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.
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.