New Jersey Casinos and Gambling

New Jersey is the second most popular destination for gamblers in the United States, and it has a long tradition for offering games of chance and other betting options. The lottery was offered in the 17th century to help pay for military forces during the American Revolution, and the state also boasts the oldest raceway in America. The industry took another leap forward in 1976 when voters approved the construction of casinos within the boundaries of Atlantic City.

If you’re planning a trip to Atlantic City, it helps to know which gambling options are available to you. That’s what we’ll be dealing with in this article, from basic items like the state lottery to more complicated issues such as the state’s policy on sports gambling. By the time you’ve finished reading, you should have a firm grasp on what is and isn’t allowable from a legal standpoint.

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New Jersey Casinos

There are no tribal gaming facilities in New Jersey, but the state currently has nine commercial casinos in the resort city of Atlantic City with the 10th due to open at the end of June 2018. The economy of the state’s gaming industry has fallen on hard times in recent years, with the Atlantic Club, Revel, and Trump Plaza casinos all closing in 2014. The state is making efforts to bounce back, however, and it’s possible that new gaming sites will begin construction in the near future.

As of this writing, the following New Jersey casinos are in operation:

  • Bally’s – Poker and baccarat rooms are available, as well as several thousand slots and hundreds of table games.
  • Borgata – Opened in 2003, this casino has the largest poker room in the state.
  • Caesars – One of the largest casinos in Atlantic City, it opened in 1979 and has over 3,400 slot machines.
  • Golden Nugget – Opened in 1985, this facility has over 74,000 square feet of total gaming space.
  • Harrah’s – Opened in 1980, this casino has over 2,700 slots, 139 table games, and 40 poker tables.
  • Resorts – The oldest New Jersey casino in operation, it opened in May 1978.
  • Tropicana – Opened in 1981, this casino has more than 3,000 slots and 135 table games.
  • Trump Taj Mahal – Opened in 1990, this casino has one of the largest poker rooms in the state.
  • Wild Wild West – This casino with an Old West theme opened in 1997. While it’s technically part of Bally’s, customers routinely consider it to be an individual gaming establishment.

Pari-Mutuel Betting in New Jersey

Greyhound racing isn’t legal in the state, but fans of pari-mutuel betting can still place wagers on thoroughbred and harness racing. These events take place during certain months of the year, and there are currently three racetracks where they can be viewed.

  • Freehold Raceway – Located in the town of Freehold in the center of the state, this track has been providing races since 1853. Standardbred harness races take place from August to May for both trotters and pacers. This is the oldest racing facility in the United States.
  • Monmouth Park – This Jersey Shore facility offers thoroughbred racing from May to October. Dining facilities, miniature golf, and gift shops are also available. The park has been in operation since 1870.
  • The Meadowlands – Fans of live thoroughbred racing can come out in October to East Rutherford’s Meadowlands Sports Complex. Harness racing is also held at the facility from January through August, and then again on certain dates in November and December. Throughout the region, this track is popularly known as “The Big M.”

The tracks listed above also feature off-track betting, where gamblers can lounge around and place wagers on various sporting events and races being shown live from other parts of the nation. Other OTB locations include:

  • Favorites at Woodbridge
  • Favorites at Gloucester
  • Favorites at Toms River
  • Favorites at Vineland
  • Winners Bayonne

Online Gambling in New Jersey

In the majority of the United State, online gambling is either illegal or falls into a grey area. Of course, residents can usually use the Internet for gambling anyway, as enforcing such laws is difficult for the authorities. The biggest drawback for players is the effect it has on the marketplace, as restrictions often result in leading gambling websites refusing to accept customer from the U.S.

New Jersey residents have more options than most, as the state made online gambling legal in 2013. As long as a player is in the borders of the state, licensed online sites can offer their gaming services without being in violation of the law. In order to become licensed, gaming services must pass a stringent background check and pay a rather large annual licensing fee.

The following Internet gaming sites are currently approved for around-the-clock operation within the state of New Jersey:

State Lottery in New Jersey

The New Jersey lottery was formed in 1969, and it’s still available to anyone within the state. Both lotto-style drawings and scratch-off tickets are sold, and players must be at least 18 years of age in order to make a purchase. In addition to local games, the state is also able to offer multi-jurisdictional games such as Mega Millions and Powerball.

New Jersey Sports Betting

In 2012, legislation was signed that allowed for legal sports betting in New Jersey. Soon afterward, a federal lawsuit was filed against the state by the NCAA, NBA, NFL, NHL, and MLB is order to prevent the practice. A judge found in favor of the plaintiffs and barred New Jersey from offering sports gambling, although the case is still being appealed. As of this writing, however, you can’t legally wager on sports within the state.


Outside of Las Vegas, the state of New Jersey is the premier destination for gamblers in the United States. Atlantic City has a solid selection of casinos to choose from, and the state’s three racetracks are all within a convenient distance. The legalization of online gambling also makes several leading gaming sites available that have otherwise abandoned the U.S. market, and the state lottery is always a decent option if you need a quick gambling fix.