Gambling Legality in NJ
Over the past few years, the legality of gambling in New Jersey has been the source of a lot of conversation. As it is in most of the rest of the United States, people in New Jersey are flat-out confused with regard to what is legal and what is not.
The following few sections will do well to explain everything there is to know about the legality of gambling in New Jersey online.
The Legislation Process
Before we delve too deep into how online gambling exists in New Jersey currently, it is important that we first discuss how it existed previously. Up until 2010, online gambling in New Jersey existed in the exact same fashion as it did just about everywhere else in United States.
Simply put, there are no federal laws making online gambling illegal. While that may be so, many other pieces of legislation – enter 2005’s UIGEA bill – have made it so that gambling operators must not exist within the US and, further, any money relating to online gambling in the United States is not allowed to be touched by US banking institutions.
Because of this, the online casinos that existed a few years ago were all based offshore in places like Costa Rica, the Isle of Man, and many others. In order to transact with these companies, players were forced to use deposit methods that avoided forcing US banks to handle the money stemming from any gambling operations. This was, and continues to be, very confusing.
New Jersey, being the progressive state that it is, utilized its freedom of self-governance to completely do away with the need to deal with casinos based in other countries.
In 2011, a bill sponsored by Raymond Lesniak was passed and allowed for residents of New Jersey who were over the age of 21 to participate in online gambling. This might sound like the end of the story, but really it isn’t. A pre-existing New Jersey law mandates that any and all wagers placed must be placed in Atlantic City and in no other part of the state.
As such, the approved online gambling bill would only be put into effect if the servers that processed wagers existed in Atlantic City and were operated by approved, licensed casinos. This is why many of the online gambling destinations New Jersey residents have access to hold the same name as the brick and mortar casinos that already existed in Atlantic City.
In 2012, the first intrastate New Jersey online casinos were up and running. Since then, the story has been one of much success. From the end of 2013 to roughly the same time a year later, online gambling sites recorded revenues of over $100 million. With taxes on winnings being 15% and greater, it is clear to see just how beneficial legalized online gambling has been for the state.
As we move forward, an increasing number of online casinos are going to be established and the intrastate industry is growing at a rapid pace. In fact, some online gambling destinations have regularly been recording month over month revenue increases of 20% or more. The reason for this is due to the simple fact that gambling has been made so much more accessible than before.
In the past, New Jersey residents would have had to travel to Atlantic City just to wager. Being that New Jersey is not the smallest state in the US, this meant that some people would have had to travel hours just to play casino games. Now, whether you are in Galloway or Pattison, you are able to place as many wagers as you would like on all sorts of casino games.
As far as what the future holds for online gambling in New Jersey, that much is not very clear. A quick view of the current situation would lead you to believe that online gambling will only grow increasingly accessible. Of course, with there being plenty of opponents to the idea of legalized gambling throughout the country, there is always the threat of a bill being introduced and passed that would ban online gambling at the federal level. What this means for New Jersey is that, if a bill like that is passed, any and all legalized online gambling in the state would immediately be null and void.
With that being said, the very few pieces of legislation that even make mention of a federal ban on online gambling have gained very little traction thus far. A surprising opponent to legalized online gambling is a man named Sheldon Adelson. The reason his opposition is so surprising is due to the fact that his business ventures are entrenched in the casino industry. The reasoning for Adelson’s opposition is that he feels as though online gambling will destroy the thriving brick and mortar industries in places like Las Vegas—where he owns many gambling casino properties, including the Venetian.
While Adelson and his proposed bills do threaten the intrastate casino industry in New Jersey, they are not something anyone is overly worried about at the present moment in time. It could be interesting how much more cash he dumps into lobbying against it in the foreseeable future, given his already advanced age.