New Jersey Legal Online Sports Betting, Laws And More

New JerseyReferred to as the Garden State, New Jersey is the most densely populated state in the USA. Known for providing home field stadium space to New York’s pro-NFL teams the Giants and the Jets, New Jersey has adopted these teams as their own. New Jersey is also famous for being home to the second most popular gambling region in America known as Atlantic City. On Monday, May 14, 2018, the United States Supreme Court made a historic ruling regarding the New Jersey sports betting case that rendered the federal ban on US-based sports betting, known as PASPA, as unconstitutional.

This page will provide a brief look at this legal decision, which carries a precedence significant not only to New Jersey but also to the USA sports betting market at large. We also break down the legalities that up to this point have been relevant to sports betting in New Jersey by providing insight into the state’s gambling laws and the US federal gambling laws, explaining how their intersection defines the infrastructure by which legal online sports wagering is governed.

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Is Online Sports Betting Legal In New Jersey?


Yes, Once NJ enacted the Assembly Law A4111, they had 30 days before they could start offering online sports betting.  New Jersey began accepting domestic sports wagers on June 14, 2018, with the governor placing the historical first bet. Online sports betting started in August of 2018, but not many domestic sportsbooks have the online option operating as of now. Draft Kings was first online sportsbook to launch in New Jersey but expect to see more online options in the near future.

State Regulated Sports Betting In New Jersey

Since PASPA was overturned, states have been rushing to get sports betting operations up and running. New Jersey has announced plans to allow online and domestic sports betting to residents within NJ state lines. Online sports betting began in August 2018 but many casino operators are still getting their systems ready or partnering with other online bookmakers to offer the service to NJ residents. It is assumed that most domestic casinos will host an online sportsbook, but only a few partnerships have been confirmed at this time.

Some Atlantic City casinos and racetracks are already accepting bets on sports including; Bally's, Borgata, Harrah's, Monmouth Park, Ocean Resort Casino, and The Meadowlands. The other casinos have not launched sports betting yet, but all of them have plans to do so by the end of 2018.

NJ Sports Betting Legalities Prior To The Supreme Court Ruling

Let's start with explaining the relevant laws, statutes, and regulations that are in play here. As mentioned previously, several specific US federal laws govern sportsbook gambling in the United States. State laws found in the NJ Casino Control Act & Commission Regulations use to have little if any bearing on matters other than to support and reiterate the federal regulations. This is no longer the case.

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act was passed in 1992 and prohibited individual states from licensing bookmaker operations within their territory. The only exception to this law consisted of four specific regions that were exempted from these restrictions. NJ was offered a chance at the exemption, unfortunately, they chose not to take advantage of this offer at the time of the law’s passage, a decision they grew to regret.

Despite the restrictions enforced through PASPA, New Jersey lawmakers moved forward with approving and launching sports betting options within the state. They have faced numerous legal challenges as a result, including lawsuits initiated by the various professional sports leagues in the country. The courts of the land initially upheld the ruling that New Jersey's new sports betting initiative was in violation of PASPA. New Jersey chose to fight their opposition and was rewarded for their efforts when they won their case as SCOTUS ruled the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act as unconstitutional.

The rest of the United States can thank NJ for their tenacity which directly led to the repeal of PASPA and an effective revolutionizing of the US sportsbook gambling market.  Lawmakers in the Garden State refused to back down, even when they were strongly opposed by all of the US professional and collegiate leagues.

Prior to the state's launch of domestic sports betting, fans in the state were restricted to only licensed offshore sportsbooks if they wanted to participate in any type of sports-related gambling.  Now they will have the expanded range of options that includes state regulated bookmakers as well as legally sanctioned offshore sportsbooks.

What About The Federal Wire Act?

Previous to PASPA's repeal, the Federal Wire Act prohibited all instances of US-based online sportsbook operations.  However, now that state-regulated sportsbook gambling can be legally established in any state that passes the appropriate legislation, the Wire Act now only prohibits wired wagers that are categorized as 'interstate' transactions, meaning that as long as the bets are not accepted across state lines, online sports betting can now be legally licensed by individual states.

Other Federal Laws That Affect New Jersey Online Sports Betting

The last federal gambling law that plays a role in gambling in New Jersey is the UIGEA, also known as the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act. Despite popular belief, this law does not prohibit US residents from gambling online. In actuality, this law is directed at gambling site owner/operators and payment processors. The UIGEA imposes regulatory requirements regarding how online gambling related transactions can be processed.

New Jersey's Adopted Sports Teams

Only recently, New Jersey had two sports teams of their own. They had, and still have, the New Jersey Devils in the National Hockey League, which is a middle-of-the-road team, if we're kind, that actually has a fairly large fan base when you consider that they're not exactly Stanley Cup contenders on a year on year basis.

In addition, until two years ago, New Jersey also had the New Jersey Nets in the National Basketball Association. This was yet another pretty big team in the NBA that had a huge Jersey following. They never quite managed to get over the hump, but they were a perennial playoff team in the early to mid-2000s, and they would typically win around 60 games a season. Out of 82 games, this means that they were huge with the sports betting community.

Knowing that they would earn a mid to high seed in the Eastern Conference playoffs, a lot of Jerseyans bet on the Nets. Unfortunately, the Nets were purchased by a Russian billionaire four years ago, and he began the process of relocating the team to Brooklyn. So now they're the Brooklyn Nets, but many Jerseyans still follow the Nets closely.

New Jersey's most famous sports teams aren't actually New Jersey's teams at all but are rather adopted by the state. In the National Football League, there are three New York teams: The Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets, and the New York Giants. However, only one of those teams actually plays in New York, and that's the Buffalo Bills. Buffalo is located in upstate New York, whereas the Jets and the Giants, who play in the AFC and NFC respectively, are located in New York City.

Since NYC is packed to the rafter with millions of people and businesses and streets and parks, it's impractical to put a stadium up in the city. So for decades the Jets and Giants have shared a stadium in New Jersey, the Meadowlands (now MetLife Stadium). And while they're New York teams, the fact that they play in Jersey makes them the most popular home teams in the state of New Jersey.

The New York Giants

The Giants had a disappointing season in 2017, finishing 3-13 and last in the NFC East. Not only was the team terrible, but it surrounded itself in controversy when starting quarterback Eli Manning was benched late in the season, ending his streak of 210 consecutive regular-season starts in favor of starting Geno Smith at quarterback.

However, the future is bright for the Giants in 2018 and beyond. With the 2nd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, the Giants selected Saquon Barkley, running back from Penn State University. Many expect Barkley to be a potential superstar for the game of football and some experts go even as far to call him a “once-in-a-generation” ball carrier that can completely change any game with a single play.

The New York Jets

The Jets have had a rough time since the turn of the century, having to play and win against Tom Brady and the New England Patriots twice a year in the same division would be a tall order to ask of any team. The Jets are also once again trying to find their answer at quarterback. After going 5-11 in 2017, finishing last in the AFC East, the Jets traded a ton of draft picks to move up to the 3rd pick in the 2018 NFL Draft.

With the 3rd pick, the Jets selected Sam Darnold, a quarterback from the University of Southern California. The Jets hope Darnold can be the franchise quarterback for the foreseeable future and be a player the organization can build around. Many scouts believe Darnold was the best all-around quarterback in the 2018 NFL Draft, but the Jets have made bad draft picks at the quarterback position before like with Mark Sanchez, a.k.a. Mr. Butt Fumble. The Jets hope this time will be different, but only time will tell.

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The Famous Boardwalk Empire

Atlantic City, in many ways, is every bit as famous as Las Vegas. Surely you've heard of the game Monopoly, but did you know that it's actually based on Atlantic City? Boardwalk is directly from AC, and so too is the former HBO show Boardwalk Empire. This is a show that gave a semi-accurate look at how modern Atlantic City made it through the Prohibition Era in America.

Although many of the characters were fictional, and the timelines could get a bit wonky, the stories told in the show were actually true. AC was a big reason Prohibition hit the US hard, and the city was controlled by a handful of organized crime syndicates. They purchased land, built roads and hotels, made the Boardwalk famous, and paved the way for the casinos.

Atlantic City's history doesn't really get that interesting, removed from the Boardwalk Empire days, until the 1970s. This is when gambling was legalized. In 1976, a referendum was passed in the state of New Jersey, and gambling was considered legal. This was only two years after a similar referendum was shot down, keeping gambling illegal.

It didn't take long for people in Atlantic City to take advantage of the famous Boardwalk, which had already been there for nearly a hundred years. They actually started building big casinos directly off the Boardwalk, while putting up hotels and spas and resorts.

Today, there are 11 total casinos that are on the Boardwalk all up and down Atlantic City. And while that might not sound like a lot of casinos, you have to consider that these are huge Vegas-style casinos, featuring thousands of slots, hundreds of gaming tables, multiple restaurants, hundreds of rooms, huge halls for entertainment, and much more. They are giant casinos, like Harrah's, Trump Plaza and the Showboat Casino.

We're obviously not talking about anything that's quite the size of Las Vegas here. Sin City has over a 120 casinos located on the Strip alone, and that's not counting what's off the Strip and what's up near Reno. So in terms of size and gambling options, Vegas is the first on the entire planet.

But when it comes to a pure gambling city, everything in AC is very compact and direct. You can literally walk up and down the boardwalk and enjoy the huge casinos of the city. Magic is also huge in Atlantic City. While Vegas might have David Copperfield, AC has a host of magicians in the majority of their casinos, and they put on shows all around the calendar year.

Other casinos you can find in Atlantic City include Caesars Atlantic, Bally's, the Tropicana, the Atlantic City Hilton, the Trump Marina and Trump Taj Mahal, and the Borgata. You can also find a few racetracks within the state and city, including thoroughbred racing and greyhound racing. So if you're a gambler, Atlantic City gives you plenty to do while there.

Whether you're going to Atlantic City or staying home on your computer, we want you to exercise caution when betting. Don't get carried away at the moment; take your time, study your bets and leverage. You want to win. That's the entire purpose of betting.