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Legal Online Gambling In New Jersey

Atlantic City has made New jersey almost as synonymous with casinos as Las Vegas has made Nevada, but the garden state does not have the liberal attitude towards gambling that many think, and all legal gambling is highly regulated, with dog racing betting amongst the list of illegal betting practices in the state.Social gaming and Daily Fantasy Sports (DFS) are yet to have been addressed and charity gaming is restricted, showing that new Jersey is more conservative about gambling than many assume.However, when it comes to online gambling, New Jersey has been something of a pioneer in the US, being one of the first states to legalise online gambling, and reaping the benefits of that fact ever since.Atlantic City may be a draw to many from around the world, but gambling in land-based casinos is not legal anywhere else in New Jersey, only players, however, have much more freedom when it comes to where they can play, be it at home, on the move, or in the office.

A Huge Start to 2018

The online casino industry is huge, we are all aware of this, it is one of the biggest and fastest growing industries in the world, and those who manage to capitalise on its immense popularity have been able to do so for a large profit.New Jersey has certainly profited from the industry, with February being the second consecutive month in 2018 where the industry broke records for growth revenue.An unexpectedly cold winter is thought to have had something to do with this rise in popularity for online gambling, but the organic growth in the industry is clear regardless of the weather.The total made by New Jersey’s online casinos in February 2018 was $21.99, up from $21.6 million the month before. This may seem like small growth, but when it’s consistent, it makes a difference, as proved by the rise of over $3 million since February of last year (2017) when casinos in New Jersey amassed $18.8 million.Lead analyst for, Steve Ruddock, said:“This will not be the last record-setting month this year. New and expanded product lines, improved payment processing, and advancements in customer service will continue to drive organic growth. And the market is expected to expand when Ocean Resort Casino and Hard Rock Atlantic City launch online casinos in the coming months.”Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City (formally the Trump Taj Mahal) and the Ocean Resort Casino (formally Revel) are the two new kids on the block in terms of New Jersey casinos, having both arrived back in the summer of 2017, and the launch of their online casinos, especially Hard Rock, due to its global brand recognition, is expected to have a huge impact.

Bouncing Back

The growth in 2018 is actually something of a surprise to many in the industry, as Ruddock explains:“After growth slowed at the tailend of 2017, only the most optimistic projections could have predicted the start to this year for the online gambling industry.“If February’s per-day haul is indicative, we could see a $24 million month as early as March.”It is telling that this growth was experienced in the shortest month of the year, and many are excited for what is to come.The name that is making the most difference in the online casino market in New Jersey is Golden Nugget, which owns the Betfair and Sugarhouse brands as well as Golden Nugget itself.Golden Nugget is growing at a rate even quicker than the iGaming industry in the state, jumping from $7.3 million to $7.9 million from January to February (2018).Ruddock also spoke on the rise and rise of Golden Nugget, saying:“Golden Nugget is no longer simply a front-runner in the New Jersey online market — it’s now lapping the field.“It will be interesting to see if other New Jersey online casinos try to replicate the Golden Nugget’s strategies.”

Casino Games Go Up as Poker Goes Down

The growth in the online gaming industry in New Jersey can be put down solely to casino games, in fact, poker games’ revenue went down in the first two months of the year, from $1.95 million in January to $1.8 million in February.The rise of casino games revenue from $20.01 million to $20.03 million balanced that out and then some.New Jersey’s iGaming industry has already generated a lifetime revenue of over $766 million, and this is great news for the economy, as the industry paid $3.85 million in taxes in February alone.

Saving a Dying City

Online gambling has made a massive difference to New Jersey, which looked like it was losing much of the revenue brought in by casinos in recent years.Earning $5.2 billion at the height of its popularity back in 2006, Atlantic City looked to be unstoppable, but out-of-state competition changed everything, and by 2016, the revenue from the casino industry in new Jersey had dropped to $2.414 billion, making it the second biggest source of gambling revenue in the state, behind the lottery, which brought in a record-breaking $3.3 billion in the same year.The drop in revenue did add some stabilisation to the industry, with most companies and casinos operating in the gambling industry in Atlantic City now in profit with less risk of big names disappearing as the industry grew too fast.Even back in 2016 the $196.7 million made by the online casino industry in New Jersey took casino gambling as a whole back into first place in terms of revenue, and the growth since then has been astronomical, despite the decreased growth towards the end of last year, we are still not at a point where an industry that wasn’t brining in $200 million in a year less than two years ago is not earning over $20 million in a 28-day month!Since it became legal in the state in 2013, online gambling has made a big difference to New Jersey’s economy and that only looks set to grow.

People Power

The reason that New Jersey has legalised and now regulates so many forms of gambling compared to most other states in the US is an interesting one.Many states, like New Jersey, have laws that an be changed by voter referendums, but most others require legislative approval after that point. New Jersey does not do this, so when they state’s constitution says that all forms of gambling are illegal in the state, except those approved by voter referendums, voters have complete power to change it.That’s what happened with online gambling, and now New Jersey is amongst just three US states which offer a regulated and legal online gambling industry (the other two being Delaware and Nevada).When you put these three online casino markets next to each other, it’s not hard to realise that New Jersey’s industry is very much the biggest of the three, with five approved operators, Golden Nugget, as mentioned above, as well as Borgata, Caesars Interactive, Resorts Casino, and Tropicana, with the two newbies Hard Rock and Ocean Resort on the horizon too.It’s no surprise that the big names in the iGaming world in New Jersey are the same names which have had the biggest impact with their casinos in Atlantic City, therefore having a reputation they can rely on to earn them respect and trust from players.


The surprising thing to learn is, despite the rapid growth and the New Jersey iGaming market being the biggest in the country, it is succeeding far less than many politicians assumed it would.An article in USA Today back in 2014 saw expectations that the market would bring in $180 million a year in tax revenue, something that would necessitate over $1 billion in revenue.The market has clearly not reached these heights, only climbing above $180 million in revenue in 2016, let alone in taxes, and hasn’t made $1 billion in total since its inception nearly five years ago, but it’s still moving in the right direction.Whether iGaming in new Jersey ever becomes a billion-dollar industry remains to be seen, but it’s a definite possibility, especially with two new big names waiting in the winds.


New Jersey’s casino markets are highly regulated, but there are some things that have not been tackled yet, social gambling and DFS games are not mentioned in any legal document, so although he assumption is that they are illegal, it’s difficult to know for sure.On top of that, it is not known what would happen if a New Jersey resident was to use a VPN to play at an offshore or licensed foreign casino site, there is nothing concrete within the regulations, and that’s something that will hopefully change in the near future.New Jersey’s online gambling scene, similarly to its gambling scene in Atlantic City, is moving in the right direction, but there’s still more than needs to be done. Hopefully, growth will continue, and the calls for increased and clearer regulation will follow.

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