New Jersey Online Poker FAQ
Q: When did NJ online poker sites become legal?
A. The bill affecting poker sites for NJ was passed in an overwhelming majority back in February 2013. It allows casino operators in New Jersey to launch online gambling sites to offer both casino games and online poker. (Click here for more information on New Jersey online casinos.) NJ Sports betting, however, was not part of the bill.
Q. Will New Jersey partner with Delaware, which has also legalized online gambling?
A. There is a possibility for New Jersey poker sites to work with Delaware, as well as Nevada, to create interstate poker networks between the states. There continues to be rumblings that this isn't just a possibility, but an eventuality. Once the kinks have been worked out in all three states, it stands to reason that NJ online poker sites could reach a bigger audience.
Q. Why did Governor Christie change his mind on the issue?
A. Governor Chris Christie signed the bill legalizing Internet gambling after a few modifications were made on the original bill - despite opposition from Sheldon Adelson who did not want to see legal online poker in NJ. Perhaps the most significant change was the bump from 10 to 15 percent tax on Atlantic City casinos' online profits. Christie stated that he hopes to add an influx of revenue for the state by legalizing NJ online gambling and online poker sites in New Jersey.
Q. Will online poker affect casino poker?
A. It will likely bring more players to the live tables, as casinos will be able to use their online presence and legal New Jersey online poker site offerings to offer special deals and incentives to bring customers to their casinos. This will help casino revenue in general, and players may move to the state to take advantage of legal NJ poker sites. Many independent studies have confirmed that land-based casinos will not lose any traffic to online poker sites and in fact, potentially widen their overall player base.
New Jersey Poker History
Casino-style gambling was approved in 1977 for Atlantic City, and Resorts was the first casino to open its doors the following year. The Boardwalk and surrounding area then blossomed with casinos in the years to come, but it was that 1977 New Jersey Casino Control Act that established a system by which to oversee the gambling establishments of the state. In February 2013, the state Assembly and Senate passed a bill (A2578) that was signed into law by Governor Chris Christine to become the third state to legalize online gaming, including online poker in New Jersey.
Regulation For New Jersey Online Poker
As for NJ online poker, the first attempt to regulate it within the state came in November 2010 when State Senator Raymond Lesniak introduced Senate bill 490. It would have been the first intrastate Internet gambling setup in the United States, and it looked promising with a Senate approval by a large 29-5 margin. The bill failed to move further, though, and Lesniak reintroduced it in August 2011. Governor Chris Christie vacillated between vetoing and approving the bill, but Lesniak ultimately tabled it until Christie made a decision.
Fortunately, in February 2013, with an overwhelming majority of support from both the state Assembly and Senate, online gambling and poker sites for NJ was passed into law and available to anyone within the state's borders. New Jersey legal online poker sites and internet gambling websites have become a reality. An interesting caveat to the bill was that it did not cover sports betting. The terms of the law state that all online casinos be connected to land-based Atlantic City casinos, which resulted in multiple partnership deals between New Jersey casinos and online operators. Now, online poker in New Jersey is completely legal to players, who can play on regulated, licensed sites.
New Jersey Poker Today
New Jersey’s Atlantic City is one of the primary gambling destinations in America, ranking second after Las Vegas. The city is filled with casino resorts boasting of names like Harrah’s, Caesars, and Trump, with 11 casinos in all. They generate more than $275 million in annual tax revenue that goes to economic revitalization and helping needy citizens of the state. More than 28 million visitors travel there each year. Atlantic City is also a prime live poker destination and is host to a number of tournaments throughout the year, such as the World Series of Poker Circuit and the World Poker Tour. Some large online operators, such as PokerStars, are quickly moving into Atlantic City to gain a legal foothold in the United States.
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