you need in our detailed reviews and start playing today.