Is Poker legal in New Jersey (nj)? Online Poker Laws in New Jersey Explained

New Jersey Poker

New Jersey New Jersey

  • Live Poker is allowed
  • Live Poker is legal since 1977
  • New Jersey Casino Control Act

Yes, live poker and online poker are regulated and legal in New Jersey.

Home to Atlantic City, New Jersey had its first casino open up in 1978. Online poker was later to the game and was legalized in New Jersey in 2013 after poker's Black Friday two years prior.

Yes, online poker is legal in New Jersey. You can play online poker in New Jersey through several regulated and legal poker sites. New Jersey legalized online poker in 2013 after Black Friday, and casinos quickly applied for licenses.

Can I Play Online Poker in New Jersey?

Yes, you can play online poker in New Jersey as it is legal as of 2013, and there are many active online poker sites.

While online gambling continues to grow in NJ, revenue from online poker has largely leveled off over recent years and has even been on a downswing. Recent monthly revenue reports show online poker only accounts for 5-6% of the overall online gambling revenue total, at less than $2 million per month.

Can I Play Live Poker in New Jersey?

After reaching a revenue peak in 2006, the famed "Boardwalk" declined in subsequent years, though it has revived recently. Currently, nine casinos operate in Atlantic City, but legislative efforts to allow casinos elsewhere in the state have thus far failed to advance.

Most forms of gambling have been allowed in New Jersey casinos, with sports betting having been added as well in 2018. The state also has horse racing and off-track betting and was one of the first states to have a lottery (starting in 1969).

How Old Must You Be to Play Poker in New Jersey?

21 is the legal age to play poker in New Jersey, both online and live, the same age as in other US states.

The New Jersey Casino Control Act states that a conviction for underage gambling will result in a fine of between $500 and $1,000 and a six-month license suspension.

The Complete History of Poker in New Jersey

Gambling Legalized in New Jersey (1977) - New Jersey citizens approved the New Jersey Casino Control Act in 1976 and the law to effect the following year.

First Atlantic City Casino Opens (1978) - A year after the New Jersey Casino Control Act, the first Atlantic Casino opened its doors.

US Government Shuts Down Online Poker (April 2011) - 2011's Black Friday effectively shut down online poker in the US as players had their funds seized by the US Department of Justice.

Online Poker Legalized in New Jersey (October 2013) - In 2013, New Jersey lawmakers passed Assembly Bill 2578, which legalized internet gambling in the state. Gov. Chris Christie signed the bill and took effect in October 2013.

First Online Poker Sites Go Live (November 2013) - After some casinos applied for and received licenses, the first online poker sites went live in the state.

Shared Liquidity for Online Poker (May 2018) - Since May 2018, shared liquidity has meant players in the New Jersey network have been able to play against players in Delaware and Nevada.

Sports Betting Reaches New Jersey (May 2018) - The US Supreme Court struck down a federal law prohibiting sports betting, and New Jersey lawmakers quickly moved to legalize sports betting in the state.

Shared Liquidity with Michigan (January 2023) - On January 1, 2023, PokerStars became the first online site to join their New Jersey player pool with that of Michigan.

When Was Poker Banned in New Jersey?

After Nevada had been the only state in the U.S. to offer legal gambling for more than four decades, New Jersey passed legislation to allow casinos in Atlantic City in the mid-1970s, with the first casino opening in 1978.

Black Friday in 2011 shut down online poker across the US. Two years later, state lawmakers moved to legalize online poker by passing Assembly Bill 2578, which also legalized other forms of online gambling and opened the door for online casinos.

In early 2013, New Jersey followed Delaware and Nevada to become the third state to legalize online gambling, including poker. Soon after, all of the brick-and-mortar casinos applied for licenses, and by November 2013, the first online gambling sites launched.

By mid-2017, the state surpassed the $100 million mark in online revenue. By early 2019, the total online revenue began to exceed $30M monthly, accounting for nearly 15% of the overall gambling revenue realized by Atlantic City casinos.

Current New Jersey Gambling Laws

The most recent change to New Jersey gambling laws came in 2018 after the US Supreme Court ruled in favor of New Jersey in Murphy v. NCAA to strike down a federal law prohibiting sports betting.

After the Supreme Court ruling, New Jersey lawmakers quickly passed Assembly Bill 4111 to have New Jersey enter the sports betting market.

Online poker remains legal in New Jersey, and there are several regulated sites where players can get in on tournament and cash game action.

Want to find out about the online poker landscape in the US? Here are all other the other states you can play legal and regulated online poker:

The Best Online Poker Sites in New Jersey

Currently, seven different online poker sites are in operation in New Jersey, the most of any state. All are licensed through NJ casinos. For the best poker bonus offers in New Jersey, check out PokerNews' dedicated guide on it, or keep reading to learn a bit more about each site in The Garden State. NJ and 888 US are on a network licensed through Harrah’s. BorgataPoker, PartyPoker NJ, and BetMGM Poker also share a network and are all licensed through Borgata. Since May 2018, shared liquidity has meant players on the NJ network can play against those playing on in Delaware and Nevada, thanks to combined player pools.

PokerStars NJ launched in March 2016 and is licensed through Resorts Casino Hotel. PalaPoker, which launched in July 2017, is the most recent entry in the state, operating on its own with its licensing through the Borgata.

Traffic-wise, the WSOP/888 US network is currently the most popular, particularly during special events such as the occasional WSOP Circuit “stops.” Players can satellite into WSOP events as well on the site. WSOP/888 offers deposit bonuses, a rewards program, a wide variety of cash games, Sit & Go's, and multi-table tournaments (including many with guaranteed prize pools.)

PokerStars NJ enjoyed the largest market share when it first launched, although currently, the site ranks second behind the WSOP/888 network. PokerStars NJ offers deposit bonuses and a variety of game options featuring the same software used by the global site. Thus unlike WSOP/888, which only provides hold’em and Omaha, one can find all the different stud and draw variants, mixed games, and more on PokerStars NJ, which shares a merged player pool with players from Michigan.

The PartyPoker NJ network (Borgata, PartyPoker NJ, and BetMGM) is currently third in traffic. The site does offer a no-deposit bonus and runs occasional tournament series, such as the Garden State Super Series. However, it only provides no-limit hold’em and pot-limit Omaha.

Meanwhile, since its launch, Pala Poker has seen very little traffic, though it offers various games and formats.

The Best-Licensed Poker Rooms in New Jersey

Home to Atlantic City, New Jersey has many of the country's biggest and most famous casinos. Whether looking for poker, table games, or slots, Atlantic City is one of your best bets.

There are currently three poker rooms in Atlantic City:

  • Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa
  • Harrah's Atlantic City
  • Tropicana Casino

Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa has plenty of No-Limit Hold'em cash games running at stakes ranging from $1/$3 to $5/$10 and also plenty of mixed game action. The same is true of Harrah's Atlantic City and Tropicana Casino, both of which have cash games running around the clock.

In addition to cash games, Harrah's runs daily tournaments with buy-ins ranging from $150 to $1,500, giving players a chance to leave Atlantic City with a big tournament score.

Outside of Atlantic City, the best option for poker players in New Jersey is to travel across the border to Delaware or Eastern Pennsylvania, which are home to the likes of Delaware Park, Harrington Raceway & Casino, Live! Casino Philadelphia and Parx Casino.

Free Online Games in New Jersey

If you're looking to try your hand at one of New Jersey’s free online games before you're ready to play for real money, you can! Check out our comprehensive list of tried-and-true free games to scratch your poker and gaming urge.

And, as the name would suggest, the best thing is these games are completely free to play! Click below to visit one of PokerNews's most trusted social gaming sites.

Poker in New Jersey FAQs

Why was poker banned in New Jersey?

Like in the rest of the US, online poker in New Jersey was shut down in 2011 when the US Department of Justice seized player funds and shut down online sites.

Why was poker legalized in New Jersey?

In the wake of Black Friday, New Jersey lawmakers quickly moved to legalize online poker and other forms of online gambling.

Can you open a poker room in New Jersey?

All poker rooms in New Jersey must be licensed through the Casino Control Commission, and all online poker rooms are licensed through casinos.

Is PokerStars legal in New Jersey?

Yes, PokerStars is fully legal and regulated in New Jersey and one of a handful of online poker options in the state. Not only that, players enjoy a combined player pool with players from Michigan.

Is PartyPoker legal in New Jersey?

Yes, PartyPoker has been part of the New Jersey market since 2013 and offers cash games and tournaments.

Is 888poker legal in New Jersey?

Yes, 888poker is one of the most trusted and safe online poker rooms to play on in New Jersey

Is Borgata Online Poker legal in New Jersey?

Yes, the Borgata online poker room is legal in New Jersey.

Is BetMGM Poker legal in New Jersey?

Yes, BetMGM Poker is legal in New Jersey.

Is legal in New Jersey?

Yes, residents based in New Jersey can play on for real-money poker games.

Is GGPoker legal in New Jersey?

GGPoker has yet to enter the US market but is expected to do so soon.

What are the best legal websites to play poker in New Jersey?

There are several secure and regulated online poker sites in New Jersey, with the biggest including PokerStars, PartyPoker, and BetMGM.

What are the best poker rooms/casinos to play poker in New Jersey?

Atlantic City is home to some of the most famous casinos in the US, including Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa, Harrah's Atlantic City, and Tropicana Casino.

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Senior Content Manager

A former professional poker player with a background in sports marketing and journalism. Yori has been a part of PokerNews since 2016 and manages the content team.

Where is poker legal in the US? Which States can I play online poker in?

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