New Jersey online casinos are connected to Atlantic City casinos
When you gamble at an Atlantic City casino, you have the comfort of knowing that you’re playing at a state-regulated facility bound by strict regulatory practices. These practices are designed with your protection in mind.
Do you have the same assurances when playing on an online site? Well, that all depends on who is running the show.
If it’s an offshore operator illegally accepting wagers from US players, then no, there is no guarantee that you’ll have the same casino experience as what’s indicated by the site.
However, if the site is regulated by the state of New Jersey (all sites on PlayNewJersey.com are regulated), then the answer is a resounding “YES.” And why? Because the same companies that own and operate land-based casinos in Atlantic City are running the NJ online casino sites.
Not only that, but the online casinos are governed by the same regulatory body that has ensured the integrity of Atlantic City’s land-based casino industry since 1977.
Check out our editor picks for the best legal, regulated New Jersey online casinos below
- Free Play
- AC Partner
How did the NJ online casino industry come about?
The first attempts to legalize online gambling in New Jersey occurred in early 2010, when State Senator Raymond Lesniak introduced S 3167. In November of that year, Lesniak’s bill passed in the Senate by a 29-5 margin, and a couple of months later (January 2011) a companion bill passed in the House.
Despite the bipartisan support, New Jersey Governor Chris Christie vetoed the bill in March 2011.
The following months were a tumultuous time for online gambling. In April 2011, the Department of Justice shut down and seized the assets of the largest offshore online poker sites operating in the US at the time.
This was followed in December 2011 with the Department’s reinterpretation of the Wire Act, which it concluded only applies to sports wagering. This decision effectively paved the way for individual states to regulate and run legal online casino and poker operations.
Lesniak did not rest on his laurels, swiftly introducing an amended bill (S 1565) in early 2012. A comparison bill (A 2578) soon followed in the House. In December 2012, the NJ assembly passed A 2578 by a 48 – 24 margin. The bill was received even more favorably in the Senate, where it sailed through a vote (33 – 3).
Unfortunately, history looked to be repeating itself, when in February 2013, Christie vetoed the bill. However, Lesniak quickly went to work on the governor’s requested changes. The amended bill passed in the assembly and senate and was brought back to Christie.
On February 27, 2013, Christie signed A 2578 into law, as New Jersey officially became the third state behind Nevada and Delaware to legalize statewide online gambling.
In the ensuing months, regulations were crafted, licenses were awarded to several Atlantic City casinos, and online gambling partnerships were forged.
Then, on November 21, 2013, industry operators were given the green light to begin offering real-money online casino and poker games to eligible players physically located within the state’s parameters. The industry has run without any major incidents since, generating over $75 million in tax revenue through January 2017.
Who is responsible for overseeing the NJ online casino industry?
If you’re having reservations about signing up for depositing money on a NJ online casino site, you should have solace knowing that the industry is overseen by the same committee that is responsible for regulating the entire Atlantic City casino industry. That body is the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, or the DGE.
Ok, but what rules are in place?
NJ online gambling sites are subject to the same regulatory guidelines that Atlantic City casinos must adhere to. The DGE provides those guidelines here.
Beyond that, regulated sites are held to their own set of standards, which were crafted by the DGE shortly after Christie penned the state’s online gambling bill into law.
These regulations are centered around a few basic principles:
- Protection of funds: All player funds must be kept in segregated accounts. These accounts are separate than those used by online gambling companies for operational purposes. In addition, NJ online gambling sites must honor all payout requests in a swift fashion.
- Identity security: All of your personal information, including your social security number, and banking information is held securely. Not to mention, in order to wager real-money online, patrons must first pass a rigid identity verification process. This measure protects players from fraud, and ensures that underage and otherwise ineligible players aren’t allowed to gamble online.
- Game fairness: Games supplied by NJ online gambling sites must undergo the same vigorous vetting process as games found on land-based casinos floors. Simply put, NJ online casino and poker sites cannot stack the deck against you unfairly.
- Responsible gaming protocols: Every NJ online gambling site must provide responsible gaming tools to their patrons. These come in a variety of shapes and forms, ranging from daily, weekly, and monthly deposit limits, to more severe restrictions such as self-exclusion.
Merged regulations that cover NJ online gambling can be found here.
What companies can be licensed to run a NJ online casino?
Still nervous about making the transition from an Atlantic City casino to a NJ regulated online gambling site? It might help to know that the only entities even eligible to apply for an Internet Gaming Permit (IGP) are licensed land-based casinos located in Atlantic City.
What this means, is that the same AC casinos that you may have established a close relationship with are responsible for providing an equally comforting and enjoyable experience online.
But wait a minute, some of these sites are run by unfamiliar brands?
If you’ve noticed that not all NJ online gambling sites adorn the name of Atlantic City casinos, that’s a good observation. There’s a simple explanation.
There are two tiers of licensing related to the industry. The first, as mentioned above, is the Internet Gaming Permit. The second is what’s called a Casino Service Industry Enterprise License. This license allows companies to provide software platforms and games to industry operators. The DGE thoroughly vets these providers before granting them a license. If they’re in New Jersey, they’re deemed suitable to conduct operations.
This vetting process is very thorough.
Look at PokerStars for example. The DGE reviewed over 45,000 pages of documents related to Stars’ business procedures before finally approving the operator in September 2015 — nearly two years after NJ online gambling went live.
Furthermore, all platform and game suppliers must partner with an existing IGP holder (in other words, an Atlantic City casino) before providing their services. Once the partnerships are secured the IGP holder can offer online gambling services under (up to) five distinct brands.
So whether it’s Golden Nugget Casino or Betfair Casino, all online gambling sites operate under the umbrella of an IGP holder and must abide by the same set of regulatory principles set forth by the DGE. No exceptions.
Who are the land-based operators?
Today’s NJ online gambling industry features five licensed land-based casinos.
Tropicana operates the self-branded TropicanaCasino.com and VirginCasino.com. The platform provider for both sites is UK-based Gamesys, which operates a number of licensed gambling sites in the UK and other regulated markets.
Industry-leading Golden Nugget operates its own branded site GoldenNuggetCasino.com, BetfairCasino.com, and PlaySugarHouse.com. The Golden Nugget Casino platform is offered by NYX Gaming, while the UK-based Betfair utilizes its own proprietary platform.
The Play SugarHouse platform is provided by Rush Street Interactive. The provider’s parent company, Rush Street Gaming, operates the licensed land-based SugarHouse Casino in Pennsylvania.
The Borgata IGP consists of:
Both the Borgata and PartyPoker platforms are provided by GVC Holdings (formerly bwin.party). Pala, a San Diego-based tribal casino operator, launched its own proprietary casino and bingo platforms in New Jersey.
Resorts operates ResortsCasino.com, MoheganSunCasino.com, and more recently PokerStarsNJ.com. PokerStars provides its own proprietary platform, while the Resorts/Mohegan casino platform is supplied by NYX Gaming.
Caesars Interactive is partnered with 888 Holdings in New Jersey. 888 serves as the platform provider for:
Caesars is also linked up with NYX Gaming, which provides the platform for CaesarsCasino.com
Interested in reading more about the process? Check out our article on how slots and table games are vetted here.