Online Poker Guide - New Jersey
Is online poker legal in New Jersey?
Online poker sites started popping up in the Garden State recently, due to changes in legislation involving online gambling. Legal online poker does exist in New Jersey and we can show you just how to find the best online poker sites for US players who are playing within New Jersey state lines.
Online gambling players are enthusiastic about the recent laws allowing regulated online gambling in New Jersey and most of all, players want to know where to find regulated, legal online poker.
Overview of legal online poker
Gamblers can now play legal online poker in several states including:
- New Jersey
The Federal Wire Act - also known as the Interstate Wire Act of 1961 - limited online gambling in the past by preventing betting companies from transmitting information via wire communication. This law was passed originally to target organized crime through interstate gambling. However, at the time of its birth, online gambling did not exist.
Today, the internet relies on interstate wire communication to function, therefore this law had some jurisdiction over online gambling.
In 2006, The US Department of Justice (DOJ) went even further and passed the Unlawful Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA), which restricted banks from processing transactions from online gambling operators outside of the US. This law effectively pushed out major online gambling companies through threats of money laundering and illegal gambling charges. Many of the best online poker sites for US players were pushed out of the country because of this legislation - including PokerStars, a prominent name in the industry.
Later the DOJ released a re-modification of the Federal Wire Act, hence stating that interstate transmission of wire communication which had no relation to sports betting, would not pertain to this law. This new version of the Federal Wire Act, passed in 2011, excluded online poker from its limitations, therefore making it possible for states to pass their own legislation regarding the activity.
Online poker makes a comeback
Online poker sites successfully found ways to weave around the complicated roadblocks dealt out by the UIGEA. Once the new Federal Wire Act passed in 2011, several states moved forward with online poker legislation. It is now legal in these states to participate in regulated, legal online poker. Three states even signed agreements to work together, sharing online gambling pools.
In order to move forward with legal online poker, states were required to come up with new legislation. Delaware came first with the Delaware Gaming Competitiveness Act. This was passed in 2012, allowing for the legalization of online casino games, including online poker.
Nevada took the next step in 2013, authorizing online poker licenses. The first regulated, legal online poker site in the US was launched that same year in Nevada.
New Jersey legalized online gambling soon after, authorizing its land-based Atlantic City casinos to operate online poker sites under their licenses.
In 2017, Pennsylvania took the reigns and began its process of regulatory matter in order to become the fourth state legalizing online poker.
Online gamblers can now participate in legal online poker in several US states.
How to find the best online poker sites for US players in New Jersey
Legal online poker has seen a jump in popularity since its legalization in the US. With more competition comes higher quality. Right now online poker players have can find the best online poker sites for US players right here in New Jersey.
There are currently seven legal online poker sites in New Jersey operating under four NJ poker networks. These poker sites are licensed through Atlantic City’s land-based casino licenses. These state-regulated online poker sites do not require players to be residents of New Jersey, however, one must be present within state lines in order to legally play.
Online poker rooms in the state on New Jersey include:
- Pala Poker
- PlayMGM Poker
Borgata operates PartyPoker, PlayMGM, and Borgata. Pala Poker also operates under Borgata however the two do not share liquidity, as Pala Poker operates as a standalone site.
Harrahs holds the license for WSOP.com and 888Poker.
PokerStars holds a partnership with Resorts AC.
Online poker sites noticed a drop in online gambling traffic once PokerStars entered the market. As a result, online poker players have noticed better promotions, more poker events and an increase in game quality and options.
Best online poker sites
PokerStars has an interesting history in the US iGaming market. In 2012, the company was charged a $731 million fee for violating the UIGEA. PokerStars was eager however to re-enter the online gambling market in America and step into New Jersey - despite competitors’ strong efforts at keeping the company away from their market. PokerStars pushed against competitors and battled lawsuits for a long time until they finally announced a $10 million plan with Resorts AC. Resorts would launch a PokerStars-branded poker room on their casino floor.
Since the launch of PokerStars in New Jersey, Resorts AC has hosted poker events like the PokerStars festival, bringing tons of players to the tables. There are popular online tournaments as well including the well-known PokerStars NJCOOP. Taking it a step further, PokerStars even sponsors some of the US poker pros who stream online constantly.
WSOP / 888Poker
This poker room is one of the most recognized brands. The World Series of Poker (WSOP NJ) launched in 2013 and since has been one of New Jersey’s best online poker sites. WSOP.com partnered with 888poker in 2015 to create the current network, which is operated by Caesars.
After Gov. Chris Christie signed an agreement with Nevada and Delaware to enter New Jersey into the Multi-State Gaming Alliance, the network began pooling with other states. Soon the site became America’s largest legal online poker site.
Party Poker / Borgata
These sites operate from the same online poker network under Borgata’s well-known Atlantic City casino. With high-quality software provided by Bwin.party, the platform is a safe and reliable place for players to participate in legal online poker games.
This online poker network still as some distance to cover before it can catch up to its NJ online poker competition. The saturated legal online poker market is a tough place to be for online poker sites.
A partnership with Pala Interactive and Borgata Casino AC took place in 2014, led to an online casino (?) and later, online poker. The site remained separate from Borgata’s online poker site, operating on a proprietary platform.
This site launched under Borgata’s casino license in 2017 with software provided by well-known iGaming provider GVC. PlayMGM Poker caters to about a third of New Jersey’s online poker traffic, sharing tournaments, games, bonuses, and rewards with other sites on this network.