Since New Jersey launched its online gambling market in 2013, there have been a lot of changes. The market has grown to almost two dozen NJ gambling websites including seven online poker sites and 16 online casinos.
Each NJ online gambling website has evolved over the last few years, too, offering new slot games, new innovations, and additional value for players. It can be a lot to take in, which is why here we answer the top 10 frequently asked questions about NJ online gambling.
1. Why is Golden Nugget the most successful online casino in NJ?
Golden Nugget is the top grossing online casino in New Jersey. In fact, it was the top revenue-generating online casino in the state every month throughout 2017. Plus, it kicked off 2018 setting a new monthly revenue record in January and becoming the first site to generate over $7 million in NJ online gambling revenue in a single month.
How has this site separated itself from the pack and continued to maintain its status as the top revenue-generating online casino in New Jersey?
Through choice. The site simply offers more of it than anyone else. In fact, Golden Nugget launched its 500th game in March 2018, giving it the largest and most diversified selection of online casino games in the New Jersey online gambling market. Golden Nugget already had more games than anyone else going into 2017, then it added 136 more new games throughout the year.
If its available in New Jersey, Golden Nugget has it. It’s the original home for Live Dealer games online. There’s really something for everyone and the wide selection of game titles means nothing is missing. There’s no reason to go to another online casino site in New Jersey because if Golden Nugget doesn’t have it, it doesn’t exist.
The huge selection of games helped the site post an 81 percent increase in total wagers in 2017. Over $1 billion in winnings was paid out to New Jersey players and the site only solidified its market-leading status.
A competitive bonus structure has helped continue to attract new players to the site as well. New players who sign up with Golden Nugget using the bonus code PLAY20 receive $20 free with no deposit necessary. They are also eligible to receive a 100 percent deposit match bonus up to $1,000 on their first deposit. This is one of the largest first deposit match bonus offers in the New Jersey online casino market today.
2. Why doesn’t Bally’s have an NJ online casino site?
There are currently seven operating casinos located in Atlantic City. Each runs at least one legal and regulated online casino except for one: Bally’s Atlantic City Hotel & Casino.
Bally’s opened in 1979 at the corner of Park Place and the Boardwalk. The property now includes two massive casinos with more than 220,000 square feet of gaming space and 5,000 slot machines. It’s owned by Caesars Entertainment alongside two other Atlantic City casino resorts: Caesars Atlantic City Hotel & Casino and Harrah’s Resort Atlantic City.
Caesars subsidiary Caesars Interactive Entertainment holds the NJ online gambling license for the property and owns and operates several online casino and poker sites. This includes a Caesars Casino and Harrah’s online casino site, but not a Bally’s Casino site.
Bally’s did get one of the original online casino licenses handed out by New Jersey gaming regulators. It was first used by Caesars Interactive Entertainment software partner 888 Holdings for its New Jersey online casino and poker sites.
However, Caesars Interactive Entertainment ultimately brought all its internet gambling licenses under a single umbrella. With Caesars, Harrah’s, WSOP NJ, and 888 NJ online casino branded sites already established, the company decided against launching a competing site under the Bally’s brand.
So, why doesn’t Bally’s have an online casino site in New Jersey? Because parent company Caesars doesn’t want to compete with itself online any more than it already does.
3. What makes Tropicana and Virgin online casinos different from one another?
The Tropicana and Virgin online casinos are basically carbon copies of one another. Both are run by online gambling operator and software developer Gamesys. Both run under Tropicana’s online gambling license in New Jersey.
Tropicana and Virgin use the same software, giving the sites the same functionality and an almost identical look and feel. The bonuses and promotions each site runs are basically the same as well.
The biggest differences are in branding and marketing. The name of the sites and color schemes are noticeably different. Plus, Tropicana and Virgin are each being packaged and sold to the public in a different manner.
While the games are mostly the same, the site’s do promise some exclusive content. The one game that comes to mind is Virgin’s Deal Or No Deal slot, which is exclusive to the site and has been used in exclusive marketing materials.
Both sites also run their own separate and distinct player loyalty programs.
4. What is geolocation and how does it work?
States with legalized and regulated online gambling require players be inside the state to play.
You don’t necessarily have to be a resident to sign up for an account, but state laws mandate players be inside state lines when they decide to sit down and play.
It’s the responsibility of online gambling operators to make sure this is the case. The method they use to do it is called geolocation. In fact, in most states, online gambling sites are required by law to use geolocation technology.
Geolocation is a global positioning system used to pinpoint a players’ approximate coordinates. It works through by IP address tracking and WiFi signal triangulation.
Most sites ask players to download and run a geolocation software plug-in on their computer.
The geolocation technology checks a player’s location when they first connect, and then occasionally as they continue to play.
5. Does PokerStars operate in NJ? And how does it compare to ROW PokerStars?
PokerStars is the largest online poker room in the world. It launched a New Jersey online poker site in March 2016. Only players inside New Jersey can access the site and it is not connected to the PokerStars global site. The player pools in New Jersey and the rest of the world are not shared.
PokerStars NJ is the market-leading operator in the relatively small NJ online poker market. The product is very similar to what’s offered globally, in terms of poker variants, games, structures, and formats. The big difference is the New Jersey site runs in a fenced-in market. PokerStars global runs several of the largest major tournament series in the world. Then, it runs smaller versions of a number of those series for New Jersey only on PokerStars NJ.
From a software perspective, PokerStars NJ is a solid version of the global product with similar functionality. It is equal in almost every way. PokerStars NJ is just a much smaller version of the world’s leading online poker site operating alone in the fenced-in New Jersey market. That means fewer players, fewer cash game options, fewer and smaller tournaments with significantly smaller prize pools.
The site operates under the Resorts Casino Hotel internet gambling license.
6. Which NJ online casino games have the best return-to-player?
Online casino games have a built-in house edge that makes them impossible to beat over the long haul. However, you can still get lucky playing them in the short term.
Plus, there are games with a reduced house edge that offer players the opportunity to win more often and enjoy a lower-variance casino gambling experience.
For online casino games, odds are expressed in something called a return to player rate (RTP). A game’s RTP is the opposite of its house edge. It’s the percentage of money wagered that will be paid back to players over time.
RTP is calculated as an average of at least 1,000 plays and indicates the long-term performance of a game.
If a game is said to have an RTP of 90 percent, for every $100 played, a player should expect to win back $90.
However, RTP is about long-term performance. Therefore, there’s no guarantee of the game immediately paying back $90 of the first $100 a player puts into it. A game’s RTP is only realized over the long run.
Most NJ online casinos publish the RTP for all their games. Here’s a list of the 10 online casino games with the best RTPs in New Jersey according to that data:
- Single-deck Blackjack (Tropicana/Virgin): 99.87%
- Deuces Wild Triple Play Draw Poker (Tropicana/Virgin): 99.73.%
- High Stakes Blackjack (Virgin): 99.64%
- Vegas Strip Blackjack (Tropicana/Virgin): 99.64%
- Multi-Bet Blackjack (SugarHouse): 99.64%
- Atlantic City Blackjack (Tropicana/Virgin): 99.64%
- High Stakes Blackjack (Tropicana): 99.64%
- Vegas Downtown Blackjack (Tropicana): 99.61%
- SP Vegas Blackjack (Borgata/Partypoker): 99.6%
- Vegas Blackjack (Golden Nugget/Caesars): 99.6%
Except for one, these are all blackjack games. However, some other online casino games in New Jersey offer favorable RTPs. That list includes:
- French Roulette High Limit (Harrah’s): 98.65%
- Craps (Pala/Tropicana/Betfair/Borgata/Virgin/Party): 98.64%
- Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker (Borgata/Party): 97.96%
- Pai Gow Poker (Tropicana/Virgin): 97.28%
- Three Card Poker (Tropicana/Caesars/SugarHouse): 96.63%
- Let it Ride (Golden Nugget/Tropicana/Caesars/SugarHouse): 96.49%
- Hi-Lo (Virgin/Tropicana/Betfair): 96%
- PokerBet (Betfair) 95%
7. When is Hard Rock opening in Atlantic City?
In April 2017, Hard Rock International partnered with New Jersey property developers The Morris Family and construction and energy developers The Jingoli Family to buy the recently shut down $1.2 billion Trump Taj Mahal in Atlantic City for $50 million. The group announced plans for a $375 million renovation and re-branding, turning it into the Hard Rock Hotel & Casino Atlantic City.
The company targeted Memorial Day 2018 as an opening date at first but has since announced an official opening date of June 28.
In the interim, the cost of the work at Hard Rock Atlantic City has ballooned to more than $500 million. It will include a casino with 2,400 slots and 130 table games. The plan also includes a complete renovation and redesign of every hotel room on the property. Plus, first-class food and beverage concepts and two separate arenas with more than 7,000 seats are being built.
8. And what about Ocean Resort Casino? When will it open?
The $2.4 billion Revel Hotel Casino shut its doors in September 2014 amid financial troubles.
After one purchase deal fell apart, Florida developer Glenn Straub bought Revel out of bankruptcy for $82 million in April 2015. He made plans to reopen it under the name TEN. Instead, he missed several reopening dates over the next two years while battling with state regulators over licensing issues.
Straub sold Revel to developers AC Ocean Walk in January 2018 for $200 million. AC Ocean Walk announced plans to re-brand as Ocean Resort Casino and re-open in the summer of 2018.
When it does open, Ocean Resort Casino will feature a 138,000-square-foot casino and 1,399-room hotel. There are plans to include 160,000 square feet of indoor meeting and convention space. Plus, another 90,000 square feet of flexible outdoor special event space.
Ocean Resort Casino will also feature five swimming pools, including a salt-water pool, and a sun deck with cabanas. There will be dining options from restaurant groups including Garces Group and LDV Hospitality and a full slate of entertainment options including day and nightclubs and a sports bar.
All indications are it will be ready to open in the summer of 2018.
9. Which online poker site is better in NJ: WSOP NJ or PartyPoker NJ?
WSOP.com is a World Series of Poker-branded New Jersey online poker room. It is owned and operated by Caesars Entertainment using software provided by the company’s online gambling partner 888.
The WSOP is one of poker’s most recognizable and respected brands and the site offers access to that, including satellites into live WSOP and WSOP Circuit events and even a WSOP Circuit ring event of its own as of Mach 2018.
PokerStars NJ was the largest poker site in the market in terms of traffic until just a week ago. The leaderboard in NJ online poker changed once shared liquidity finally became a reality. Players in NJ, Nevada, and Delaware can now play cash games on the same WSOP/888 network, making it the reigning traffic champ.
PokerStars offers a full slate of cash games, regular tournaments and seasonal series with guaranteed prize pools it has been able to meet.
PartyPoker NJ is GVC Holdings’ New Jersey online poker site running under the famous PartyPoker banner. The site runs under the Borgata internet gambling license and shares player pools with a network of sites including Borgata Poker and playMGM Poker.
Only the promotions and bonuses are different.
The site offers a full slate of cash games, regular tournaments and seasonal series with guaranteed prize pools. However, the series have been marred by technical problems, overlays, and cancellations in the past. As a result, they have been scaled down.
PartyPoker NJ has found success running satellites into live tournaments at Borgata alongside Borgata Poker. However, the network tends to be the smallest in the state in terms of traffic and has difficulty competing with WSOP/888 and PokerStars.
If an answer as to which online poker site is better is truly required, at this point, the answer would have to be WSOP.com.
10. What is the best online blackjack in NJ?
Single-deck Blackjack at Tropicana and Virgin is the best blackjack game in the New Jersey online casino market. The game offers the highest return to player rate of any online casino game in the state. The RTP is an unbeatable 99.87 percent.
Single-deck Blackjack has always had a reputation as the game with the lowest house edge in most brick-and-mortar casinos. The same is true online in New Jersey. It’s basic blackjack. The big difference is it’s played with a single deck, instead of a six- or eight-deck shoe. This increases a player’s chance of winning, and provides for that huge RTP.
The game also feature the following rules:
- Blackjack pays 3:2
- Insurance pays 2:1
- Dealer stands on a soft 17
- Double down on a 9 to 11 only
- Split only matching pairs, not value
- Split only once
- No double down on splits
- Hit on split Aces
- No surrender
All New Jersey online casino games have a built-in house edge.
That means, over the long haul, the casinos are going to win your money if you play these games. What it doesn’t mean is that you can’t get lucky and win playing these games in the short term.
You most definitely can. You can also quit while you’re ahead helping you lock up those winnings for good. Plus, you have the right to play games where the house edge is reduced. Games with the best return to player rates will help you win more often and enjoy a lower-variance casino experience.
Understanding the house edge and where it lies in each bet available on each game can be the difference between winning consistently and losing regularly.
You can’t get lucky unless you put yourself in a position to do so. That means selecting games with high return to player rates and giving yourself the best opportunities to win.
What is a return to player rate?
For almost all NJ online casino games, odds are usually expressed in something called a return to player rate (RTP). Simply put, RTP is the percentage of money wagered on a game that will be paid back to players over time by that game.
The rate is calculated as an average of at least 1,000 plays. It indicates the long-term performance a player can expect from the game.
If a game has an RTP of 90 percent, for every $100 played in $1 bets, a player should expect to win back $90.
But it’s very important to remember, RTP is about long-term performance. That means it may take more than $100 in $1 bets for the $90 to get paid back.
In casino gambling, online or off, nothing is guaranteed, and you may never see a game’s true RTP realized before you run out of money to bet on it.
House edge is the flip side of RTP. It is the amount a casino expects to profit from a player’s bet.
If a game at any NJ online casino has an RTP of 90 percent, the casino expects to profit 10 percent of all money bet. Therefore, the house edge in the game is 10 percent. The house expects to profit $10 for every $100 played in $1 bets.
Obviously, the smaller the house edge, the better the game is for players. But again, it’s a long-term thing and the outcome of each individual bet in a game cannot be predicted using house edge.
So which online casino games have the lowest house edge and which games have the highest RTP? Which are the ones you should turn to when you want to win more consistently and limit your variance? The answers lie below.
Single-deck blackjack has always had a reputation as the game with the lowest house edge in most casinos and the same is true online. It’s simple blackjack, with the big difference being it’s played with a single deck, instead of a six or eight-deck shoe. This increases your chance of winning and provides for that huge RTP online.
Deuces Wild Triple Play Draw Poker
That’s because it has the second best RTP of any online casino game in New Jersey. In fact, the RTP on Deuces Wild Triple Play Draw Poker (Game King) sits at a player-friendly 99.73 percent.
It’s video poker with Deuces acting as a wild card and you get to run a single draw three times. The Deuces Wild Five Play Draw Poker (Game King) at Tropicana and Virgin offers the same RTP. You’re just running it five times instead of three.
There’s a long list of blackjack games with different rules that follow the top RTP games in New Jersey. For the most part, the top 10 looks like this:
- 99.64%: High Stakes Blackjack (Virgin)
- 99.64%: Vegas Strip Blackjack (Tropicana/Virgin)
- 99.64%: Multi-Bet Blackjack (SugarHouse)
- 99.64%: Atlantic City Blackjack (Tropicana/Virgin)
- 99.64%: High Stakes Blackjack (Tropicana)
- 99.61%: Vegas Downtown Blackjack (Tropicana)
- 99.6%: SP Vegas Blackjack (Borgata/PartyPoker)
- 99.6%: Vegas Blackjack (Golden Nugget/Caesars)
- 99.59%: Blackjack Pro – Atlantic City (Caesars)
- 99.59%: Blackjack (IGT) (Golden Nugget/Betfair/Borgata/PartyPoker)
Jacks or Better
The Jacks or Better (Game King) video poker game has a return to player rate of 99.54 percent, which is the next best after that lengthy list of blackjack titles.
This game is available at a number of NJ gambling websites, including:
- Golden Nugget
After a lengthy list of more blackjack and video poker varieties, you come to the table game with the biggest RTP in New Jersey. It’s the 98.94 percent RTP on the banker bets playing baccarat on Virgin and Tropicana.
A number of other baccarat games come close, but the Virgin and Tropicana one has the edge.
French Roulette High Limit
The French Roulette High Limit game on Harrah’s has a return to player rate of 98.65 percent, making it the next best thing to baccarat online in New Jersey.
It is an outstanding figure for online roulette, considering most online roulette is American Roulette with a zero, double-zero, and all the house edge that comes with that.
Other table games
There are a number of other table games found online in New Jersey with relatively favorable RTPs. Here’s a list of some of the best:
- 98.64%: Craps (Pala/Tropicana/Betfair/Borgata/Virgin/Party)
- 97.96%: Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker (Borgata/Party)
- 97.28%: Pai Gow Poker (Tropicana/Virgin)
- 96.63%: Three Card Poker (Tropicana/Caesars/SugarHouse)
- 96.49%: Let it Ride (Golden Nugget/Tropicana/Caesars/SugarHouse)
- 96%: Hi-Lo (Virgin/Tropicana/Betfair)
- 95%: PokerBet (Betfair)
What is geolocation and why are online gambling sites using it?
All states that have legalized and regulated online gambling have language in the laws that require players to play from inside the state.
You don’t have to be a resident to sign up for an account. However, state laws mandate you be inside state lines when you do decide to play.
It’s the responsibility of the online gambling sites to make sure players are where they say they are. Geolocation is the method the sites use to ensure its players are in the same state as they are. In most states, the online gambling sites are required by law to use it.
How does geolocation work?
Geolocation technology is a positioning system that is used to pinpoint a players’ coordinates. It does this mostly by tracking his or her IP address and triangulating his or her WiFi signal.
On most online gambling sites, users can browse around, play game demos, and perform all sorts of account management functions, including deposits and withdrawals, from anywhere in the US. However, the ability to play games for real money is restricted to those who have allowed geolocation technology to prove they are inside the state.
What companies provide geolocation services?
A geolocation technology and software company called GeoComply is licensed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (NJDGE) and the Commonwealth of Delaware to provide geolocation and anti-fraud solutions to the online gambling market in those states.
Most online gambling sites in these states have used GeoComply since launch. The company also provides similar services to a number of US lotteries that have gone online.
Other geolocation technology and software companies authorized to provide similar services in states with legal online gambling include:
Are there any issues with geolocation technology?
When the online gambling market first opened up in New Jersey, the geolocation technology and software providers returned a number of false negatives. Players legitimately inside the state were frozen out of online gambling.
Apparently, a high percentage of the false negatives were coming from areas close to state lines. Working with the geolocation service providers, the NJDGE had established a buffer zone by the border. WiFi triangulation used in geolocating is not perfectly accurate. Therefore even if a player were clearly on the New Jersey side of the state line, if they were too close to it, and inside that buffer zone, they were not allowed to play.
The DGE has made every effort to shrink the size of that buffer. Plus, the geolocation technology and software providers have fixed a number of issues on their end. In fact, these days false negatives are a rarity.
What can players do to help ensure the geolocation technology works properly for them?
In most cases, players are asked to download and run a software plug-in on their computer.
The geolocation technology checks your location when you first connect, and then occasionally as you continue to play.
There are a number of additional things players can do to help the geolocation technology do its thing. In this way, players ensure they enjoy unfettered access to legal and regulated online gambling sites in NJ:
- Always run the plug-in.
- Make sure your WiFi is on. You don’t have to be connected to a wireless network, but your WiFi must be on for the geolocation technology to find you. Users of desktop computers not equipped with a WiFi adapter will need to obtain a USB WiFi adapter.
- Turn off all Virtual Private Network, Virtual Network Client or Remote Desktop software. These often cause geolocation checks to fail.
- Make sure your WiFi signal is strong enough to allow geolocation technology to confirm your location. A good way to check is to make sure at least two other networks are available.
- Contact your internet service provider to ensure it only assigns you IP addresses that are inside the state.
- Avoid using third party internet connections, including public or corporate connections, and WiFi hotspots. These networks may assign IP addresses outside the state.
Does geolocation technology work for mobile devices?
Users looking to play on a mobile device should have an even easier time getting the geolocation technology to pinpoint their whereabouts.
That’s because Android and iOS smartphones and tablets have built-in GPS capabilities. As a result, no additional app or geolocation plug-in is required. Mobile users need only ensure GPS Location Services are turned on.
Will geolocation technology be used in the Pennsylvania online gambling market when it opens?
Geolocation is being used in Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware, the only three states where online gambling is legal and regulated. Therefore, it is assumed Pennsylvania will also use geolocation technology when it rolls out the first online gambling sites in that state in the second half of 2018.
This is especially true considering the state plans to block online gambling play from inside casinos, another function geolocation can make possible.
Temporary online gambling regulations approved by the Pennsylvania Gaming Control Board also suggest the need for online gambling sites in the state to use geolocation technology. Particularly the one requiring online gambling licensees to implement features blocking access to all Pennsylvania online casinos and online poker sites from outside the state.
The history of online gambling in the United States is an interesting one. The commercial internet as we know it came into being in November 1992, but it wasn’t until May 1995 that the government dropped out of the project.
The first official online gambling site, Intertops.com, opened its “doors” in 1996 and was quickly followed by a torrent of other gambling sites offering services to anyone who wanted to place a bet.
In October 2006, there were more than 2,500 online gambling sites owned by 465 different companies.
Where is online gambling legal in the US?
Currently, online gambling is legal and regulated on a state level in New Jersey, Delaware, and Nevada. In October 2017, Pennsylvania joined the online gambling industry. It is expected to launch its iGaming sites and online poker later in 2018.
The legality of internet gambling is extremely complicated. Some countries have no laws regarding it, and others have legalized online gambling both within and outside their borders.
Some countries have made certain forms of gambling online legal and other forms illegal.
The United States has no federal laws that prevent internet gambling from a consumer-based standpoint; however, many individual states have such laws.
What kind of legal gambling is available online in Nevada and Delaware?
At the time of this writing, Nevada had three legal betting sites: WSOP.com, RealGaming, and WorldWinner.com. The first two sites offer online poker, and the third offers a variety of skill games.
Delaware is the new kid on the block, having legalized online gambling in 2013. Currently, there are four off-track horse and greyhound betting sites located within the state and three online casinos.
So is it legal to gamble online in other states?
The answer isn’t as easy as a simple yes or no. There is way too much gray area involved in the interpretation of the laws.
What we do know is that, as of 2017, New Jersey has by far the most vibrant community for internet gamblers.
Where can players legally gamble online in New Jersey?
At the time of this writing, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has issued licenses to five different Atlantic City casinos and offers players a chance to wager on 20 different NJ online gambling websites.
Customers may be able to gamble in other states, but the best online gambling is taking place in New Jersey.
VirginCasino.com, for example, offers a free $20 sign-up bonus for all new players. Simply enter the Virgin Casino online bonus code, 20BUCKS, when you sign up for a new account and enjoy the freeplay.
In addition to the free $20, Virgin has a $100 cash back refund on first deposits. This means players can effectively sign up for an account on VirginCasino.com and gamble $120 with absolutely no risk.
New Jersey also recently saw the launch of PokerStarsNJ.com. Without a doubt, PokerStarsNJ is the best place to play legal online poker anywhere in the nation. PokerStarsNJ will give players a 100 percent first-time deposit bonus up to $600. Enter bonus code STARS600 to get started.
We also recommend several other online gambling sites within New Jersey, including BetfairCasino.com, GoldenNuggetCasino.com, and TropicanaCasino.com. All these sites have wonderful first-time deposit bonuses and a myriad of fun and exciting NJ online casino games to explore.
With any luck, more states will follow suit and regulate online gambling in the near future, but for the time being Nevada, New Jersey, and Delaware are the only legal options.
Obviously, if you reside within the states of Nevada or Delaware, you will be doing most of your online gambling there. But if you are looking for a great place to travel and want a fantastic gambling destination, skip Las Vegas and come to Atlantic City.
Not only does New Jersey have world class resorts and casinos, it offers the best legal online gambling in the country. If you live nearby, why not jump on a train and come to New Jersey to play some great online games?
All signs point to legal and regulated sports betting coming to a casino or racetrack near you sometime in the very near future.
In fact, New Jersey has been fighting to get legal sports betting at casinos and racetracks inside its border since 2011. In 2017, the US Supreme Court heard the state’s case against the federal ban on sports betting almost everywhere outside of Nevada.
Anticipating a decision in New Jersey’s favor sometime in 2018, as many as 20 states have now passed or are considering passing legislation legalizing sports betting if the federal ban should fall.
No matter how you look at it, it’s probably time you learned a little more about sports betting. Here’s a glossary of some of the more popular sports betting terms to get you started:
An action is just another word for a bet. The amount of action on a particular event is equal to the amount bet. Whichever side a gambler chooses to put his or her action on is which side they are placing bets on. Having action on a game is the same thing as having a bet on it.
A beard, also known as a runner, is someone who places a bet for another person.
A book is short for sportsbook or bookmaker.
A bookie is a person that will takes bets and pays out winners. Generally, bookies operate in the black market. However, the person taking your bet and paying out winners at a sportsbook may also be referred to as a bookie.
Like sportsbooks, bookies may also set the odds on different sports bets.
The closing line is the final betting line set before a game begins.
When a favorite wins by more points than the spread, it is said to have covered the spread.
Any advantage a gambler, team, or individual may have is referred to as an edge.
Favorites and underdogs
The favorite is the team or individual in the sporting event most likely to win. If they are a big favorite, they are often referred to as a lock.
On the other hand, the underdog is the team or individual most think will lose. If the most people think a team or individual stands very little chance of winning they are often referred to as a longshot. However, it’s always important to remember that in sports, anything can happen. Locks sometimes lose and longshots pay off.
Futures bets are long-term bets. They are usually placed on a team’s full season. Common futures bets include those placed on an NFL team to win the Super Bowl before the start of the season.
A handle is the total amount of money a sportsbook takes in on bets. Its revenue is only a small percentage of the total handle.
A layoff is money bet on the other side of a wager to reduce exposure and liability.
The money line is the odds on a bet. The money line represents how much you need to bet to win $100 on a favorite, or how much you can win betting $100 on an underdog.
The money line on the favorite to win a game is represented by a negative number. For example, the money line on the Patriots to beat the Eagles may be -110. This would mean you would need to bet $110 to win $100 plus your initial bet back of the Patriots win.
The money line on the underdog to win a game is represented by a positive number. For example, the money line on the Eagles to beat the Patriots may be +150. This would mean you would win $150 plus your initial bet back if you bet $100 on the Eagles and they won.
The point spread has no effect on money line bets.
The over/under is a line set on the total points that will be scored in a game by both teams combined. Gamblers bet on whether total will be over or under the set line.
For example, the over/under on the Eagles versus the Patriots might be 45. If the final score of the game is Eagles 25 Patriots 24, the total score would be 49 and all bets on the over would pay. If the final score was Eagles 24 Patriots 20, the total score would be 44 and all bets on the under would pay.
A parlay bet combines more than one wager. All bets have to win for the parlay to pay. Therefore, it’s the more the merrier, meaning the more bets you make in a parlay the better winning it will pay. However, the reason large parlays come with larger payouts is that they are so hard to win.
A game with no favorite or underdog is referred to as a Pick ’em game. The point spread on the game would be zero.
The point spread is the number of points the favorite in a certain game must win by in order for point spread bets on that team to win. Gamblers can also make the point spread bets on the underdog, which pay off when the underdog wins or the favorite wins by fewer points than the established point spread.
For example, the point spread on the Patriots versus the Eagles might be 3.5 points. If the Patriots are the favorites, they would need to win by more than 3.5 points to cover the spread. If the final score of the game were Patriots 17 Eagles 10, the Patriots would have covered and all point spread bets on the Patriots to win would pay. On the other hand, if the final score of the game were Patriots 17 Eagles 16, the Patriots would not have covered and only point spread bets on the Eagles would pay.
In other words, once a point spread is set, the favorite must cover for all point spread bets on that team to win. If they don’t, all bets on the underdogs pay off. An easy way to check the winner is to add the point spread number to the underdog’s score. If the favorite is still ahead straight up, they cover the spread.
Proposition bets are also called props. Props are often exotic bets that have very little outcome on a game. Essentially, gamblers are betting on something to either happen or not. Past props have included bets on who will win the coin toss, which team or player will score first, and the like.
A point spread bet is considered a push when the final score lands on the point spread number. For example, it’s a push if the Eagles are favored by three points over the Patriots and the final score comes up Eagles 27 Patriots 24.
A sharp is a professional sports bettor who always seems to be on the right side of things. Sharps often have inside information and bet wisely.
A sportsbook is a legal and regulated operation that will take bets on sports and pay out winners. Sportsbooks are often located inside casinos. Sportsbooks may also set the odds on different sports bets.
A square is a casual gambler that follows public sentiment when wagering. A square often has very little inside information and bets with the heart instead of the mind. Squares are the opposite of sharps.
A tout is a person or a service that gives away or sells picks on various games.
The vigorish, also known as the vig or the juice is the commission a bookie or sportsbook takes on a bet.
There are seven online poker sites currently operating in New Jersey.
Three are on the same network, sharing player pools. Two others do the same on their own network. Plus, there are two stand-alone online poker sites doing their own thing inside the state.
Most of these online poker sites offer free bonus cash to new players just for signing up for an account. It’s a great way to get something for nothing and start building an NJ online poker bankroll.
However, not all these NJ online poker no deposit bonuses are created equal. Here’s a breakdown of what each site offers and how you can get your hands on all that free bonus cash:
playMGM Poker is the newest entry into the New Jersey online poker market. It just launched in the summer of 2017. The site operates under the Borgata’s internet gaming license. Plus, it shares player pools on a network with PartyPoker NJ and Borgata’s own poker site.
It also offers the largest no deposit bonus in the market giving players $25 free on sign up. New sign ups must be able to create a verifiable real-money account in order to be eligible. However, once they do they’ll get $10 of the bonus released as online cash and the other $15 credited as a poker bonus for use in tournaments.
Players need to earn one iReward Point on the site to unlock the $10 online cash. They can do that simply by playing cash or tournaments on the site.
PartyPoker NJ also operates under the Borgata’s internet gaming license. Plus, it’s on that shared player pool network with playMGM Poker and Borgata’s own poker site.
It also offers new players a $25 no deposit bonus. However, it’s worth a little less to the average poker player than the playMGM offer because some of it can only be used for the site’s casino games.
In fact, PartyPoker NJ gives players $15 for poker and $10 for casino play to start out. The good thing is, once you’ve cleared any wagering requirements for the NJ online casino bonus, you can take that money to the poker tables as well.
The third online poker site operating under the Borgata license is Borgata’s own branded online poker site. Plus, it’s on the shared network with playMGM and PartyPoker NJ.
New players on Borgata Poker are eligible for a $20 no deposit sign-up bonus.
However, $10 is released as cash and the other $10 credited as a poker bonus. Players only need to earn 1 iRP in order to withdraw the cash. However, the poker bonus is not earned until they get 40. Forty iRPs is the equivalent of $20 in rake and tournament fees.
International online poker giant 888 has an online poker site in New Jersey.
In fact, it operates under the Caesars Interactive Entertainment online gambling license on a shared player pool network with that company’s World Series of Poker.
New 888 players can get $20 in free bonus cash just for creating an account. However, this comes as $10 in free play for selected casino games on the 888 Casino NJ gambling website, $4 worth of cash that can be used on 888 Casino or 888 Poker, and six $1 tournament tickets for use on 888 Poker.
PalaPoker.com also launched in the summer of 2017, just weeks before playMGM.
Pala has operated an NJ online casino site for some time on the state. However, anyone who hasn’t signed up for an account there can take advantage of a Welcome Bonus offered by the poker site that contains free bonus cash for use on all Pala NJ online gambling platforms.
It’s a $50 sign-up bonus with no deposit required. Just register for a new account with Pala and you’ll get:
- $15 in poker bonuses, including $10 in poker tournament dollars for multi-table or sit & go tournaments and $5 in cash for poker cash games on the site.
- $20 in casino bonuses, including $15 in Casino Bonus dollars and a free spin the PalaCasino.com $1,000,000 Slot Machine where each player is guaranteed a minimum of $5 Casino Bonus dollars and a chance to win up to $1 million.
- $15 in bingo bucks, which can be used to purchase up to 150 tickets on Pala Bingo games.
The World Series of Poker-branded NJ online poker room operates under WSOP owner Caesars Entertainment’s online gambling license.
The site uses software provided by partner 888 Poker. Plus, it shares player pools on a network with 888.
New players on the site can get $10 free bonus cash if they sign up for a new account using the promo code 10FREE. However, there is a one-time wagering requirement before any cash can be taken off the site.
The world’s top online poker site launched in NJ in the spring of 2016 and immediately became the market leader.
However, PokerStars doesn’t offer a standard no deposit bonus to new players. Instead, it offers two welcome packages.
One offers a 100 percent deposit match bonus up to $600. The other gives $30 in free play to anyone making a $20 deposit or more.
There are literally hundreds of games you can play at NJ online casino sites. Of course, most of these games are online slots.
However, a wide variety of the same table games you will find at most brick-and-mortar casinos across the country can be played online in New Jersey as well.
These are electronic versions of the games that use computerized random number generators to determine the outcome rather than traditional casino equipment. However, the rules of the games are mostly the same. Plus, thanks to some pretty advanced computer graphics, they look the same for the most part.
Most NJ online casinos offer different versions of the top casino table games. This gives NJ online casino players the opportunity to enjoy a little variety and hunt down the versions of their favorite games with the best odds available.
NJ online blackjack
Blackjack has long been the most popular table game in brick-and-mortar casinos the world over. The same holds true at online casino sites in New Jersey, where literally dozens of different blackjack games are available.
Golden Nugget has the most casino games of any online casino in the state. This includes 13 different blackjack games, which is by far the largest variety of blackjack games in the New Jersey online casino industry.
It’s just one of two online casinos that offers live dealer blackjack games. The other is Betfair.
These live dealer games are played with a traditional eight-deck shoe and their own specific set of rules. The game play is live by real human beings operating from a studio in Atlantic City. The action is streamed online, allowing players to bet from the privacy of their own home, or wherever they normally access the Betfair or Golden Nugget online casino sites.
These live dealer games really help bridge the gap between the traditional casino games and online play.
Additionally, Golden Nugget has an electronic blackjack game called Vegas Blackjack. At 99.6 percent, Vegas Blackjack offers one of the best return to player rates of any blackjack game online in the state.
But if you’re really looking for the best return to player rate from a blackjack game, you’ll want to head to Virgin. Virgin offers six different blackjack games. However, one of it blackjack games offers the best return to player rate of any online casino game in New Jersey. It’s called Single-Deck Blackjack, and its 99.87 percent return to player rate cannot be beat.
Online roulette in NJ
Roulette is almost as popular as blackjack in traditional brick-and-mortar casinos. The game is easy to find at NJ online casino sites, and there are a wide variety of different versions available.
Both the standard American Roulette and European Roulette games are online. Betfair and Golden Nugget also offer a live dealer roulette game.
Plus, some casinos also offer various other versions of the game with different rules. There’s even versions of roulette you can play online in New Jersey that feature more than one ball or more than one wheel. Caesars has a 3 Wheel Roulette game. Plus, PokerStars NJ has casino games, one of which is a Double Ball Roulette game.
NJ online craps
Those who’ve spent a considerable amount of time in a casino will agree it always seems like craps players are having the most fun. Craps is often the loudest, most social, and often one the most popular games in most casinos.
Online casinos in New Jersey haven’t figured out a way to capture that magic and put it online. However, the game is available at a few of NJ’s online gambling sites.
The online version of craps can be played at your own pace, making it a great way to learn the game.
Plus computer boxmen, base dealers, and stickmen are faster than the human beings working those jobs in a casino, and they never make mistakes. Payouts come faster, and they are always accurate. It’s easier to place bets and it all goes off much faster. Unless you don’t want it to.
You can find craps at a handful of NJ online casino sites. However, value hunters will want to play Virgin’s craps game, which offers a best in the business six times odds.
Online video poker and alternative table games
Most NJ online casinos also offer a wide variety of video poker games. You should be able to play everything from Deuces Wild to Jacks or Better at most.
Plus, most sites also feature versions of one or two alternative table games that you might have seen in a brick-and-mortar casino, including:
- Pai Gow Poker
- Let It Ride
- Three Card Poker
- Texas Hold’em Bonus Poker
NJ gambling websites don’t just want you to sign up for an account and burn through a no deposit bonus. They want you to make a deposit on the site. In fact, most New Jersey online casinos are giving away massive first-time deposit bonuses to any player willing to put a little money on the site and gamble with it.
The wagering requirements on these deposit bonus offers are the only real catch. However, most are easy enough to clear. Plus, since many pay off in increments, you should be able to clear at least part of the deposit bonus with very little effort.
Here’s a look at some of the biggest NJ gambling website deposit bonuses and how you can take full advantage of them:
Betfair offers the largest variety of exclusive slots and casino games players won’t find on any other NJ gambling website. It also offers new players a 100 percent first-time deposit bonus of up to $2,500. This is now the largest first-time deposit bonus available in the New Jersey online casino market by a fairly wide margin.
New players can claim the bonus by signing up for an account with Betfair using the online promo code PLAY30. Then it’s just a matter of making a deposit of anywhere from $10 to $2,500.
There is a 20-times wagering requirement on slots. Roulette counts only 50 percent toward the requirement. All other table games count just 10 percent. Players have 90 days to complete the wagering requirements, but once they are met, the deposit, bonus, and any associated winnings are available for withdrawal.
Golden Nugget is the most successful online casino in New Jersey. Part of the reason is it allows players access to the largest game library in the industry. In fact, there are more than 400 different casino games on Golden Nugget.
Another reason could be the healthy deposit bonus offered to new players. Those who sign up for an account with Golden Nugget using the online promo code PLAY20 are eligible for a sizable 100 percent deposit match bonus of up to $1,000. Only Betfair’s deposit bonus is bigger.
However, the wagering requirement is a little easier to clear. It is five times the deposit, plus the bonus on slots. Roulette, video poker, blackjack, and other table games count only 20 percent toward meeting the requirement.
playMGM is the newest player in the New Jersey gambling website market. It launched in August 2017.
In addition to a $25 no-deposit welcome bonus offered to new players, the playMGM online casino will match a new player’s first deposit 100 percent up to $1,000.
The playMGM casino deposit bonus comes with six-times wagering requirement. However, it’s the same for all games on the site. Players have just seven days to meet the requirement before the bonus will expire.
The 888 NJ gambling website operates under the Caesars Interactive Entertainment online gambling license.
New players at 888 are actually eligible for two deposit bonuses. The first is a 50 percent match bonus up to $500 on a first deposit. The second is a 50 percent match bonus up to $1,000 on a second deposit.
Players must use the online promo code WELCOME888 at sign up to take advantage of the offers.
The wagering requirement is 30 times on video slots, slots, arcade, and dice. Roulette, Triple Card Poker, and table games count only 20 percent toward the requirement. Blackjack and video poker count only 10 percent.
California-based tribal casino Pala Resort & Casino has its own family of NJ gambling websites. These sites operate under Borgata’s internet gambling license.
New players can take advantage of a $50 welcome package on the sites that includes a free spin on the PalaCasino.com $1 Million Slot Machine. Plus, Pala offers first-time depositors a 100 percent deposit bonus of up to $500.
This bonus comes with a wagering requirement of 10 times the deposit, plus the bonus on slots. All other casino games count only 20 percent toward meeting it — except for craps, which does not count at all. The bonus will expire 30 days after the deposit is made.
Caesars is the flagship NJ gambling website operating under the Caesars Interactive Entertainment online gambling license.
It offers triple the industry-standard with a first-time deposit bonus of 100 percent up to $300.
The wagering requirements are five times on slots, 10 times on video poker, and 25 times for all other games. Players have just seven days to meet the requirement or forfeit the deposit bonus.
Harrah’s NJ gambling website also operates under the Caesars Interactive Entertainment online gambling license.
It also offers the same first-time deposit bonus of 100 percent up to $300 players will find on Caesars.
However, the wagering requirements are a little tougher to meet. It sits at 20 times the bonus for slots. Roulette and table games have a 100-times wagering requirement. Blackjack and video poker sit at 200-times.
The bonus is released in $10 increments. Plus, players have 30 days to meet the wagering requirements.
Tropicana and Virgin
The Tropicana and its sister site Virgin do not offer a typical deposit bonus. However, new players can take advantage of a cashback bonus program that allows them to gamble risk-free for their first seven days on the sites.
The offer is pretty much the same as a deposit bonus. Players are eligible for a 100 percent first-deposit cash back offer of up to $100. Should a player lose any part of the first deposit they make on either site in the first seven days, up to $100, Tropicana and Virgin will pay it back.
In fact, in May 2017, the state pushed past the $100 million mark in terms of tax revenue received from New Jersey online gambling websites since NJ online gambling first launched. Plus, the next $100 million in tax revenue for the state should come in even quicker.
Collectively, New Jersey online gambling websites are now averaging a record $20 million a month in revenues. Of course, that means the burgeoning industry is generating tax revenue for the state at a faster rate than ever before.
New Jersey’s tax rate for online gambling providers is set at 15 percent. That’s almost double the 8 percent the state charges legal land-based casinos in Atlantic City. It means that online casinos are expected to generate an estimated $36 million in tax revenue for the state this year alone.
The next $100 million in tax revenue from NJ online gambling
It took approximately 42 months, from November 2013 to May 2017, for the state to earn its first $101.3 million in tax revenue from NJ online gambling sites. That’s an average of just over $2.4 million a month. With online gambling site revenues on the rise, the state is now pulling in an average of $3 million a month in tax revenues from online gambling.
At that rate, it should take just 34 months to get from $100 million to $200 million in total tax revenue paid since online gambling launched. That’s eight months faster than it took to get to the first $100 million.
Plus, seven of those months are already in the books as 2017 came to a close. If things keep going at this rate, the state should push past the $200 million mark in terms of tax revenue received from New Jersey online gambling websites by the first quarter of 2020.
Atlantic City casino industry reaping big benefits
Of course, the once-struggling Atlantic City casino industry is reaping big benefits from NJ online gambling as well.
State law dictates Atlantic City casinos are the only entities that can be licensed to run online gambling sites. According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, five Atlantic City casinos, or the online gambling companies affiliated with these casinos, hold New Jersey internet gambling licenses.
- Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
- Golden Nugget Atlantic City
- Resorts Casino Hotel
- Tropicana Casino and Resort
- Caesars Interactive Entertainment
There are currently 23 different online gambling sites operating under these five licenses. Of course, a number of the sites are owned and operated by the licensees under their own brands. However, the licensees have also partnered with online gambling operators from out of state to operate alternatively-branded NJ online gambling sites.
Either way, the revenues the sites generate is added to the Atlantic City casino internet gambling licensees totals.
Atlantic City land-based casino revenues reached $2.406 billion in 2016. This was down slightly from the $2.414 billion Atlantic City casinos posted in 2015. However, internet gambling revenues rose 32 percent to $196.7 million in 2016. As a result, total gambling revenues actually reached $2.603 billion. This represented a year-over-year increase of 1.5 percent over 2015.
Turning around a decade of declines
The Atlantic City casino industry had not posted a year-over-year revenue increase since 2006. That means NJ internet gambling revenue directly helped turn around a decade of declines for Atlantic City casinos. Plus, things just keep getting better.
New Jersey online gambling websites surpassed $200 million in revenue generated in October of this year. That broke revenue records set in 2016 with two months still to come before the end of the year. With NJ online gambling sites set to post an estimated $240 million in revenues in 2017, the Atlantic City casino industry is poised to set revenue gains for the second year in a row.
After a decade in the tank, the Atlantic City casino industry is growing again, and online gambling is more than just partly responsible for the turnaround.
In May 2017, the Betfair jumped aboard the NJ online casino list, offering it’s players the same live dealer games. The two sites immediately began sharing live dealer game liquidity with one exception. There is still a single live dealer blackjack game offered exclusively on Golden Nugget.
The games are broadcast live from a studio inside the Golden Nugget Atlantic City land-based casino. They run everyday from 3 p.m to 3 a.m. local time.
Live dealer games at NJ online casinos
Online live dealer games essentially create an immersive experience allowing gamblers to play live table games from home. Plus, they can also play them from wherever they are inside New Jersey on their smartphones. The games bring the live casino experience online.
Ezugi NJ is the company that provides the technology for the games. Its live dealers run the games in real time from the studio inside the Golden Nugget using traditional casino equipment such as cards and roulette wheels.
This is real human beings dealing real cards and spinning real roulette wheels, not a random number generator and graphic interface like other online casino games employ.
The only thing missing is the chips. Instead, players can place real-money bets on the games online using an electronic wagering interface. The betting is really the only part of these games that resembles online gambling.
The bonus for players is that payouts are a much faster and more accurate process than they would ever be in a traditional live casino setting.
How live-streamed casino action works
It’s something akin to watching a live stream of the action inside a casino. However, players can place bets on the action instead of just watching it. Plus, players can interact with the dealers in real time online, the same way they would in a traditional live casino setting.
The games look and feel the same as they do inside a brick and mortar casino. In fact, they are the same games. The only real difference is how you place bets online. However, an element of trust is added to the online experience because it’s a real person determining the outcome of the games, not a computer.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement also provides oversight and tests the games for fairness, the same way it does for all online and live casino games in the state. Plus, the fact you can watch it all play out in real-time with real dealers through your computer or smartphone ensures a certain level of game integrity.
A traditional NJ casino experience online
The live dealer game experience more closely resembles what you’ll find in a traditional casino than any other online table games. In fact, it truly bridges the gap between online and land-based casinos.
For players who don’t have the time or inclination to leave home to visit the casino, but still want a casino experience, online live dealer games are the answer.
The live dealer blackjack games are dealt from a traditional eight-deck shoe. Rules include:
- Blackjack pays 3:2
- Dealers hit on soft 17
- Double down on any two cards
- Double after split
- No re-splits
- No late surrender
The minimum wager is $10 and the maximum is $1,000.
Two side bets are also available. This includes Perfect Pairs and 21+3. Perfect Pairs pays out when your first two cards dealt pair up. Payouts on 21+3 are for a variety of card combinations including three-of-a-kind and flushes.
The live dealer roulette games are played on an American Roulette wheel that features a 0 and 00.
The live dealer baccarat games are a version of Dragon Bonus Baccarat. This includes a standard 5 percent commission rule. It also features a Dragon Bonus player side bet that pays out on natural and non-natural wins where the player wins by at least 4 points.