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Corey Goldberg

Corey Goldberg is a poker dealer, player, and writer who has worked in the poker and online gambling industries for more than a decade. He enjoys reading and spending time outdoors.

About Corey Goldberg

Corey Goldberg is a poker dealer, player, and writer who has worked in the poker and online gambling industries for more than a decade. He enjoys reading and spending time outdoors.

Here are my most recent posts

Why Is Online Poker Traffic So Low Compared To Before Black Friday? Will It Ever Grow?

February 15, 2017
NJ online poker traffic

For those of you who don’t know Black Friday, it’s what online poker players call April 15, 2011.

This was the day that the Department of Justice unsealed a 52-page indictment against the top executives of Full Tilt, PokerStars, and Absolute Poker.

The executives faced years in prison, and a civil complaint sought $3 billion from the sites. PokerStars and Full Tilt were forced to immediately close their “doors” to online players, and Absolute Poker followed soon after.

For the hundreds of thousands of Americans who played online poker on a regular basis, Black Friday came as a surprising blow. Many players had large sums of money locked in their poker accounts for more than a year.

One day online poker was hugely popular, and the next it had disappeared almost entirely.

When New Jersey began licensing online gambling, players in the state were very excited to get back to the tables. However, they quickly realized that it wasn’t the same.

Before Black Friday when they logged into their PokerStars accounts, there were an endless number of cash games going at any given time, and poker tournaments had fields that numbered in the thousands.

For a small investment in a poker tournament, a player could walk away with thousands of dollars.

What changed for online poker after Black Friday?

The thing to take into consideration is that when you log into your PokerStarsNJ.com account, you are only allowed to play against other players currently in New Jersey. In the past, you were playing with people from all over the world.

With a much larger population to draw from, the traffic on these sites was obviously much higher than now. With a player pool limited to the New Jersey online gambling market, it is no wonder that the traffic is so diminished.

Why play legal online poker in New Jersey? And where?

But don’t let this deter you from playing online poker in New Jersey. There are always plenty of places for you to find the action you are looking for.

As things stand currently, the two largest player pools for online poker in New Jersey are WSOP.com and PokerStarsNJ.com. Both these sites have the most popular games running 24 hours a day and offer fantastic welcoming packages to new players.

PokerStars.com will currently give you a free 100 percent match bonus of up to $600 when you sign up for a new account with bonus code STARS600.

WSOP.com will give you a free 100 percent match bonus of up to $400 along with seven $100 freeroll tickets exclusive to new depositors.

So will the NJ poker player base ever grow?

Yes. New Jersey wants to serve as a regulatory hub for other US states that are attempting to legalize online gambling.

New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck promoted these aspirations at the East Coast Gaming Congress back in May 2015 and has engaged in several conversations with regulators from the UK over the issue of sharing player pools.

As more and more states jump on board with online gambling, it is only a matter of time before New Jersey poker players will be able to play online poker with gamblers from other states, and possibly even other countries. Discussion of this matter is naturally one of great interest on online gambling forums in New Jersey, though at this point it is unknown exactly when such compacts may happen.

Once this occurs, New Jersey online poker sites will see a dramatic increase in traffic, and players will see improved game selection as well as larger tournament fields.

What Are The Key Advantages Of Playing New Jersey Online Casinos On Mobile?

February 13, 2017
best mobile gambling sites NJ

The number one advantage of playing at New Jersey online gambling sites on mobile devices is the convenience.

The next time your significant other is shopping away in a boring store — trying on that 25th pair of shoes or figuring out which table saw has the best features — you’ll have an alternative to staring at the floor.

Simply pull your smartphone out of your pocket, log onto your favorite NJ online casino, and enjoy the fun and excitement of the best casino games New Jersey sites have to offer.

Pretty much all online casinos in New Jersey include some sort of mobile gaming experience for both iOS and Android operating systems.

Unfortunately, at the time of this writing, the game selections on mobile devices are limited compared to the casinos’ corresponding desktop software.

What are the best NJ online gambling mobile apps?

Let’s take a look at some of our favorite mobile apps.

Virgin online casino

VirginCasino.com’s mobile app supports iOS 6.0 and later, as well as Android operating system 2.3 and above. We have found that the games work best on the latest available operating systems, so be sure to update your phones!

The iOS app offers 48 different games to customers, including many of Virgin’s most popular slots. Unfortunately, there are a limited number of table games, but they do include a couple different forms of blackjack and roulette.

You will still earn V*Points (Virgin Casino’s rewards program) while you play on its mobile app, and you will also be able to clear any bonuses you may have through the convenience of playing on your mobile device.

Though mobile applications are lacking as a whole throughout the legal New Jersey online gambling world, VirginCasino.com seems to be stepping up to the plate. If nothing else, the site is supplying an enjoyable gaming experience through its mobile apps.

BetfairCasino.com

BetfairCasino.com also has a promising mobile app.

This online casino offers many of its desktop games on mobile, including crowd favorites, such as Kitty Glitter slots and Wolf Run. BetfairCasino.com also allows NJ players to download its app and play wherever an internet connection is available.

Its selection of non-slot games is probably a little bit better than VirginCasino.com’s and includes blackjack, roulette, and several forms of video poker.

PokerStars NJ

More than any other form of online gambling, we feel that mobile apps excel when it comes to online poker.

The PokerStarsNJ.com app is available for download on a range of platforms. You can download the iOS app from the App Store, and you can download the Android app directly from PokerStarsNJ.com.

The interface for the PokerStars app is crisp and well-organized, and you can use it to play cash games, Sit & Go’s, and other tournaments. The mobile app even includes such features as chat, quick seating, and multi-tabling.

Quick seating in particular is a great feature in mobile gaming that allows you to click the “Play Now” button and instantly be seated in your favorite games and tournaments.

It seems with the ubiquitous nature of mobile devices these days, New Jersey online casinos should make more of an effort to offer the best possible mobile gaming experience, but as it stands, most mobile apps are lacking.

Some of the major online New Jersey casinos, such as us.888casino.com, do not even offer a mobile gaming app to their Android-using clientele.

If casino games are your thing, and you are not interested in playing online poker, we strongly feel that the best NJ mobile gaming apps belong to VirginCasino.com and Betfaircasino.com.

With either of these apps, you will have access to your favorite games and enjoy the advantages of gambling on your mobile device.

What Is 90 Ball Bingo And Which New Jersey Online Casino Sites Offer It?

February 12, 2017
90 ball bingo online New Jersey

90 Ball Bingo is a new and entertaining take on the classic game; the only differences being more balls and more ways to win.

Where can you play 90 ball bingo online in NJ?

Currently, 90 Ball Bingo is offered exclusively at three of New Jersey’s online sites:

If you haven’t yet created an account with any of these sites, it’s worth noting that VirginCasino.com and TropicanaCasino.com both have great NJ online casino bonus codes for new players.

When you create an account on VirginCasino.com, be sure to enter bonus code 20BUCKS for a free $20 to try out their software.

On TropicanaCasino.com, you can enter bonus code PLAY20 for a free $20.

Once you decide on which of these sites you want to play, you can also take advantage of their $100 cash back offer. If you lose the money, they will refund it in full.

Once you have created an account, you will need to log in and download the 90 Ball Bingo console from your chosen site before you are ready to play.

So how does 90 Ball Bingo work?

If you are new to the game and want a quick run-through, you can click “Tutorial” from within the game console and the software will show you around the “Bingo Parlor” to walk you through the process of purchasing tickets.

One of the big advantages of playing online bingo as opposed to live bingo is that you don’t have to worry about marking all your numbers. The software will do it for you with automatic dabbers.

With the “Auto Dab” feature, you will never miss a winning ticket!

Many people enjoy bingo for the social aspect of the game, and playing 90 Ball Bingo Online, you will not be left out. On the right hand side of the game console, there is a chat window where players can interact with chat hosts, as well as other players, while the numbers are being called.

As you play, you can claim one strip of six free tickets every half-hour or buy up to 10 strips or 60 tickets for any game. Strips can be purchased for $1 to $10, depending upon the stakes you want to play.

90 Ball Bingo tickets each consist of three horizontal lines, which contain a total of 15 numbers. The winning patterns are One Line, Two Lines, and a Full House.

For example, the One Line Winner is the first player who marks all five numbers across any horizontal line on a single ticket. The Two Line Winner is the first player who marks all 10 numbers across any two horizontal lines on a single ticket.

The Full House Winner is the first player to mark all 15 numbers across all three horizontal lines on a single ticket.

Everyone currently playing in the room will be notified each time a player wins, and the winning ticket will be automatically credited the real cash or Bonus Money that the player has won.

What is the appeal of 90 ball bingo?

Probably the biggest allure to playing 90 Ball Bingo on VirginCasino.com or TropicanaCasino.com are the Super Jackpots.

The Super Jackpot is a set cash prize that can be won by any player who purchases tickets and hits a Full House within the first 51 balls.

The Super Jackpot winner’s prize is 100 times his or her strip price or 50 percent of the displayed Super Jackpot. The other half of the Super Jackpot will be split evenly among all other players in the same game, including the winner, based on the number of strips they have in play.

How Do Spin & Go’s Work At New Jersey Online Poker Sites?

February 11, 2017
NJ online poker spin n gos

So you’ve deposited on PokerStarsNJ and you see a new kind of poker that you’ve never seen before: the PokerStars Spin & Go.

But how do these super-fast-paced tournaments work? Are they worth playing at all? Is there any strategy involved, or are they just crap shoots?

PokerStars Spin & Go’s are advertised as the fastest way to win up to 10,000 times your buy-in. In fact, in January a lucky player hit the jackpot for the first time since PokerStars debuted in the NJ online gambling market.

Each Spin & Go has a randomly-assigned prize pool, and some of them will give you a chance to win up to $1,000,000 in minutes.

With buy-ins starting at just $0.25, Spin & Go’s are an exciting newer format you can play for next to nothing.

So how do NJ online poker Spin & Go’s work?

Joining a Spin & Go functions the same way as joining any other Sit & Go-style tournament. To get started, simply select the buy-in and number of simultaneous tournaments you are looking to play, and then click the ‘Register’ button.

As soon as two other players have also registered for the stakes you want to play, you will be “seated” at a tournament table and the tournament will begin.

At the start of the tournament there is a random draw to decide how big the tournament prize pool is going to be. There is a spinner at the center of the table displayed to all players.

Whatever the spinner lands on is what you will be playing for.

Once the prize pool is determined, the first hand is dealt.

For example, let’s say you register for a $7 Spin & Go. Once the other two players have registered, the prize pool is randomly drawn and announced. First place will be multiplied between two and 10,000 times your buy in.

This means that you could turn your initial $7 investment into anywhere from $14 to $70,000.

Are there other online poker games in New Jersey offering such large payouts?

Spin & Go’s are the only form of online poker in New Jersey that offer this kind of payout for such a small initial buy-in.

Most of the time you are going to be playing to double your money, and in a three-person hyper-turbo-style tournament, this isn’t all that bad. Even if you never get lucky and play for a large sum of money, you can still play Spin & Go’s profitably.

On the rare occasion that you end up playing for a huge jackpot prize, you will experience the rush of the spinner landing on a large number. These tournaments quickly become unbelievably profitable and fun for solid players.

So what is the proper strategy for play? How can you increase your chances of winning?

Because you start with such a small number of chips in relation to the blinds, it is important to never give away chips early on.

It is hugely detrimental to your chances of winning if you call bets and end up folding later in the hand.

Think of these tournaments as all-in or fold. Play tight for the first few levels and then start shoving all-in with any two cards as the blinds get higher.

Remember, when you call a bet, you only have one way to win the pot: by having the best hand at showdown.

When you raise the pot, you can win by either having your opponents fold or by having the best hand at showdown. When the blinds make up such a large portion of your stack, stealing them with an all-in shove is the best way to win.

If you play around with this strategy and focus on aggressive play, you’ll be sure to make money playing PokerStarsNJ’s innovative tournament style.

What Are The Typical Benefits Of Becoming A VIP At A New Jersey Online Casino?

February 8, 2017
NJ online casino VIP program benefits

All New Jersey online gambling sites offer loyalty programs for their valued customers, but what happens when you take it to the next level?

What can you expect if you climb the ladder and earn a top VIP status at a New Jersey online casino?

The rewards vary from casino to casino, but regardless of where you earn VIP status, the casino management is going to bend over backward to make you happy.

What are the VIP rewards at Tropicana NJ online casino?

TropicanaCasino.com boasts one of the best online VIP programs in the state. In addition to a dedicated VIP team that will assist you with any questions or concerns, it offers a myriad of other perks including:

  • Regular VIP bonuses based on your play
  • Special birthday bonuses
  • Personalized luxury loyalty gifts and birthday presents
  • VIP-exclusive promotions
  • Personalized game reviews and gameplay advice tailored just for you

TropicanaCasino.com will also give VIPs surprise luxury gifts and experiences based on qualifying play.

Some of these gifts may include:

  • Weekend getaways at Tropicana Casino and Resort in Atlantic City, including a hotel stay, dinner, and tickets to a show
  • Premium tickets to the hottest shows and sporting events in town
  • Luxury dining experiences
  • Personalized special treats created just for you by VIP account managers

As you can see, getting on TropicanaCasino.com’s VIP list comes with many great benefits, but keep in mind the amount of play required to achieve VIP status is most likely unachievable by most casual players.

In fact, the specific play requirements to reach VIP status are not even listed on TropicanaCasino.com.

What about at Betfair in New Jersey?

BetfairCasino.com is a little more transparent with its VIP program and has it directly interwoven with its standard loyalty program. On BetfairCasino.com, there are five different levels of VIP status, each coming with its own added benefits.

As soon as you start gambling on BetfairCasino.com, you will generate tier points in its Loyalty Club.

Every time you play a casino game, excluding craps and poker, the site will automatically credit you Tier Points. For example, for every $1 you wager on BetfairCasino.com’s slot machines, you will receive five Tier Points.

To achieve Platinum VIP status and receive the corresponding benefits, you have to acquire 2,500,000 Tier Points. This will give you access to more bonuses, higher stake table limits, lower wagering, ad-hoc gifts, and invitations to prestigious events.

BetfairCasino.com doesn’t list requirements for its Diamond Level VIP status, but we have to assume it is considerably more than the 2.5 million Tier Points required for Platinum status.

Once you achieve Diamond VIP status, you will be assigned your own personal account manager who makes sure you get first-class service 24 hours a day. You will receive custom items, lower bonus wagering, more comp points, milestone bonuses, and invitations to Diamond-exclusive events.

What else is there to know about NJ online casino VIP offers?

The general rule of thumb in regards to New Jersey online gambling site VIP programs is that regardless of what casino’s VIP program you qualify for, the casino is going to do everything in its power to ensure you continue playing on its site.

Want a free hotel room for a week? You’ve got it.

Want a limousine to pick you up at the airport? Sure thing. Want backstage passes to exclusive shows in Atlantic City? If account managers can make it happen, they will.

Although the specifics of these VIP statuses are not listed on many online casinos’ sites, you can rest assured you will be well taken care of if you give the casinos a VIP-worthy amount of play.

What Are No Deposit Bonuses At New Jersey Online Casinos?

February 2, 2017
no deposit casino bonus NJ

No deposit bonuses at New Jersey online casinos are a great way to try out a new casino and possibly walk away with a whole lot of money for nothing.

No deposit bonuses are offered pretty much everywhere, and you don’t have to risk a penny of your own money to take advantage of them.

What are NJ no deposit casino bonuses?

The idea behind a no deposit bonuses is simple: New Jersey online casinos feel that if you try out their games, you are far more likely to deposit funds into your account to keep playing. So to give you a chance to try out their software, they are willing to give you a few free dollars to get started.

As with all promotions, there are certain terms and conditions that apply. The terms aren’t exactly the same at all NJ online gambling websites, but there are some rules that apply across the board.

How do these NJ online gambling bonus offers work?

No deposit bonuses are generally offered only to new players. If you have played on a site in the past, chances are they aren’t going to give you any freeplay even if you’ve never received freeplay in the past.

There are always playthrough requirements on the freeplay, as well. The casinos want you to try their software, and it wouldn’t do them any good if you signed up for a no deposit bonus and cashed it out immediately.

To receive your freeplay money, your account has to be validated and approved by the casino, and most casinos require you to opt in for their freeplay promotions.

Casinos are not in the business of giving things away for nothing. No deposit bonuses are a means to get you to play on their sites. If you are willing to play on their sites without getting anything for free, the casinos will jump at the opportunity.

Sometimes casinos will allow you to play your free money only on specific games. This is because the odds on different games vary, and they don’t want you playing your free money on low-risk games that will give you a better chance of cashing out. Often the bonuses are limited to NJ online slots.

What are the best no deposit offers at New Jersey casinos online?

Let’s take a look at a few of the no deposit bonuses offered at the best online New Jersey casino sites to show you how they work.

VirginCasino.com and Tropicana online casino

Our choice for the best no deposit bonuses are sister sites VirginCasino.com and TropicanaCasino.com. Both of these sites offer a free $20 no deposit bonus.

To claim your free $20 on VirginCasino.com, enter the VirginCasino.com bonus code 20BUCKS when you sign up for a new account. To claim your TropicanaCasino.com free $20, enter bonus code PLAY20.

Betfair online casino

BetfairCasino.com offers a free no deposit $10 + $10 on any real-money deposit. Although this promotion is a smaller amount of money than many of the other casinos, it has very limited restrictions.

The $10 has to be wagered only one time before it can be withdrawn, and there are absolutely no restrictions on the games you can play.

If you like BetfairCasino.com’s software and want to continue playing after your $10 free, it offers a 100 percent deposit bonus up to $1500 for first-time depositors. This is the largest deposit bonus of any New Jersey online casino.

Neither of these promotions require any sort of promo code and are included in BetfairCasino.com’s opening offer.

Golden Nugget NJ online casino

GoldenNuggetCasino.com, another top New Jersey online casino, will give you a free $2o with no deposit necessary.

This one requires an opt-in, but it is easy as pie. When you sign up for a new account, simply enter the bonus code PLAY20. This will give you a free $20 to try out Golden Nugget’s special brand of casino games, including live dealer games.

When it comes to online New Jersey No Deposit Bonuses, there is really no reason not to play.

Image credit: EA Given / Shutterstock.com

Why Do New Jersey Gambling Sites Have So Many Online Slots Relative To Other Games?

February 1, 2017
NJ online slots FAQ

Walk into an Atlantic City casino, and the first thing to greet you is a bank of slot machines, whirring and clicking and calling out to players with the alluring voice of bonus rounds.

When you look around, you’ll notice slots outnumbering every other game by such a wide margin that it isn’t even a question. The same holds true for New Jersey online casinos, some of which boast more than 100 variations of the game.

What makes NJ online slots so popular?

Casinos have long known that “one-armed bandits” are their biggest money makers, therefore they have pushed slots to the forefront of most gambling ventures. Casinos are constantly coming up with new, exciting variations on the game, and casino customers eat it up.

We know slot machines are negative expectation. In fact, most of us know that slots have a higher house edge than table games, so why do players gravitate toward slot machines when they might be better off playing blackjack or roulette?

Slot games can be fun, exciting, and nostalgic

When you log on to VirginCasino.com and click slots at the top of the page, you will be greeted with a fabulous selection of popular slot games, including VirginCasino.com’s progressive slot, Wonderland.

Click on any of these slots and you will be taken to a unique gaming experience. Diamonds flip by, gladiators battle, and your favorite bands come to life on the screen.

Slots play to emotion, and most human beings are craving some sort of emotional experience. One of the most powerful human emotions is nostalgia, and these slot machines do a great job of capitalizing on this effect.

Many of us remember playing video games in the back of the pizza parlor as children. Many remember watching Ghostbusters or listening to Guns N’ Roses on our tape decks.

Slot games capture the feeling of those bygone days and leave us wanting more. Add the chance to win large amounts of money for a small wager, and you have people hooked.

The same cannot be said for games like blackjack, where the most you are going to win on any given hand is a little more than double your money. People are more willing to take the worst of it if they have a chance at a life-changing amount of money.

Are there any other reasons to try online slots in New Jersey?

Another factor that makes online slots in NJ so popular is they require very little thought.

For many players, sitting at a slot machine and spinning the reels is akin to meditation. They don’t have to think about anything except pressing a button. The machine determines all the winning combinations without any help from the player.

Many players have no idea why a slot machine is paying when it does, and frankly, they don’t care.

When you sit down at a slot machine, you don’t have to think about how the game is played; you can just spin the reels and wait for the results.

Because slots are so well-liked, NJ online gambling websites put most of their time and energy into creating the best slot experience they can for players.

If slots were less of a hit with players, casinos would focus their attention elsewhere. But as it stands, it would be financial suicide for a casino to focus on table games rather than slots.

There is nothing wrong with playing slot machines for entertainment, and if you want to check out some of the best ones New Jersey offers, we recommend VirginCasino.com and TropicanaCasino.com, where you can get a free $20 to try out their games.

Simply enter bonus code 20BUCKS on VirginCasino.com when you sign up for a new account or PLAY20 on TropicanaCasino.com, and enjoy!

Is It Legal To Gamble Online In New Jersey?

February 1, 2017
is online gambling legal in NJ

Gambling has always had special place in New Jersey.

The Freehold Racetrack is the oldest racetrack in the United States and has hosted horse racing dating back to the 1830s. New Jersey even ran popular lotteries to help pay for the French and Indian War and the American Revolution.

From 1894 to 1939, gambling was outlawed in the state, but enforcement was lax, and laws regarding social gambling were foggy at best. Bookmaking, numbers games, and slot machines were all common in the state during that time.

How did New Jersey get land-based casinos?

New Jersey’s history with gambling continued to unfurl, with more and more allotments and referendums passed each year that allowed for a greater number of gambling games. In 1974, New Jersey residents voted against legalizing statewide gambling, but two years later approved a new referendum which legalized casinos in Atlantic City.

In 2016, a measure to allow land-based casino gambling outside of Atlantic City, particularly in the northern part of the state, was an overwhelming failure with voters when put to a referendum. So for the time being, bricks and mortar casinos in New Jersey will remain the exclusive domain of Atlantic City.

What about gambling online in New Jersey?

Online gambling was the next logical step in the state’s progression. In January 2011, the New Jersey Legislature passed a bill sponsored by Sen. Raymond Lesniak to allow online gambling in New Jersey for residents older than 21.

There were hiccups here and there with how the law should be interpreted, but in November 2013 the first gambling licenses were issued to New Jersey online casinos, and the rest is history. In the first year of legalized online gambling in New Jersey, regulators reported a staggering $100 million in NJ online gambling revenue, and revenue has increased each year since.

What kind of betting is legal online in the Garden State?

Now, online gambling in the state is not 100 percent legal. Sports betting in particular is prohibited.

There are still plenty of illegal offshore casinos to which players can sign up from within the state, but those gambling sites are illegal, regardless of New Jersey’s laws.

There are several casinos licensed by the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement, and the good news is all of these casinos are battling to pick you up as a customer.

One casino in particular was instrumental in the legalization of online gambling. In 2013, the Tropicana Casino & Resort in Atlantic City got together with Gov. Chris Christie and Virgin Group.

Thanks to their efforts, internet gambling within the state of New Jersey is now legal. VirginCasino.com is now the sister site of Tropicana.

Tropicana online ranks among the top iGaming companies in the state, and its software is supplied by Gamesys Ltd, which is known as one of the most reputable names in the business.

Are there NJ online casino bonus offers available?

At the time of this writing, TropicanaCasino.com offers a great welcome package for those who would like to gamble online at a legal, reputable site.

When you sign up for an account at TropicanaCasino.com, be sure to enter in the online bonus code PLAY20. This code will give you a free $20 to play on the site.

Many licensed New Jersey online casinos offer some kind of match bonus for a first deposit, but TropicanaCasino.com takes a different approach. Instead of matching a deposit, Tropicana effectively guarantees you won’t lose the first $100 you spend.

If players lose more than 90 percent of their first deposit ($10 minimum) within seven days, they’re are refunded an amount equal to the loss, up to $100.

If they lose less than 90 percent, but still don’t make a profit, they will be refunded $100 or an amount equal to the loss (whichever is smaller). All first-time depositors are automatically enrolled in this promotion, no code necessary.

To learn more about the legal NJ online gambling websites and their bonus offers, read our NJ online casino reviews.

So, yes, it is legal to gamble online in New Jersey, but to guarantee the safety of your funds, be sure to check if the casino is licensed. If not, you are playing at your own risk.

New Jersey, Christie Continue Battle For Legal Sports Betting

January 9, 2017
NJ sports betting & SCOTUS

New Jersey is hoping its Hail Mary on legal sports betting will end up as a score for the state.

The state is appealing its case to legalize sports betting within its borders to the US Supreme Court. Whether that appeal will be heard should be known within a week.

The backstory of the NJ sports betting case

In August of 2012, the NCAA and major pro sports leagues (NBA, NFL, NHL, MLB) sued New Jersey after the state passed a a law authorizing sports betting. These organizations argued that New Jersey’s plans to allow sports betting violated federal law and threatened the “character and integrity” of sporting events.

New Jersey ultimately lost that case, but it didn’t give up there.

NJ sports betting & SCOTUS

In 2014, New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie signed a bill that repealed prohibitions and allowed for casinos and horse racetracks to facilitate sports wagering. Legal challenges again stopped the law from taking effect.

The idea behind the 2014 bill was for the state to repeal its own sports betting prohibitions, in the hopes of passing muster under the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). That is the federal law that prohibits single-game wagering everywhere except for Nevada.

But, after a federal judge sided with the sports leagues against New Jersey sports betting, the Third Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the initial decision on two occasions. That led to the current request for an appeal to the Supreme Court.

What is the NJ’s case on sports betting?

As James Madison asserted in Federalist No. 45, the powers of the federal government are “few and defined.” His assertions in that document are known as the “anti-commandeering doctrine.”

In layman’s terms, the federal government cannot force state or local governments to act against their will. Four Supreme Court opinions dating back to 1842 serve as the foundation for this legal doctrine.

Proponents of legal sports wagering suggest that with the enforcement of PASPA, Congress created a rule that disallows state law. If PASPA prohibits a state from repealing self-instituted prohibitions on sports gambling, it is in violation of the anti-commandeering doctrine.

When will the Supreme Court examine the case?

The eight current Supreme Court justices will decide whether to accept the appeal on Jan. 13. Their decision should be known on Jan. 17.

The ninth Supreme Court justice is expected to be nominated sometime after President-elect Donald Trump takes office on January 20.

The case would be heard later this year, if taken up.

Who will champion the sports betting in the future?

If New Jersey’s appeal is not heard, the state is unlikely to quit on the issue of sports betting.

Christie’s second term as governor of New Jersey is set to expire in 2018.  For sports betting proponents, state Sen. Ray Lesniak would be the obvious choice for the office. He has remained a strong supporter of sports betting in the state and was one of the architects of the framework allowing NJ gambling sites.

Regardless of who is elected, however, we can expect New Jersey and its legislature to remain on the front lines, battling for legal sports wagering.

Image credit: Erik Cox Photography / Shutterstock.com

Skill-Based Gambling Machines Expand To Tropicana Atlantic City

December 28, 2016
Tropicana VGM

Skill-based video gaming machines (VGMs) are proliferating in Atlantic City.

Just a few months after GameCo Inc. launched its first skill-based gambling machines in New Jersey, its games are now available at the Tropicana.

VGMs were already available at Bally’s Atlantic City, Caesars AC and Harrah’s AC.

Who is GameCo?

GameCo Inc. is an innovative new company that was the first to introduce skill-based VGMs to the world of casino gambling.

Tropicana VGMThe company, founded by Blaine Graboyes, brought together executives from Scientific Games and IGT as well as award-winning producers from gaming giants such as Blizzard Entertainment, WarGaming, Ubisoft and Dreamworks.

Where are VGMs headed?

Danger Arena (pictured), a first-person shooter style game and GameCo’s flagship product, is currently the only of its kind available to the public.

The company recently announced a new deal that will allow the company to produce several new VGMs based on popular Paramount Pictures films.

Currently under development are;

  • A racing game based on “Mission: Impossible”
  • A hidden object game based on “Paranormal Activity”
  • A platformer based on “Ferris Bueller’s Day Off”

With the somewhat generic Danger Arena continuing to gain popularity, we can expect these Paramount branded VGMs to spread even more rapidly once they are on the market.

More on the Trop and VGMs

According to a press release from the Tropicana, they will have added nine Danger Arena machines in prominent locations on the casino floor.

“Tropicana is thrilled to bring you more exciting experiences with the addition of GameCo,” said Steve Callender, general manager of Tropicana. “GameCo provides the first gambling experience that appeals to video gamers. It will bring a new level of fun and entertainment to Tropicana and is a perfect addition for our Slots In The Quarter gaming area.”

Graboyes responded with similar sentiments saying, “We’re thrilled to be expanding deployment of our VGMs in Atlantic City with Tropicana.

“As someone who spent my childhood summers on the Boardwalk in Atlantic City, it’s equally exciting and humbling to be the leader in bringing video game gambling to casinos. Gamers deserve a ‘VIP Experience’ and casinos such as Tropicana are the perfect venue to provide a unique destination and entertainment program.”

What’s next for GameCo?

According to the Tropicana’s press release, GameCo is in the process of planning a national and international rollout of its products. It expects the number of titles as well as the number of VGM terminals to spread quickly to other jurisdictions.

With the addition of the Tropicana VGMs, there are already 30 Danger Arena game terminals in operation.

“In 2017, we will be releasing many new games in multiple genres including sports, fighting, racing, platformers and casual games,” Graboyes told Online Poker Report. “Many of these games will incorporate well-known brands from film, TV and video games.”

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