To the north east of New Jersey lies New York while to the south lies the cold embrace of the Atlantic. What’s in between is America’s most densely populated state and one that is famous for its love of gambling. In addition to forming the setting for The Sopranos, whose protagonists were no strangers to the occasional high stakes card game, New Jersey has a licensed gaming industry that’s flourishing.
On the west coast of America, gamblers head to Nevada to indulge their love of gaming, be it roulette, slots or poker. On the east coast, they head to New Jersey, and specifically to Atlantic City. The oceanfront metropolis attracts droves of tourists, lured by its beaches, nightlife and booming gambling trade. In 1976, New Jersey voters gave the go-ahead for casinos to open in Atlantic City, providing Las Vegas with some stiff competition in the process.
The History of Gambling in New Jersey
New Jersey has long been tolerant of gambling. Back in the 19th century, there were state-run lotteries, which were finally outlawed in 1844. Proceeds from these helped to fund the military, including forays in the French War and Indian War. They also helped to fund two iconic seats of learning, Rutgers University and Princeton University. NJ is home to the country’s oldest racetrack, Freehold Raceway, which has hosted events since the 1830s.
By the late 19th century, moves were afoot to crack down on gambling all across America and New Jersey succumbed to this prohibition mindset. From the dawn of the 20th century until the outbreak of the Second World War, gambling was outlawed in the state, though this was rarely enforced, and the pastime continued to flourish. In 1939, racetrack gambling was legalised once more, followed by the legalisation of amusement games in the 1950s. Then came the vote in the 1970s that legalised casinos, but restricted them to Atlantic City.
Online Gambling in New Jersey
At federal level, online gambling is outlawed in America statewide, a provision that’s been in place for over a decade now. Due to the way US law works, however, individual states are free to set their own laws and in 2011 that’s exactly what NJ did, proposing a bill that legalised online gambling. There were some conditions attached however: gamblers had to be over 21 and residents of New Jersey. What’s more, the gaming companies’ servers had to be situated at licensed casinos in Atlantic City.
It wasn’t until 2013 that the bill came into force however, following redrafting of the legislation including a mandate that only Atlantic City casinos were allowed to advertise online gambling. As it stands, if you’re a New Jersey resident, you can play online roulette, slots and other casino games at sites operated by Atlantic City casinos. The law has specified a 10-year trial period for this scheme, after which the situation will be reviewed. Geolocation data is used to ensure that users are physically within the state while they’re gambling.
Playing Online Roulette in New Jersey
To play online roulette in New Jersey, you’ll need to meet a few requirements. These include being a resident of the state, with some form of government-issued ID that can verify this. You’ll also need to be located in the state while you’re playing. Anything that spoofs your IP, such as a VPN or proxy, won’t allow you to access Atlantic City’s online casinos. The only exception where this setup might work is if you’re out of state and have access to a VPN that is located within NJ. This could be desirable is if you’re a New Jersey resident looking to play some roulette or poker while away from home.
At present, there are just a handful of Atlantic City casinos that are licensed to offer 24-hour online gambling. These are Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Caesars Interactive Entertainment (an affiliate of Boardwalk Regency Corporation), Golden Nugget Atlantic City, Resorts Casino Hotel and Tropicana Casino and Resort. Each of these casinos operates multiple online casinos. Caesars, for example, owns half a dozen sites including us.888.com and WSOP.com. Log on to any of these sites and, provided you meet the criteria stated above, you’ll be able to play virtual roulette plus a host of other casino games. At Borgata’s online casino, players can enjoy American Roulette Pro and European Roulette Pro.
Whatever online casino you elect to play at, be it Mohegan Sun, Caesars, Harrah’s, 888 or Golden Nugget, you’ll find the same setup: American and European Roulette. Some of these online casinos refer to the European game as French Roulette however. Just know that in execution the game is identical. Due to having just one zero, the house edge is half that of the American game, making European Roulette the preferred choice of many players. For gamblers who like to place their chips on the outside to make even money bets, European Roulette applies a rule known as la partage, or “half back”. This means the player only loses half their bet if the ball lands on zero.
The Future of Online Gambling in New Jersey
Due to the complex nature of US law, which can cause state legislation to clash with federal laws, New Jersey has found itself in the crosshairs of the pro and anti gambling lobby. The state is broadly supportive of gambling, but is forced to word its laws in such a way that they don’t run afoul of federal law. The state’s quest to legalise sports gambling has gone all the way to the US Supreme Court. Experts reckon that tens or even hundreds of billions of dollars are bet illegally in the US on sports gambling. New Jersey has been understandably keen to catch a piece of that pie.
While the campaign for legalising sports betting rumbles on, moves are also afoot to permit multistate gambling, allowing New Jersey residents to visit their favourite online casinos from anywhere in the US and allowing other US residents to get in on the act too.
While it’s likely that the laws pertaining to gambling in New Jersey will be relaxed in the near future, any such amendments will only benefit state residents initially. If you’re a US citizen located outside of New Jersey, don’t expect to be playing at an Atlantic City online casino any time soon. Likewise for players based elsewhere in the world.
Just be grateful that it’s at least possible to play online roulette within New Jersey provided you meet certain criteria. For those who don’t, there are plenty of other online casinos willing to take your custom.
Is gambling legal in New Jersey?
Yes. Casino gambling is legal, but premises are limited to Atlantic City. Anyone in America can visit these casinos provided they’re over the age of 21.
Where can I gamble in New Jersey?
Atlantic City is your only option, unless you elect to gamble online, in which case you can play from anywhere within New Jersey.
What’s the deal with online gambling in New Jersey?
It’s legal, but you must be a resident of the state and must play at a handful of Atlantic City-based online casinos.
Where can I play online roulette in New Jersey?
There are around 20 licensed online casinos, operated by 5 Atlantic City gaming companies. These offer virtual roulette games including the American and European versions of the game.