When you think of gambling and New Jersey, your mind probably immediately jumps to Atlantic City, with its storied boardwalk lined with casinos where gambling has been legal since 1978 as part of an effort torevitalize the city after its steady decline in the 1960s and early 1970s.
Legalized online casinos mean Garden Staters can gamble to their hearts content right at home—no drive across state, no reserving a hotel room, nothing but money in a bank account.
But today, gambling in New Jersey means a whole lot more than a few hotels looking out on the Atlantic. Legalized online casinos mean Garden Staters can gamble to their hearts content right at home—no drive across state, no reserving a hotel room, nothing but money in a bank account.
New Jersey Legalizes Online Casinos
Starting in May 2018, New Jersey’s political leaders legalized online gambling, principally to bring new revenue into the state’s budget—and probably to enrich themselves in the process. Now,since New Jersey legalized online casinos, the state has some of the loosest gambling restrictions this side of Nevada, the long-time gambling mecca out west.
The Garden State has a long association with gambling, including using lotteries to help pay for the French and Indian War and the American Revolution when it was still a colony of Great Britain, then to fund the development of Queen’s College (now Rutgers) and the College of New Jersey (now Princeton). Its state constitution allows casinos, provided they were located in Atlantic City.
New Jersey’s state legislature started the move to legalized online gambling in 2011, passing legislation that permitted the practice provided the computer servers hosting the online gambling websites were located in Atlantic City, as the only place in New Jersey where casinos are allowed by law.
But then-Governor Chris Christie vetoed that bill, worried that nightclubs and cafes around the state would quickly become gambling hubs, while objecting to the obvious fiction that such bets were being placed in Atlantic City when clearly they were not.
In 2013, afive-year legal battle ensued to dismantle Nevada’s monopoly on legal sports betting. New legislation was drafted permitting online gambling for a 10-year period, again requiring that the gambling servers be located in an Atlantic City casino and imposing a 15% tax on gambling revenue.
What This Means for New Jersey
As proponents of the legislation predicted, online gambling revenues are soaring. Last month in January, online casino and poker revenue topped $55 million, with 15% going to state coffers.Revenue rose more than 60% since the same month a year earlier, providing an ever-healthier tax base for the state.
At present, however, you must physically be in New Jersey to place your bets, with your location confirmed by GPS devices.