The Rise of Online Gambling in New Jersey: A Digital Casino Revolution
It's hard to believe that this November will mark ten years since online gambling became legal in the Garden State. And after ten years, New Jersey's online gambling scene only continues to pick up steam. Today, only neighboring Pennsylvania and Nevada make more online gambling revenue. From former Governor Chris Christie's Herculean effort to legalize online poker to the multi-billion dollar sports betting, we cover New Jersey's $6 billion-plus.
New Jersey Before 2013
Today, New Jersey lawmakers are debating whether or not to extend online gambling for two or ten years, but in 2006, New Jersey businesses couldn't accept payments for online gambling wagers. However, since the late 1970s, Atlantic City was the East Coast's top gambling spot past Las Vegas. State lawmakers limited land-based casinos to Atlantic City, which experienced magnificent profits from the 1980s to the mid-1990s. As the 1990s progressed, New Jersey's epic construction period and casino profits stopped.
And as 2006 progressed, the economic might of Atlantic City's casinos continued to drop. Some of the most prominent Atlantic City Casinos, including Donald Trump's brand of casinos, began shutting down. As revenue began to dry up, the calls for online gambling grew, with Governor Chris Christie leading the charge.
The Rise of New Jersey Online Gambling
In February 2013, Governor Chris Christie signed bills A2578 and S1565 to allow online gambling in the Garden State. The initial bills are for online poker and slot games, with the caveat of those online casinos partnering with land-based casinos in Atlantic City. Although, the initial push to legalize online gambling in New Jersey began in earnest in 2010.
But once Christie signed the bills, it game licenses for twelve online casinos for 24/7 operation later that year. And once word got out about the coming New Jersey online casinos, New Jersey players wasted no time creating their accounts by the hundreds.
Another stipulation for licensed New Jersey Casinos is to have only players inside the state making real-money wagers. With the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board serious about this requirement, the geo-locator era began. Today, most online casinos, including those in New Jersey, use geo-locator methods and tools to verify that their members are physically in the state. Otherwise, they can't make real money wagers.
Come 2016, online poker hit its stride in the Garden State with PokerStars coming online. PokerStars worldwide poker tournaments helped a new wave of New Jersey players create accounts and compete against other players in guaranteed knockout tournaments. Sit & Go tournaments also became popular for New Jersey online casinos to increase online poker profits.
2016 also marked the power and popularity of live dealer play. Having an authentic casino table game performance was next to impossible to replicate, but Evolution Gaming helped break down this down to a science. Since this breakthrough, New Jersey players can play in real-time with a professional live dealer or Roulette croupier from their living room couches. Live dealer play also allows savvy New Jersey gamblers to review their betting histories and chat with the live dealer in real-time.
Sports Betting Comes to New Jersey
In 2018, the US Supreme Court, under tremendous pressure from Governors, overturned the long-lasting PAPSA ban. With this barrier down, sports betting became legal at retail and online sportsbooks. Many of New Jersey's online casinos, including FanDuel, DraftKings and Caesars Sportsbook, immediately added sports betting sections to their websites.