The history of online gambling in New Jersey deserves a site all to its own, but when it comes to this page, we are going to cover how New Jersey was critical in the reintroduction of online poker to the United States. The state has always had its fair share of poker players, and we aren’t just talking about the ones in the back rooms you see in the movies. Most Atlantic City casinos have offered poker at one time or another, and before the events of Black Friday, a large number of residents played at online sites to improve their skills.
Let’s take a closer look at poker in New Jersey – where you can play, what you can play and why we should all be thanking Chris Christie.
Land-based poker laws in New Jersey
As we mentioned, New Jersey’s land-based casino business has been around for ages. The center of this is Atlantic City, at one time considered to be the Las Vegas of the East Coast. Most of these casinos have poker rooms, and in the case of places like the Borgata, the events held there are some of the largest in the country. Today, while the games aren’t nearly as big as they once were, live poker is alive and well in the state. Players come from across the river in Manhattan to play at these spots, which adds a juicy layer to the cash games and tournaments that are offered.
Where you can play land-based poker in New Jersey:
Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa (Atlantic City, NJ)
Golden Nugget Atlantic City (Atlantic City, NJ)
Harrah’s Atlantic City (Atlantic City, NJ)
Tropicana Casino (Atlantic City, NJ)
WSOP Poker Room at Bally’s (Atlantic City, NJ)
Online poker laws in New Jersey
In the 2000s, online poker burst onto the scene in the United States, causing a booming increase in new players to the game. Players from New Jersey that had never played the game could watch poker from the Borgata on television, and thanks to real money online satellite events, they could take a shot from their house to be one of those people they were watching on TV.
The online poker industry seemed to be great for everyone, including the New Jersey casinos that had poker tables. However, the government was not reaping any tax benefits from operators based offshore. The industry was shaken forever in the U.S. when the federal government passed legislation in 2006 that would see banking for online poker become illegal. Almost overnight, half the operators in the market pulled out, and in 2011 those that remained were forced out via indictment.
In 2012, with many Atlantic City casinos in financial trouble, then-Governor Chris Christie and his state government passed legislation that would see online casinos, poker sites, and sports betting all become legal in the state. While the fight to legalize sports betting would drag on all the way to 2018, online poker enthusiasts were thrilled to hear that real money games would be coming back to the state in a legal format.
Today, there are multiple sites and networks available for play in New Jersey, and thanks to an agreement with Nevada and Delaware, all three states are sharing traffic to make the games larger and more attractive.
Where you can play online poker for real money in New Jersey?
These real money online poker sites are available legally in New Jersey:
Alternative Poker Solutions in New Jersey
Despite the availability of real money online poker sites in New Jersey, some players continue to look for different ways to play the game. To satisfy the needs of players not lucky enough to be in one of the states that now offer legal online poker, alternative ways to access cash games and tournaments have emerged.
If you watch poker on television, you are likely very familiar with the World Poker Tour. A fixture on the poker scene for almost 20 years, the brand has loaned its name to a subscription-based platform designed to give poker players a chance to play in sweepstakes tournaments in return for paying a monthly subscription fee.
Another alternative to the traditional real money poker site is a sweepstakes poker site like Global Poker. These sites are similar to subscription sites in that they also take advantage of sweepstakes law, but they allow players to make single purchases in order to receive the reward of sweepstakes currency. While it isn’t everyone’s cup of tea, many find the games on these sites easier to beat than the real money online sites.
Finally, for the player that isn’t really interested in gambling real money but still likes the rush from hitting a card on the river, there is social poker. This game is built on aspiration, not gambling. Players earn achievements and unlock new levels by winning and acquiring chips, all for the glory of being crowned the best player in their social circles.
New Jersey Poker Frequently Asked Questions
Are there still illegal sites that can be played from New Jersey?
There are some offshore-based sites that continue to try to fight for New Jersey players. Technically, these sites are illegal, but they are not illegal for you to play. Our question would be this: Why would you choose to play at a site based offshore with no legal responsibility to you when so many great options already exist in the New Jersey market?
How do I make a deposit at a New Jersey online poker site?
The good news is that the regulation of online poker has made it easier than ever to make banking transactions at these sites. You can choose from one of the following options (check the site you are going to play with to see what each offers):
- Credit Cards
- Debit Cards
- Wire Transfer
- Prepaid Cards
- Cash at the casino cage (where possible)