Legal gaming in the state of New Jersey casts a wide net, with land-based and online casinos, horse race wagering (both onsite and off-track), the state lottery, and the possible advent of sports betting.
Unlike most other states in the nation, New Jersey land-based casinos are primarily corporate owned, rather than tribal. All 7 casinos are based in Atlantic City, as mandated by state law. The recent 2016 election saw a rejection of expanding casinos into other parts of the state, so for now it is the epicenter. However, all residents can gamble real money online at one of 20 sites that have partnered with a land-based company.
Horse racing is offered at three tracks in New Jersey, with wagering allowed. Off-track betting is also legal at venues across the state. Racinos (racetrack/casino hybrids) are currently illegal, however rumblings in the Senate about raising funds for the state pension plan has renewed interest in allowing racetracks to bring in slot machines or video gaming terminals.
Then there is the sports betting, which is technically legal in the state, but implementation of this type of wagering has been held up in the courts. The appeal is currently in the hands of the U.S. Supreme Court.
Recent New Jersey legal gambling news
The success of New Jersey online casinos might be causing states like Pennsylvania, New York, and West Virginia to more seriously consider online gambling.
The new CFO at Wynn Resorts comes from the legal online gambling sector, which could signal a shift in Wynn’s current slightly negative view of iGaming.
New Jersey is making strides both with Trump and online casino revenue, while TN explores casinos and PA brick and mortars try to turn revenues around.
Online gambling brought in record revenues for New Jersey, which might explain why Massachusetts and Pennsylvania introduced online gambling bills in 2017.
New Jersey Online Casinos
New Jersey is one of only a few states to offer real-money casino games including slots play for its residents and visitors. Due to the restriction of gaming activities to Atlantic City proper, all New Jersey online slot companies must be partnered with land-based operators within the city limits.
In accordance with state law, all gaming servers must also reside within the Atlantic City borders. However, anyone within the state lines is eligible to play at one of the 20 authorized sites (though only 13 are reliably in service at this time).
There are many varieties of slot machines from which to choose at each of these sites.
Depending on the size of the site, the types of game can range into the hundreds. Frequently, slot brands found in land-based casinos are also available online. Diligent web research can yield fruitful bonuses and sign-up incentives for anyone looking to play slots online within New Jersey’s state lines.
NJ Online Casino List
|NJ Casino Site||Land-Based Partner|
|Betfair NJ||Golden Nugget|
|Caesars Casino Online||Caesars|
|Golden Nugget||Golden Nugget|
|Harrah’s Online Casino||Harrah’s|
|Mohegan Sun Online||Resorts|
|Pala Online Casino||Borgata|
|Pokerstars NJ Casino||Resorts|
|Resorts Online Casino||Resorts|
|SugarHouse Online Casino||Golden Nugget|
|Virgin Online Casino||Tropicana|
Social casino site options
New Jersey residents can play at social casino sites of all types. The most obvious options are the play-money features on the online casinos listed above.
Each real-money casino allows potential players to try out and find their favorite games without any risking any money. Converting from play-money to real-money is a common and simple operation for those already on the sites.
Additionally, there are many options on Facebook for players to experience online gaming not connected with the land-based casinos. These options focus more on the social and fun aspect of gaming than winning money or prizes.
However, one notable exception to these applications is MyVegas, a social site affiliated with MGM that offers players the opportunity to play for redeemable comps. For New Jersey players, since Borgata is owned by MGM, Borgata comps are available through the MyVegas redemption system.
Without risking any money at all, players can earn comps that offer discounted food, shopping, experiences (like golf), free nights in the hotel, or even redeemable freeplay money that can be used to wager inside the casino.
NJ Casino Operator History
Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa, commonly referred to as “The Borg,” is a major casino in Atlantic City.
Borgata opened its doors in 2003 and is the largest hotel in New Jersey, with 2,002 rooms available for nightly rental. Its casino is 161,000 square feet and features over 3,400 slot machines and over 250 table games.
Borgata’s poker room is also the largest in New Jersey and has unofficially been the destination for poker players since the property opened. It hosts several daily poker tournaments and many notable tournament events throughout the year, including the World Poker Tour Borgata Open. When it comes to poker in Atlantic City, the Borgata is undoubtedly the destination of choice.
Borgata also offers 15 dining options that serve a wide range of food choices. Many renowned chefs have restaurants bearing their name at Borgata, including Michael Symon and Wolfgang Puck. The property also has 10 retail shops, a two-story spa, two 1000+ seat entertainment venues, and the Premier Nightclub.
Borgata is undoubtedly designed as a Las Vegas-style mega-resort.
In keeping with that theme, Borgata also has a hotel-within-a-hotel, The Water Club, that offers visitors a different, more exclusive vibe. The Water Club has 800 rooms, a meeting space, its own spa, five pools, and six more retail outlets.
These efforts have yielded an extremely profitable venture, even amid the competitive pressures from neighboring states. Its reported monthly revenue statement indicated a year-to-date casino win (irrespective of other income) in excess of $722 million dollars, more than twice the revenue of any other Atlantic City casino. Based upon its quarterly earnings statements, Borgata made an estimated $110 million in profits in 2016, or over $9 million per month.
Borgata’s success is attributable to the experience of its ownership. For the first 13 years of its existence, Borgata was owned by Marina District Development Holding Company, a joint venture between MGM Resorts International and Boyd Gaming. However, in June 2016, MGM bought out Boyd’s share for a reported $900 million dollars, so the property is now wholly-owned by MGM, and is expected to continue its domination of the New Jersey market.
New Jersey has long been a center of gambling in the United States, primarily due to the prevalence of casinos in Atlantic City.
A special provision within the state constitution allows for establishing all manner of gambling houses within Atlantic City. Seven (or eight, if Wild Wild West is counted separately) casinos offer tens of thousands of slot machines to New Jersey residents and visitors along either the famous Boardwalk or the marina section.
However, Atlantic City’s dominance as a gambling mecca has receded dramatically during the past five years. Six casinos have shuttered or rebranded as non-casinos since 2014.
Most of this reduction in size is due to the legalization of gambling in Pennsylvania in 2006. Atlantic City gambling revenue has dropped over 50 percent since then, primarily because the lifeblood of Atlantic City, Philadelphians, now have closer options. Atlantic City has also not been helped by its reputation (deservedly or not) as a troubled, crime-filled town outside of the casino district.
The future may be looking brighter in 2017.
TEN is the casino resort that will open as a rebranding and redesign of Revel, which closed in 2014. Owned by Polo North Country Club, the new property is going to feature a greater emphasis on outdoor and leisure experiences.
It will still feature a small casino that will no doubt include a selection of slot machines. Though AC has been ravaged by the economic downturn and competition in neighboring states, there are and will still be many options for the slots player in New Jersey.
Atlantic City Casinos
|Bally’s/Wild Wild West||1979/1997|
NJ Gambling Guide
|Permitted/Offered?||Notes & Restrictions|
|Land-Based Gambling||Yes||Casinos may only be constructed and operated within the city limits of Atlantic City|
|Online Gambling||Yes||Online gambling sites must be partnered with a land-based licensee, and all servers and operations must occur within the city limits of Atlantic City. All residents and visitors within state lines may play on the approved sites.|
|Lottery||Yes||New Jersey Lottery Commission offers its own lottery options (both drawings and instant win) along with the multi-state Powerball and Mega Millions jackpot drawings.|
|Charitable or House-Based Gambling||Yes||Games are permitted throughout the state so long as the person or persons organizing the game have no financial stake in its outcome.|
|Minimum Gambling Age||18 for lottery, pari-mutuel, and bingo; 21 for casino gambling|