Regulation of gambling in New Jersey - history and present of law changes

New Jersey is one of the northern states of the USA. The territory is small but densely populated. This is where the agglomeration of New York is located. Moreover, the state is proud of the gambling capital Atlantic City.

Historically, gambling in New Jersey was treated with much more loyalty than other states. For example, lotteries were allowed here until 1844. With their help, the authorities collected money for wars with Indians and the struggle for independence.

The state is famous not only for the New York City but also for the full legalisation of gambling. Here, both land-based and virtual casinos are allowed. The first real casinos appeared here at the end of the XX century.

But online gambling was permitted only in 2013 and is already moving forward. Each online casino reports to the government and pays taxes on an equal basis with terrestrial casinos. Slot machines are available in both types of gambling institutions as well and are completely legal. Moreover, there is the possibility to play video slots without depositing real money.

Brief description of the gambling industry in New Jersey

As of 2016, eleven major casinos operate in New Jersey, nine of which are located in Atlantic City:

  • Bally's AC;
  • Bally's – Wild Wild West Casino;
  • Borgata;
  • Caesars;
  • Golden Nugget;
  • Harrah's;
  • Resorts;
  • Tropicana;
  • Trump Taj Mahal;
  • Hard Rock Casino in the town of Meadowlands;
  • in Jersey City – Liberty Rising Resort Spa and Casino.
  • They are regulated by two institutions:
  • New Jersey Casino Control Commission;
  • New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement – Police Department.

Horse races are monitored by New Jersey Racing Commission.

More than 33 000 employees work in land-based casinos and are involved in gambling of New Jersey more than 28 million players visit it per year. Total revenue exceeds USD 3 billion, and casinos pay to the budget USD 278 million annually.

Online casinos of New Jersey are regulated with the help of the Municipal Act A2578 since February 26, 2013. This law legalises online poker and casino sites. The same eight major land-based casinos have the right to conduct online casino business.

Only in October 2016, online casinos have earned more than USD 16 million. USD 2.5 million were allocated to the budget from this sum. Consequently, online casinos receive about USD 200 million a year and generate about USD 30 million for the government.

The history of gambling in New Jersey

Officially, gambling in New Jersey was banned from 1894 to 1939, but there is no evidence of how strictly the authorities complied with this ruling. Slot machines, lotteries and betting were always widespread here. Churches and other non-profit organisations publicly kept bingo halls, and Hippodrome Freehold Raceway opened in 1830, has never stopped working.

The first lottery was launched by the state government in 1969. The proceeds allowed building several schools.

The history of the actual emergence of casinos and gambling New Jersey laws are quite interesting. This coastal state has a lot of resorts. Late 60-ies were unprofitable for them – some simply could not attract visitors, some had closed, and some had turned into dwelling houses. Once the gambling became legalised, many hotels were opened again in the form of casinos.

New Jersey became the second state in the US which officially allowed gambling. Legalisation took place in 1976. The government had allowed organising casinos so that revenue from them was to help disabled and elderly.

The first casinos in New Jersey

The first casino was opened in 1978. It was a Resorts International Casino in Atlantic City. It works so far and still is one of the largest gambling institutions. It is decorated in the theme of “roaring twenties” and has 942 hotel rooms. The area gambling halls – 9300 square meters.

In the next 1979, two casinos opened: in June – Caesars, and in December – Bally's.

New Jersey competed with Nevada all the time. The 70-ies and 80-ies were fruitful for it, so the state was even able to get ahead in this kind of race. Nevada, at the time, was a criminal state with a high level of crime. New Jersey was safer compared to it, so players went to Atlantic City.

After other states have legalised gambling and casinos, the popularity of New Jersey has declined. However, the state continues to develop gambling business. Atlantic City plans to build several more casinos to attract more tourists.

The history of online gambling in New Jersey

The legislation on the legalisation of online gambling has been considered since 2011. Finally, the revised bill was approved by the state administration on February 26, 2013.

The law legalises online casinos on 10 years’ probation, restricts operations on the websites of Atlantic City casinos and lays a 15% tax on the income from the online business. It should be noted, that the income tax for land-based casinos is 8%.

The act prescribes the gambling age New Jersey limit to 21 years, similar to land-based casinos. Furthermore, online casinos servers can be located only in Atlantic City and people can play only with computers located in New Jersey. Computers are tracked via GPS.

Legislation gambling in New Jersey

Gambling is regulated by The Casino Control Act. Its enactments determine:

  1. terminology;
  2. the responsibility of regulatory authorities;
  3. licenses, issued to land and online casinos;
  4. standards, monitoring records of financial flows;
  5. equipment and casino games rules;
  6. the consumption of alcohol in hotels, casinos;
  7. fantasy sports tournaments and other important aspects of gambling.

Gambling is permitted for persons over the age of 21. Minors can enter casinos, although they have no right to play, consume alcohol or stick around in the gambling area. If a minor is caught playing in a casino, he will get USD 500-1000 fines and a ban on driving for six months. And the appeal is prohibited.

Lotteries, betting on horse races and other legal gambling in New Jersey are allowed for persons from the age of 18 years. If a person is not 18 yet, he/she has the right to participate in those games where the prize is a toy or some item but not money. For social gambling, the age limit is not determined.

Today’s gambling in New Jersey

As already mentioned, there are eleven major casinos in New Jersey. Nine of them are in Atlantic City:

  • Bally's AC;
  • Bally's – Wild Wild West Casino;
  • Borgata;
  • Caesars;
  • Golden Nugget;
  • Harrah's;
  • Resorts;
  • Tropicana;
  • Trump Taj Mahal;
  • Hard Rock Casino is located in Meadowlands city;
  • in Jersey City – Liberty Rising Resort Spa and Casino.

The biggest casino of all is Harrah's. This hotel and casino includes 2,588 rooms and gambling zone area of 15 000 square meters. It has 5567 video poker and slot machines, 139 card tables, 40 tables for the poker room and gambling in New Jersey. This is where World Series of Poker tournaments are held. It opened in November 1980, now it is owned by Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

The casino Borgata was the last one to open – July 2, 2003. It has 2002 rooms and the gambling area also covers 15 000 square meters. It is owned by the operator MGM Resorts International. The casino offers near 4,000 slot machines, 180 card tables, and 50 poker tables.

Borgata Casino is currently receiving the highest incomes. In 2015, the gain from casino slot machines was USD 468 million, from card games – USD 228 million.

Revenues from casinos in New Jersey

New Jersey allows a lot of gambling games from one-armed bandits to lotteries and bingo. The income and contributions to the budget depend on the type of the game. The tax on casinos is 8%.

Slot machines

Slot machines generate the highest income. Total revenue from slot machines of all casinos with New Jersey gaming license amounted USD 1.7 Bln at the end of 2015.

Accounting Policy in New Jersey devices slots by the size of bets:

  1. The biggest revenue comes from slot machines with a bet of USD – 0,01-0,02. Its size amounted to USD 851 million in 2015.
  2. In the second place – slot machines where you can set bets of different sizes. Revenue in 2015 was USD 347 million.
  3. In the third place – slot machines with USD 1 stakes. Revenues amounted to USD 180 million.

Table games

Card games have different profit:

  • in the first place – gambling online New Jersey Blackjack. At the end of 2015, the total revenue of casinos from this game was more than USD 240 million;
  • in the second place – the mini-baccarat – more than USD 83 million;
  • in the third place – craps. In 2015, it brought more than USD 80 million to casinos in New Jersey.


New Jersey Lottery is organised by the state government. The circuit contains eight games, the most famous of which are Cash4Life, Mega Millions, Powerball.

The biggest prize given in the lottery was USD 429 million. The proceeds from the sale of lottery tickets amounted to more than USD 3 billion in 2015.


As of 2016, New Jersey has four tracks and four off-track betting totalisators. In 2013, the Government decided that the race will be held on the beach of New Jersey near Atlantic City every year.

The first racetrack began work in 1830 and officially opened in 1854. Subsequent tracks began to hold the race since the 70-ies.

Proceeds from the issuance of licenses to participants of horse racing amounted to USD 425 thousand in 2015. The income from races themselves and betting – USD 2,6 mln.

Charity games and social games

State authorities permit non-profit organisations to hold charitable gambling events – such as churches and orphanages. They have the right to organise bingo, Raffles, casino night and race.

Social gambling is allowed too. Social games – it's the same gambling (poker, sports betting, etc.) in which the closest people participate: family, relatives, friends, colleagues. That is, players are united by other common interests besides gambling.

Social gambling in New Jersey is permitted provided that the organiser of the game is on equal terms with other participants and does not take any deductions from the money generated in the gambling process. However, in bars and other similar places, social gambling is prohibited.

Illegal gambling

Annual revenues of illegal gambling in New Jersey are very high, their size reaches many billions of dollars. Despite the fact that gambling is legal, after all, illegal casinos retain their positions. They may offer some services that are not provided in legal casinos – for example, gambling outside of Atlantic City.

The law of New Jersey does not punish players, but the person organising illegal gambling can receive up to 5 years in prison and get gambling arrests in New Jersey, depending on the size and the quality of betting. However, such arrests occur rarely.

Online gambling in New Jersey

Online gambling in New Jersey was legalised on 26 February 2013. Starting from November 21, 2013, online casinos operated in test mode, the so-called “trial run”. The full official launch took place on November 26, 2013.

Regulator of online gambling in New Jersey – New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement – the same organisation that controls all gambling activities in the state.

Only those sites that received a license from this division have the right to engage in legal gambling. The monthly revenue reports are sent to the Department by 16 online casinos and poker rooms:

Borgata has 4 sites:

  1. Borgata;
  2. Borgata;
  3. NJ.Party;

Caesars has 4 sites:


Golden Nuggets lead 3 sites:


Resorts has 3 sites:


Tropicana has 2 sites:


Revenues from online slot machines in New Jersey casinos

Borgata casino has the largest revenues from online business. In October 2016, for example, their websites received USD 3.6 Mill. From the beginning of this year, the sites have gained USD 39 million.

In second place – Tropicana websites. During the same month, these online casinos have earned USD 3,1 mln.

In the third – Caesars. Its four online casinos brought USD 3 million in October 2016.

Most of the online casinos were opened in 2013. Only Resorts sites began work in 2015.

Slots online in casinos of New Jersey

Online gambling New Jersey Borgata is considered the pearl of online casinos in New Jersey, as well as the land-based casino. Websites of this operator cooperate with contains more than 1,000 slots. The site has almost 20 exclusive slots. You can also find the same slots that are offered in the terrestrial Borgata. offers more than 180 slot machines. At the same time, its pages don’t contain traditional slots usual for land-based casinos. – the casino with 20 years of experience. This is one of the main Caesars partners. For residents of New Jersey, eights offer about 50 unique video slots. contains more than 250 slots, among them, there are some exclusives from Bally Technologies. has about 150 slots. It is possible to find more than a dozen exclusive devices.

Mohegan Sun offers visitors nearly 130 slot machines. On the site, there is a lot of games from IGT. Many of the slots can be found in land-based casinos.

PokerStars Casino has more than 20 slot machines with free spins and various bonuses.

Resorts Casino offers nearly 130 slots, among which, there are a lot of familiar names for experienced players: Cats, Cleopatra, Coyote Moon. offers 100 slot machines, related as well. The latter contains 102 video slots. There are some exclusive games.

The most popular slot machines in New Jersey casinos

Players of New Jersey like to play on such slot machines as Cats, Cleopatra, Coyote Moon, Double Diamond, Ghostbusters, Kitty Glitter, Monopoly and Star Trek. These are the most popular slot machines in the Borgata network. Pretty simple slots can be found both online and offline.

Users of the network of Caesars web sites prefer to play slot machines Buccaneer's Bounty, Cash N 'Clovers, Fire Flies, Golden Jaguar, Quick Hits Platinum, Double DaVinci Diamonds. These slots with multiple paylines can be found only online.

Managing slot machines

Technical Services Bureau (TSB) is engaged in technical compliance.

The Bureau consists of four departments:

  • Engineering;
  • Operational;
  • Research Unit;
  • Technical Support Department.

The main priority for the TSB – consideration, approval and inspection of gambling machines. Each slot in New Jersey is required to go through their laboratory and then pass the inspection in a casino before being presented to customers.

Operational Division is responsible for the regulation of more than 28,000 slot machines, tracking their location and controlling jackpots.

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