New Jersey Online Poker Laws Explained

New Jersey doesn’t take up much land mass on the US map, ranked the 4th smallest state, but it sure knows how to pack in the population, coming in 11th most populous with 8,899,339 (est. 2013). The Garden State relies on an abundance of resourceful industries to maintain its wealth, with tourism ranking high on that list. A major sector of that business is the gambling industry, and as of November 2013, includes a legal, regulated online poker and casino market.

New Jersey Casino Control Act, Title 13, Chapter 69A (as amended)

When Gov. Chris Christie stamped his seal of approval on a bill to legalize online poker and casino gambling in New Jersey, the Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) was charged with authoring an amendment to the Casino Control Act containing the necessary regulatory framework. That text became Title 13, Chapter 69A-69O of the CCA, and pertains to licensing procedures, fees, taxation, jurisdictional limitations, security requirements, consumer protection, etc., etc., etc.

One of the key requisites is that only a land-based gambling establishment located in Atlantic City, NJ can apply to be an online gambling operator. They can team up with any software or service vendor that applies (and is approved) for a license by the DGE, and there is no specific bad actors clause, as is found in Nevada.

Seven of Atlantic City’s commercial casinos have been approved to operate online poker and/or casino websites, with a total of 16 online gambling sites currently operating in New Jersey; 5 of which present real money online poker play.

Deciphering the Laws of New Jersey as they relate to Online Poker

Title 13, Chapter 69A – 69O of the New Jersey Casino Control Act have been amended to address the issue of internet poker and casino gambling in the state. The activity is wholly legal, with a few basic restrictions that players need to be aware of.

Section Text Meaning (in re online poker)
13:69O-1.2 General requirements for Internet and mobile gaming (a) Internet or mobile gaming shall only be engaged in by patrons who have established an Internet or mobile gaming account. Players must register an online poker account with each online poker site they intend to play at for real money.
(e) The Internet or mobile gaming system shall employ a mechanism to detect the physical location of a patron upon logging in…and as frequently as specified… If the system detects that the physical location of the patron is in an area unauthorized…the system shall not accept wagers until…the patron is in an authorized location…
1. Mobile gaming shall only occur within the property boundaries of an approved casino hotel facility…
2. Internet gaming shall only occur within the State of New Jersey, unless the conduct of such gaming is not inconsistent with federal law, law of the jurisdiction, including any foreign nation, in which the participating patron is located, or such gaming activity is conducted pursuant to a reciprocal agreement to which this State is a party that is not inconsistent with federal law.
A player must be physically located within the confines of a NJ casino that maintains an iGaming license to play poker on their mobile device.
A player must be physically located anywhere within the state of New Jersey to play online poker over a computer.
If/when New Jersey enters into legal compacts with other states or foreign countries, players may be permitted to log in from those jurisdictions as well.
(i) …The Internet and mobile gaming manager(s) shall immediately notify the Division upon detecting any person participating in Internet or mobile wagering who is:
1. Engaging in or attempting to engage in, or who is reasonably suspected of cheating, theft, embezzlement, collusion, money laundering, or any other illegal activities…
2. Required to be excluded…
3. Prohibited by the casino licensee from Internet wagering.
Unlawful activities will not be tolerated by online poker players in New Jersey. If a player is detected committing an unlawful activity (such as money laundering, identity fraud, etc.), the 24/7 monitoring system will inform the DGE and an appropriate investigation/criminal action will ensue.
(l) …terms and conditions for Internet or mobile gaming…
14. …The patron protection page shall contain, at a minimum, the following:
ix. Notification that underage gambling is a criminal offense and that anyone who facilitates someone under the age of 21 to gamble has committed a criminal offense and shall be prohibited from Internet gaming;
Anyone under the age of 21 may not play online poker in New Jersey. The penalty for underage gambling is a fine of $500-$1,000 and 6 month suspension of driver’s license (or 6 months suspension from issuance of a driver’s license).
13:69O-1.3 Internet or mobile gaming accounts (a) Prior to engaging in Internet or mobile gaming, a patron shall establish an Internet or mobile gaming account… A player must register a verified account in order to play online poker for real money.
(b) In order to establish an Internet or mobile gaming account, a casino licensee shall:
1. Create an electronic patron file, which shall include at a minimum:
i. Patron’s legal name;
ii. Patron’s date of birth;
iii. Entire or last four digits of the patron’s Social Security number…or equivalent for a foreign patron such as a passport or taxpayer identification number;
iv. Patron’s Internet and/or mobile account number;
v. Patron’s address;
vi. Patron’s electronic mail address;
vii. Patron’s telephone number;
viii. Any other information collected from the patron used to verify his or her identity
ix. The method used to verify the patron’s identity; and
x. Date of verification.
During registration, a player must provide their real name, date of birth (showing 21 years of age or older), Social Security Number, physical address, email, telephone number and documents to verify such information (i.e. utility bill, bank statement, etc.)

Is Online Poker Illegal in New Jersey?

Yes. Online poker is perfectly legal in New Jersey, so long as the operator is properly licensed and the player is 21+ and physically located within the state.

Is New Jersey working to expand its Online Poker Market?

Yes. The question of whether New Jersey would eventually enter into compacts with other US jurisdictions, or foreign jurisdictions, to share its online poker player pool has been circulating for many months now. On Monday, September 8, 2014, during a closed-door gambling meeting, it was revealed that Gov. Chris Christie has spoken with Nevada’s governor about doing just that. No formal negotiations have been mentioned, but it’s likely that New Jersey will enjoy shared liquidity with Nevada and Delaware, perhaps as soon as 2015.

Online Poker Players from New Jersey

There are hundreds of online poker players residing in the Garden State, many who have risen from the anonymous woodworks since New Jersey legalized online poker in 2013. Some of the more prominent names include Michael “Gags30” Gagliano, David “phatchoy888” / “phatdaddy” Cheng, Dave “doubledave22” / “johnsnow” D’Alesandro, Jake “schaf4206” Schafer, Steven “chipsjammed” Edwards, Tommy “ShankU4Chips” Schenck, Daniel “centrfieldr23” Lupo, and 2014 WSOP November Niner Will Tonking, aka “WillTonk21” / “amazin_mets”.

Land-Based Card Rooms in New Jersey

The Garden State limits its land-based gambling district to Atlantic City, thus the number of card rooms in New Jersey isn’t all that extensive; especially considering the number of casinos that shut down in 2014 alone. There are now just 8 casinos left, 7 of which offer live poker rooms.

Bally’s Atlantic City
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
Poker Room: Yes

The Borgata
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
Poker Room: Yes

Caesars Atlantic City
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
Poker Room: Yes

Golden Nugget Atlantic City
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
Poker Room: Yes

Harrah’s Atlantic City
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
Poker Room: Yes

Resorts Casino Hotel
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
Poker Room: No

Tropicana Casino & Resort Atlantic City
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
Poker Room: Yes

Trump Taj Mahal
Location: Atlantic City, NJ
Poker Room: Yes

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