Registering for an Online Casino in New Jersey
Whether you're a weekly regular at the Atlantic City casinos or you've never set foot in one before, you can enjoy all the casino action in on your smartphone, tablet, or computer through online casinos. While you might have poked around at a few websites, in order to actually play you must register - even if you're playing with free spins or no deposit bonus dollars.
Registering is a piece of cake, provided that you can meet the minimum criteria. In most cases, signing up for online casinos takes only a matter of minutes. Then the world of slots, table games, and live betting is at your fingertips.
What do online casinos need to know?
Casinos need to know who you are and where you are. This is to abide by federal and state laws, and it's also a good practice for the casinos and you as a player. Since they can't inspect your ID or be sure of your presence when you're not physically at the casino, they must enlist technology to assess your identity and location.
Who are you?
Before they invite you into their home and let you sit at their table, casinos understandably want to know who you are.
Online casinos will require to know your:
- Name (first and last)
- Date of Birth
- Physical address
- Email address (Most, but not all require this for a confirmation message and, if you opt-in, promotional material)
- Usually, the last 4 digits of your Social Security number (for identification purposes)
This information is safely encrypted and stored. You can read about that further below.
Where are you?
As you probably know, you have to be within the state of New Jersey in order to bet in legal casinos online. This is an important legal aspect of online gambling: no inter-state betting is currently allowed in the U.S. (This is the same reason people drive to a neighboring state to buy a ticket for the state lottery.)
Geolocation is the key here, and it applies to both GPS devices in smartphones and tablets or IP addresses used over WiFi or land-based servers. Casinos use geolocation technology to indicate where you are, and if you're able to bet at their casino. You have to be detectable by the geolocation device the entire time you're playing.
For apps on smartphones and tablets, casinos use the same GPS technology that other apps use to give recommendations for nearby restaurants or driving directions. If you're using a laptop or desktop, your internet access has an IP (Internet Protocol) address that lets the casino know of your approximate physical address. It's not necessarily precise enough to send you flowers, but close enough to tell whether you're in New Jersey or not.
You'll notice that you can register to join an online casino, browse the pages, and deposit or withdraw money while you're outside of the state. You just can place wagers if your device indicates that you aren't within state lines.
A word on VPNs
VPNs are Virtual Private Networks. They allow you to set up an IP address in a place where you are not physically located. You might be wondering, "Can I set up a VPN in New Jersey and play from another state?"
The answer is, yes...if you want to get barred from the casino for life. While casinos might not be able to trace a VPN back to your physical address, they are able to tell when you're using a VPN. Casinos will be fined heavily if they allow someone to place bets while they're not in the state, so they do not take kindly to a false representation of the location.
You will be barred from an online casino if caught using a VPN.
Will online casinos ask for my Social Security Number?
Online casinos need some means to confirm your identity. Often they'll ask for the last 4 digits of your Social Security Number when you sign up. The information is encrypted and stored safely, and won't be shared with other entities.
If you do not want to share the last 4 digits of your SSN, you might call the casino to register, register in person at their physical cage, or find another online casino. Each casino has different requirements for registering. If you're uncomfortable with one, see what else is out there.
Apps and Websites for Online Casinos
If you're not in a physical casino and you're playing online, you'll be accessing it through one or two platforms: a website or app. A platform is just the means you use to access the online casino.
Casino Apps for Smart Phones and Tablets
Casinos have been putting a lot of resources toward apps, and with good reason. More people are accessing the internet via smartphones and tablets than all other platforms combined. Apps can be downloaded from the App Store if you're using an iOS device (such as an iPhone or iPad).
If you're using an Android device, it's best to go to the casino's homepage and then follow their links. The Google Play store has not embraced online casino gaming and they don't offer great service. There has also been some concern about copycat apps in the Play Store, so it's best to go to the casino's homepage.
Apps do not always offer as many games as the websites, but the games they offer work great with the screen size and touch-screen capacities of smartphones and tablets. For many players, this interactivity gives the games more of a live casino feel (particularly for slots), which is a big win.
You must be able to be located by GPS signal in order to play with an app.
Many players prefer accessing the website via laptop or desktop. Through this platform, you'll be able to access all of the games (around 500 slots, if that's your passion) from your computer. Computers don't have GPS chips, so your IP address will indicate your location.
Legal online casino websites have https protocols, where the S stands for secure. This means that a website is a safe place for your online transactions.
Security Measures for Online Casinos in NJ
How safe is my data?
Online casinos take matters of security very seriously, and with good reason. First of all, if there were a security breach, it's not just your money that's in danger. It's the casino's money as well. So it is in both parties' interest that all data and funds remain secure.
That's why casinos make major investments in security software. You can find the specifics for your online casino's security information on their homepage, but all legal online casinos in New Jersey use double encryption software. This means that the data is encrypted both when you input it and when it is stored on their server.
This is the same process that banks use when you use online banking. Encryption is as safe as it gets, and legal online casinos are constantly updating their software to be sure it is as secure as possible.
Do I have to provide credit card information when I register?
No. In fact you are not ever obligated to give your credit card information (or even own a credit card) to gamble online.
Still, for most people depositing money with a credit or debit card is the preferred means of financial interaction. But even then, most casinos don't require your credit information when you register. In general, casinos offer a no deposit bonus of some amount of money when you register. They don't need your financial or credit information unless you are going to withdraw funds or make deposits.
Should I use public WiFi when playing online casino games?
You will find different answers from techies on this. The general concensus is that it is safest not to use public wifi, although reputable websites use advanced security measures to protect you. Rather than using public WiFi, why not just use the data from your mobile. If you've already downloaded the app, and particularly if you've played the game before, you'll be using very little data.
Be sure to close apps that you're not using as they may continue to use data (and draining your battery).
But what's more, public WiFi is not very reliable. You definitely don't want to be about to score a big win, then just have it vanish because you've lost your connection.
For web browsers, be sure that any websites you use have https. The S stands for secure, and means that the websibe has taken extra security measures to keep prowlers away from your data.