New Jersey is credited with making the biggest news in the online gambling industry in decades with its years-long fight to have the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act repealed, but many people do not realize that this was only one piece of a much broader attempt to legalize all forms of online gaming including casino play. While PASPA was finally overturned in 2018, legal online casino sites have been operating in New Jersey since 2013, and as you will see below, there are many great options for residents of the state when it comes to playing table games or slots online.
A brief history of legalized Online Casinos in the state
In the early 2010s, Atlantic City was taking a beating, both literally and figuratively. Storms had ravaged the famed Boardwalk, and the many land-based casinos that made the city the east coast Las Vegas were close to empty. One of the reasons people weren’t visiting these casinos was the ease with which casino games could be played online at any of the offshore-based, grey market online casino sites.
Governor Chris Christie, in an attempt to find ways to keep these casinos from closing, took measures into his own hands. In early 2013, the New Jersey government passed legislation that would create the framework for a regulated online gambling market in the state. This would include poker and sports (some time later), but the main focus of the original legislation was to allow for legal online casinos to compete with those operating an arm’s length away from U.S. law.
Within months of the bill being passed, land-based casinos started opening online casinos. The way the law was written was straightforward. The Department of Gaming Enforcement would oversee the industry, and licenses were awarded to all the land-based gaming properties in the state. Each property was allowed to offer five distinct online brands under its license, which is why you see some casino sites in New Jersey that do not have a land-based connection.
Where you can play online casino games in New Jersey
With the potential of more than 50 online casino brands in New Jersey, it could very well be a cluttered marketplace. However, to date, the maximum number of brands has not been reached. Here is a list of the online casino brands that are open to New Jersey players.
PokerStars NJ Casino
How to choose the best online casino
As you can see from the list above, there are a lot of choices when it comes to where you make your deposits and play online casino games in New Jersey. This is actually an excellent thing for players even though it may seem tough to decide where to play. Having this competitive a marketplace means that operators have to work very hard to entice you to join their site. We’ve done comprehensive reviews of each of the online casinos, but if you want to do your own investigating, our team has compiled this shortlist of things you should be looking at when you visit a site.
Bonuses and Offers
The first thing you will see when you pull up an online casino site in New Jersey is likely a splashy banner with an offer to reward you for registering or making a deposit. Casinos are not shy about offering players money as an incentive – it is the easiest and most efficient way to promote the games. Many sites in New Jersey will give you free cash in your account just for registering, and even though there are many restrictions on what you can do with that cash and how much of it you can withdraw if you happen to make some money with it, it is foolish to turn down that kind of offer.
Next up will be the first time deposit bonus, which is where you will get the most substantial bonus a site will offer. This can range quite dramatically between sites, and you should check Terms and Conditions to make sure the offer isn’t too good to be true.
Finally, we think you should take advantage of the crossover between online casinos and their land-based partners. Often, a site will reward you with dinners, free play, or accommodation at its property. This is a more tangible benefit than more digital cash in your account, so find the sites that give you a reason to leave the house on occasion!
Each online casino site offers hundreds of games, but to find the perfect casino for you, it is important to dig deeper into each offering. Some sites offer massive progressive jackpots which are not easy to win but provide a lottery-type prize with every spin. Other casinos focus on the brand content of their games, which appeals to a specific type of audience. Many are now offering live casino games, which involve a dealer being live-streamed onto your screen from a studio somewhere in New Jersey. This is a nice alternative to RNG-based table games and is an excellent bridge between online and land-based casino play.
Take your time when looking at the content from each site to make sure that you find a site you want to stick with, so you can take advantage of all those bonuses that you are receiving!
Not every mobile app is built the same and it shows. If you are looking to play casino games from your phone or tablet, make sure to take your time testing the app itself. Most online casinos allow you to play free versions of their games, which means you can check the lag and the quality of the mobile platform before having to make a deposit. If you aren’t satisfied with an app, just delete it and move on to the next one.
Payments to and from online casinos in New Jersey
New Jersey residents and those traveling to the area can play real money online casino games, but first, you have to make a deposit! Thankfully, the change of legality of online casinos in this state and others has made it easier than ever to move money to and from a casino site. There are many different payment options, including the following list:
- ACH (e-check)
- Credit Cards
- Debit Cards
- Wire Transfer
The most attractive option for travelers may be making your deposits and withdrawals in cash at the land-based casino cage. This is a very clean way of managing your online casino account. Bear in mind that if you are attempting to cash out a large sum, then you may need to give the casino some advance notice.
New Jersey Online Casinos FAQ
Did playing at a grey-market online casino become illegal?
When legislation was passed in February 2013 to make online casinos legal in New Jersey, this did not affect the legality of the offshore-based sites. While there have been attempts to shut down these sites in the past, there are still many sites based in the Caribbean and Latin America offering games to U.S. residents. However, with dozens of excellent options in New Jersey all operating under the watchful eye of the DGE, it makes no sense for someone in New Jersey to engage with the grey market anymore.
Can I use cryptocurrencies at legal sites in New Jersey?
The rise of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum seems meteoric, but they have actually been around for quite some time. However, these types of digital currencies are highly volatile and not regulated by any governing body, so online casino sites in New Jersey do not accept them as a form of payment at this time.
Why does it seem impossible to earn my bonuses?
While online casino sites offer excellent bonuses for those who choose to make a deposit, earning the bonus dollars to convert to cash can seem like an impossible task. If you read the terms of any bonus, you will see a wagering requirement, which is the number of times you have to play through the bonus in order to convert it to real money. This conversion rate can change based on the game you are playing as well, which makes it harder to convert. This is meant as a way to control bonus abuse at an online casino, but it also affects those who are just at the site to enjoy the games.
Can I play free casino games in New Jersey?
Definitely, and we encourage you to take advantage of the free play option at any site you are planning to join. First, it gives you a sense of the quality of the games and the speed of the casino in general. Also, many sites offer you some free cash when you register your account, and we can never tell you to turn down the free money – who knows what you will turn it into!
Why can’t I access my account from outside the state?
As part of the regulations put in place by the state when it passed laws in 2013, all online casinos must be ringfenced by the geographic boundaries of the state. This does not mean that your account is gone if you try to log on from a neighboring state – it just means that you cannot access it or the games until you back within the boundaries of New Jersey.