Atlantic City is typically thought of as the end all and be all of gambling in New Jersey. However, historically, that has not been the case. Rather, state residents had been gambling since the late 19th century in Monmouth Park – the horse races. Although gambling was essentially outlawed by the turn of the century in great part by a Progressive Era hell-bent on prohibition of many so-called vices, it did return toward the end of the 20th century. The state’s lottery was introduced in 1970. Currently, the lottery is one of the most famous in both the country as well as the world. The state benefits financially from it as well as from its commercial casinos. New Jersey has many gambling options available for residents and visitors alike including the following: the lottery, casinos (with slot machines, card games, etc.), pari-mutuel, charitable gambling, and social gambling.
Aside from regulated gambling, pursuant to Section 2A:40-1, it is illegal to make any wagers, bets or stakes made to depend upon any race or game, or upon any gaming by lot or chance, or upon any lot, chance, casualty or unknown or contingent event, shall be unlawful.” New Jersey laws and penalties concerning illegal gambling primarily target operators as opposed to players. As far as the state is concerned, it can lose millions or more in tax revenue if it does not prosecute and recoup funds from illegal operators whereas there is not much, if anything, to be gained from players. Illegal operation is thus a serious crime as is the promotion of gambling, which is defined as being involved in acquiring “proceeds” of gambling by being an integral part of (illegal) gambling operations. Such an offense can be charged as a felony, punishable with fines and incarceration for more than a year in jail.
Online gambling is now fully legal per New Jersey statutes and has been operating online since November 26, 2013. Anyone in the state of New Jersey can visit the state regulated gambling sites and gamble for real money. New Jersey is the first state to offer full online gambling which includes casino games, not just poker games like in Nevada.
2013 saw a number of gambling related developments in the state, principally between Governor Chris Christie and the state legislature. There was agreement to look into online gambling and charged the Division of Gaming Enforcement with drafting policy regarding online gambling. So far, it appears as though only land based casinos will be permitted to offer online gambling, so there has been a race for current operators to petition the State for such permission. Some casinos have been granted permission, however, others have not. Firm plans and policy is expected by the end of 2014, although full implementation could take much longer. The NJ online gambling revenue for January 2013 was $7.4 million.
Casinos in New Jersey
There are a number of casinos in New Jersey. They include the following: Bally’s Atlantic City, The Borgata, Caesar’s Atlantic City, Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Harrah’s Atlantic City, Resorts Casino Hotel, Revel Atlantic City, Snowboat Atlantic City, Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City, Trump Plaza Hotel and Casino, and Trump Taj Mahal.