Why Are Online Casinos And Poker Sites Legal In New Jersey?
New Jersey is one of a handful of states that offer legal, regulated online casinos and poker sites.
How did online gambling become legal in New Jersey?
New Jersey approved regulated online gambling sites in 2013. The industry is overseen by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE).
In order to legally offer online gambling, NJ casinos must have a license from the DGE. The DGE maintains a list of licensed online gambling sites on its website. All online casinos that are licensed in NJ partner with one of the land-based casinos in Atlantic City.
- Some Atlantic City online casino sites are a direct reflection of their land-based partner. For example, the Golden Nugget online casino is operated by the same company behind the Golden Nugget in Atlantic City.
- Other Atlantic City online gambling sites have unique brands. For example, Virgin’s online casino in NJ is operated in partnership with the Tropicana in Atlantic City. These sites are partnered with a land-based casino in Atlantic City. They are regulated and licensed in the same way.
We only list online casinos and poker sites that are legal, regulated, and approved by New Jersey officials.
What about NJ online casinos that aren’t on the list?
It’s simple: If an online casino doesn’t appear on the list provided by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, then the casino isn’t a legal New Jersey gambling site.
We cannot stress enough that you should avoid unlicensed casinos. Legal online casinos are rigorously tested by regulators and required to protect your funds. You enjoy no such guarantees at illegal, offshore online casinos. Your money is not safe at offshore casinos, and you have no way of knowing that the games are fair.
Where can I see the law and regulations that cover online gambling in New Jersey?
What are the advantages of regulated, legal online gambling sites?
Regulated iGaming sites offer several distinct advantages over their unregulated counterparts. The Lock Poker theft highlights to understand just how dangerous playing on an unregulated poker site can be.
With regulation comes enhanced player protection, which in turn leads to a more gratifying player experience. Listed below are several ways in which playing on a regulated site is advantageous to depositing funds onto an unlicensed US-facing skin.
1. Faster, more reliable payouts
Post-Black Friday online poker players care less about VIP structures, the quality of their opponents and deposit options than they do about speedy withdrawals. Compounding matters further are the hefty processing fees and limited retrieval options associated with withdrawals. And even if a player does receive a check in a timely fashion, there’s no guarantee that it won’t bounce.
That’s not to say offshore Internet gambling sites like Bovada don’t boast very good withdrawal times. It’s just that even the very best US-facing sites leave their patrons vulnerable.
Consider networks like Lock Poker, which shut down and took all player balances with it.
Regulated iGaming laws provide assurance that payouts will be handled in a fast, reliable manner. In addition to laws requiring sites to provide estimated payment windows, New Jersey casinos are required to “maintain a New Jersey bank account separate from all other operating accounts to ensure the security of funds held in patron Internet gaming accounts,” effectively eliminating the risks associated with offshore banking.
2. More vigorous identification verification
Well-regulated gambling sites impose more comprehensive identity verification techniques than unlicensed ones. Some would even argue that virtual casinos presided over by state officials are better equipped to monitor scrupulous behavior than land-based brick and mortar casinos.
For example, in order to register for an online account in New Jersey, players must first provide the site with a variety of sensitive information including the last four digits of their SSN or taxpayer ID. The patron’s information identity is then verified in accordance with regulations set forth by the state.
In addition, New Jersey registrants are subject to “multi-factor authentication.” This means their identity will be verified across existing “third-party and governmental databases.” They’ll also be required to set up a PIN number and provide answers to challenge questions.
Only one account per player is allowed, and the individual in charge of the account must prove that they are at least 21 years of age. Player location is tracked via sophisticated geo-location verification, ensuring that the player is physically located within New Jersey’s boundaries before allowing them to partake in real-money gambling activities.
To the contrary, unregulated sites employ noticeably less rigid player verification practices.
3. Self-imposed restrictions
Gamblers can be their own worst enemy. Without an option to curtail the amount of time and money spent playing online, an expensive hobby can quickly escalate into a crippling disease. Some unregulated sites are beginning to offer a self-exclusion option, but rarely do they allow players to set daily and weekly limits for themselves.
One of the biggest benefits of playing on an online gambling site is that the regulator can track and monitor a player’s gambling tendencies. But what good is data mining if the operator doesn’t use the information available to prevent players from becoming self-destructive?
New Jersey will place anyone that submits a self-exclusion request on a special self-exclusion list. Players are permitted to exclude themselves from Internet gambling, live casino gambling, or both. In addition, each site is responsible for offering players the option to set daily, weekly and monthly deposit limits. Time-based limits, offered on a daily basis, will be offered as well. Of course, if players are participating in a hand or a tournament, they will be permitted to finish.
4. Suitability requirements
Before awarding an applicant an online gaming license in New Jersey, the applicant must pass the Division of Gaming Enforcement’s strict suitability requirements. All too often, unregulated sites are run by unsavory figures or scrupulous companies. By enforcing minimum requirements for entry, New Jersey officials are able to successfully weed out any operator of questionable character.
Although New Jersey does not have a bad actor clause, many foreign operators have been discouraged by its stringent set of requirements. Others, like PokerStars, are having an exceedingly difficult time receiving a license.
While NJ’s suitability requirement may keep some of the biggest online poker and casino sites from ever setting up shop in the Garden State, they promote player protection – one of the primary reasons why the idea of state regulated gambling become so popular among gambling proponents in the first place.