What Gambling Types are Legal in New Jersey

by Staff

Gambling in New Jersey is regulated under a comprehensive legal framework that aims to balance consumer protection with state revenue generation. Central to this framework is the Casino Control Act (CCA), passed in 1977, which established the New Jersey Casino Control Commission (CCC). The CCC is responsible for licensing and regulating Atlantic City casinos and enforcing strict taxation, licensing, and operations regulations.

In 2013, New Jersey took a progressive step by legalizing online gambling, distinguishing itself as one of the first states to do so. This legislation allows licensed Atlantic City casinos to offer online casino games and poker to residents and neighboring areas, aiming to bolster revenue for both the burgeoning and struggling casino industry and the state.

New Jersey’s legal framework prioritizes a safe and enjoyable gambling experience within a regulated environment. This article provides an overview of the state’s legal and regulated forms of gambling, delves into the history of gambling in New Jersey, and discusses unregulated forms in the region.

History of Gambling Legalization in New Jersey

From 1894 to 1939, gambling was unheard of in New Jersey, although the laws and regulations that were enforced were very far from being consistent. Hence, there was uncertainty in terms of the legality of social gambling. 

During this time, many churches conducted bingo; others had slot machines despite the prohibition on them. 

In 1976, a significant development occurred in New Jersey’s gambling market. The state’s residents voted in a referendum to legalize gambling in Atlantic City. This movement led to the establishment of the first legal casino, the Resort Casino Hotel, which was inaugurated in 1978. 

Because of the thriving Atlantic City casino market, it soon became the hub of gambling on the East Coast. During the 1980s and 1990s, the city became very popular after establishing different casinos, some of which are still popular today. 

Legal Gambling Types in New Jersey

These are the different types of gambling in New Jersey. 

1. Casino Gambling

New Jersey is renowned for the state’s Atlantic City casinos. It offers a wide range of games like poker, blackjack, roulette, baccarat, craps, and slot machines, as well as other electronic gaming devices. There are a total of 9 casinos in New Jersey, ranging from the five major players, which are Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Caesars, Golden Nuggets, Harrah’s Resort, Tropicana Casino & Resort, Bally’s, Ocean Resort Casino, Resorts Casino Hotel, and Hard Rock Hotel & Casino all open 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Furthermore, the age limit for casinos in New Jersey is 21, and typical betting limits are imposed on every casino activity. 

2. Online Casino Gambling

Online casino gambling has been legal in New Jersey since 2013. Licensed operators offer a variety of games, such as slots, table games, and live dealer games, accessible to players and gamblers. Major operators include BetMGM, Golden Nugget Online Casino, Caesars Casino & Sportsbook, DraftKing, and 888casino. Furthermore, they conduct age and geolocation verification to ensure that participants are of legal gambling age and located within the state’s borders.

3. Horse Racing

This rich tradition in New Jersey has various active racetracks. Gambling on horse racing is legal both online and on tracks. Horse race operators include Betfair, William Hill, and Bet365. Betfair provides gamblers with extensive coverage of fun and exciting games such as Win, Place, Show, Exacta, and Trifecta. These operators may also provide live streaming services for enthusiasts who wish to view online. 

4. Lottery

The New Jersey lottery offers a variety of games, such as draw games like pick-3, pick-4, Jersey Cash 5, mega millions, pick-6, cash4life, and Powerball. The lottery also offers different instant-win scratch-off games with various themes and prizes.   

5. Charitable Gambling

Various charity organizations obtained permission and a license from the government to run bingos and organize fundraisers to generate revenues. Major operators of charitable gambling are PokerStars, Bet365, and 888 Holdings. The age limit is 21, and strict betting restrictions have been implemented to regulate how bettors make betting expenditures. The gambling operators are open 24/7. 

6. Sports Betting

Sports betting has been legalized in New Jersey since 2018. Both retail and online sportsbooks now offer betting on a wide range of professional and cultural sporting events, including traditional wagers like money line bets, Totals (over/under) and spreads. The state also permits in-game gambling on individual performances, specific outcomes, and team statistics. The age limit for gambling is 21. For integrity, different measures were implemented to prevent fraud and match-fixing. For more information, OnlineUnitedStatesCasino.com lists the different forms of gambling available in New Jersey

Unregulated Gambling Forms in New Jersey 

The following are some of the unregulated gambling forms in New Jersey.

1. Unlicensed Gambling Operators or Centers

Gambling pursuits like slot machines, poker, and card games may be legal in some settings in New Jersey but not all parts of the state. Some examples of unregulated gambling include unauthorized casinos or gambling rings that function without the government’s permission. All casinos must receive permission, complete documentation, and licenses to operate a gambling center.

2. Unauthorized Online Gambling

Although online betting is regulated in New Jersey, that doesn’t mean that all betting companies, especially online gambling sites, are authorized. Just like casinos, online gambling must receive permission from the government to operate legally. 

3. Horse and Sports Betting with Bookmakers

Although horse racing and sports betting are regulated in New Jersey, unlike other states, that doesn’t also make bookmakers regulated. The bookmaker must receive an authorized license from the authorities to legalize bookmaking in New Jersey. 

4. Gambling that Encourages Animal Cruelty

Any gambling or sport that has to do with animal brutality is illegal. An example of this type of gambling is dogfighting. 

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

1. Is It Legal to Bet Online with Real Money in New Jersey?

It is legal for the state’s residents to stake their bets with money on legalized online gambling sites. Although gambling on offshore gaming sites is not illegal, bettors must go to legalized sites for assurance and safety. 

2. Are Home Games legal in New Jersey? 

Yes. Home games, such as social poker games, are legal in New Jersey, provided commercial profits are not made from them.   


New Jersey has a comprehensive framework for all types of legal gambling. Since the legalization, New Jersey has witnessed significant growth in the gambling industry. The establishment and legalization of online gambling have further expanded the industry. Overall, the gambling market has balanced the consumer experience and protection, generated revenue for the state, and ensured a regulated gambling environment for the participants. 

About the Author/s

All posts

The New Jersey Digest is a new jersey magazine that has chronicled daily life in the Garden State for over 10 years.

Related Articles

Leave a Comment

Yes, I would like to receive emails from The Digest Online. Sign me up!

By submitting this form, you are consenting to receive marketing emails from: New Jersey Digest. You can revoke your consent to receive emails at any time by using the SafeUnsubscribe® link, found at the bottom of every email. Emails are serviced by Constant Contact