New Jersey Gambling Law
Atlantic city has a well-deserved reputation as the city where it all happens as far as gambling is concerned in New Jersey, but it hasn’t always been that way. It’s true that residents of the state have been able to gamble since the late 19th century, with bets able to be made at the Monmouth Park horse racing track. Gambling, in all its forms, was illegal towards the turn of the century, with progressive politicians enthusiastically seeking to eradicate mankind’s every vice. However, whether it was the drive to fill the states’ tax coffers, or a desire to sway voters, gambling regained legal status before the end of the 20th century.
In 1970 the State’s Lottery was established, and currently enjoys status as most popular lottery in the nation, if not the world. The state benefits from the income generated by both the lottery, and the revenue from the commercial casinos operating within its borders, with New Jersey offering a wide variety of gambling opportunities to both residents and visitors. Just some of the fun on offer are: slot machines, card games, the lottery, social gambling, pari-mutuel, and charity gambling, to name just a few.
Other than the regulated gambling as described in Section 2A:40-1, all wagers, stakes, and bets which are dependent on any game, race, lot, chance, casualty, or any other unforeseen outcome is deemed unlawful, with New Jersey laws putting the focus on operators, rather than the punters. When it comes to prosecution there is more benefit to the state’s revenue in prosecuting the operators, when compared against the trifle amount recouped from the players (if any at all). Therefore, it is considered a serious crime to be an operator, or even be involved in promoting gambling as you are in effect acquiring proceeds from an illegal gambling operation. If convicted, operators face being charged with a felony offense that is punishable by fines, and imprisonment for over 12 months.
New Jersey statutes have been updated to make online gambling fully legal, with operators first starting up on 26 November, 2013. Any resident or visitor can logon to any state regulated gambling site and use real money to gamble. Unlike Nevada, where it is only legal to participate in online poker games, New Jersey is the first state to allow the addition of online casino games for punters to enjoy.