Online Gaming in New Jersey

In February 2013, New Jersey became the second state in the country to authorize licensed and regulated online casinos, and the third state to authorize licensed and regulated online poker rooms. New Jersey online casino operators can offer any game played in a brick-and-mortar casino. Only casinos with a license to operate land-based casinos in Atlantic City may operate an online casino. Only people who are least 21 years old and are physically located in New Jersey can play at an online casino. Real-money online gaming debuted in November 2013.

On 26 February 2013, Gov. Chris Christie signed the New Jersey Casino Control Act into law, creating a regulatory framework for online gambling in the Garden State. Three weeks earlier, Christie had conditionally vetoed the legislation, asking for minor changes to the bill to garner his approval. The changes he recommended included a tax increase (on operators) from 10% to 15%, part of the proceeds going to compulsive gambling programs, and a 10-year sunset clause. The sunset clause dictates that the New Jersey legislature – and governor – will have to reauthorize the right for operators to offer online gaming in 10 years. The legislature amended the bill with Christie's changes, and the bill became law.

Christie vetoed a different version of this bill in 2011, citing "legal and constitutional concerns" that the bill violated New Jersey's Constitution, which only permits casino gambling in Atlantic City, and his opposition to supporting the horse racing industry through funds generated by online casinos. The new bill resolved both of the issues by removing the provision of $30 million in racing subsidies and obtaining expert opinions that as long as servers were based in Atlantic City, the Constitution wouldn't be violated.

Additional legal support came late in 2011, when the U.S. Department of Justice announced that the Wire Act only applied to sports betting. This new interpretation of the Wire Act cleared the way for states to pursue intrastate online gaming without fear of federal prosecution.

The bill tasked the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement with creating standards for software and equipment used for Internet gaming. Casinos are required to verify that players are physically located in New Jersey.

In May 2013, the Division of Gaming Enforcement announced proposed regulations for online gambling. In the draft, an initial $400,000 internet gaming permit fee would be required of the licensees, as well as an annual license fee of $250,000.

In June 2013, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement wrote to the 12 land-based casinos in Atlantic City, telling them they would be given until 30 June to arrange supplier deals to provide online gaming. After the deadline, regulators would examine and review the qualifications and backgrounds of the companies partnering with the Atlantic City casinos.

In response to the comments made on the May 2013 regulation proposal, New Jersey regulators formulated changes aimed at enhancing players' protection while playing via remote gambling sites.

In September 2015, the Division of Gaming Enforcement approved a partnership between Amaya Gaming, parent company of PokerStars, and land-based casino Resorts AC. The approval cleared the way for PokerStars to re-enter the U.S. online poker market for the first time since Black Friday in April 2011. PokerStars launched for real-money play on 21 March 2016.

New Jersey officials had hoped online gaming would generate about $180 million of tax revenue per year. In the first 27 months, the sites contributed a total of only $45.5 million to the state coffers. However, the state continued to see revenues increase on a month-by-month basis.

In August 2017, Gov. Chris Christie signed into law A 3532, which legalizes and regulates daily fantasy sports.

In July 2018, New Jersey joined the player liquidity pool for online poker with Delaware and Nevada, but the numbers for the remainder of the year remained modest.

Regulated sports betting in both online and in brick-and-mortar casino properties started in mid-June 2018. The first FanDuel Sportsbook also opened in July.

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