Gambling Laws For New Jersey

One doesn't need to do much research on New Jersey gambling laws if they live anywhere near Atlantic City because the signs are obvious...many different forms of gambling are not only permitted, but embraced! New Jersey has long been pro-gambling for many reasons including the generation of revenue from state-regulated establishments. In fact, New Jersey has gone as far to allow many forms of online gambling that allow anyone living in New Jersey, not just those in AC, to game from the comfort of their own home.

Even though New Jersey is fairly lax, there are things that residents and visitors need to know. Get ready as NewJerseyGamblingLaws.com is here to guide our readers through an in-depth look at the gambling laws in New Jersey that affect the ability to gamble legally within the Garden State's borders. No matter what your favored type of wagering is, it’s always best to be as educated as possible on the subject; this site will help you get ready. Let's get started:

Legality of Gambling in New Jersey - Is it Safe To Do?


When looking for a word on gambling, one needs to head to section 2A of New Jersey legislation, chapter 40-1. In accordance with the law, gambling is essentially defined as the placing of a bet or wager on the outcome of any events or games of skill and chance and this section of New Jersey law declares that gambling is “unlawful.”

There are certain exceptions written throughout state law, but that doesn’t really matter. The reason is because the definition of the term “unlawful” is not necessarily as cut and dry as it sounds. Unlawful merely means the act is not expressly allowed in accordance with the law, however, it is not a criminalized act. New Jersey carries no legal penalties for the simple act of gambling, and therefore it will not be prosecuted.

When one is speaking “legal-ese,” terms like this are important to pick up on. While New Jersey does not sanction gambling outside of state licensed facilities, the average resident of New Jersey runs no legal risk of any legal issues for the mere act of gambling.

This is not to say that there are no gambling-related offenses in the state of New Jersey. Players in the Garden State need to be extremely careful to avoid what would be considered the “promotion” of gambling, because this carries some steep penalties.

Depending on the severity of the offense, section 2C, chapter 37-2 subsection b says that anyone found guilty of this crime could be punished with a fine ranging from $25,000 to $35,000 and anywhere from 18 months to five years prison time. Whatever a prospective gambler in New Jersey does, they must avoid the “promotion” of gambling in violation of New Jersey gambling laws!

Difference Between Gambling & Promoting Gambling

Poker Chip

If a New Jersey resident wants to avoid this black spot on their legal record, it’s actually a simple distinction between the two actions. One who places a bet or wager on a sports event or the outcome of a game of chance or skill is gambling, the one who takes that bet is promoting gambling.

This means that while the law will not punish you for merely gambling no matter where a prospective bettor attempts to do it, the person or persons processing that bet and paying the bettor out may be facing a hefty criminal charge.

The clause of “gambling promotion” is often coupled with the qualification of profiting from gambling. To be clear, this does not mean participating in a gambling event and earning money in a manner in which the odds were even for every other player sitting at the table, but rather when an offender puts themselves in a position to profit from gambling without placing a bet or wager themselves. This exempts home poker games amongst friends from being prosecutable offenses so long as the host of the game avoids collecting profits simply for hosting.

Popular methods of profiting from gambling promotion include charging an admission for the privilege to play, collecting a small percentage of every pot as a profit to the house, and especially if an offender is caught operating a sportsbook for the purpose of collecting bets.

Just so long as an average New Jersey resident remains a player and does not enter into the business aspect of gambling without explicit state permission, they will avoid all prosecution related to criminal gambling offenses.

Betting Laws In New Jersey

New Jersey Sports Betting Laws

The Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which passed through the federal courts in 1992, outlawed the facilitation of sports betting in all but four states. Unfortunately, one of these states is not New Jersey. Although New Jersey has been involved in a long, public legal battle beginning shortly after the law was passed and carrying over to the present to get their casinos exempt from the law so that New Jersey may offer land based sports books, they have been unsuccessful up to this point, but the fight continues.

While the act of betting on sports in New Jersey is still considered “unlawful,” there are no explicit criminal offenses for merely participating in sports betting. Still, it is advisable for New Jersey residents to practice extreme prejudice when choosing an outlet through which to bet on sports.

New Jersey Casino Laws

New Jersey is home to many state sanctioned casinos, and since Governor Chris Christie expanded the Casino Control Act to help make achieving a state license easier, they have grown even more. It is not “unlawful” for New Jersey residents to visit these facilities, in fact, with the hefty state taxes associated with gambling, the New Jersey legislation flat out approves of their residents visiting the many casinos in Atlantic City.

Still, even if a gambler wants to participate in any casino games outside state sanctioned facilities, especially over the internet, while this act is not specifically sanctioned by state law, there are no criminal charges attached to it.

New Jersey Poker Laws

Just like casinos in New Jersey, there are many state sanctioned facilities in which one may play poker. Every casino in New Jersey should have several poker rooms and tables going at any given time, meaning that any prospective players in New Jersey should have ample opportunities.

Home games, be they in person amongst friends or over the internet are a viable option as well. Even though they are technically considered “unlawful,” there are no criminal offenses associated with participating in these games.

Legal Gambling Age In New Jersey

Remember that New Jersey gambling laws imply while gambling is not expressly allowed by state law in all circumstances, it is not considered a criminal act. However, a good way to throw all this goodwill out the window is to be found guilty of gambling underage. The legal gambling age in New Jersey is 21, and we can’t recommend waiting until a prospective gambler is over that age to begin gambling strongly enough. Gambling is already one of the most legally ambiguous and confusing hobbies around, violating this regulation will only make things worse.

Guilty parties will usually face steep fines and even time in jail, and definitely community service. Not many folks look good in neon orange on the side of the road, so it’s not advisable for anyone to give it a try.













Where to Gamble in New Jersey


When looking for gambling outlets in New Jersey, Atlantic City is the obvious choice. While the New Jersey boardwalk is the most popular place associated with legal gambling in the entire region, there are state sanctioned casinos and federally exempt tribal casinos located all throughout the state. All variants of slot machines, table games, and poker should be available for wagering at any of these locations. However, sports betting will not be available until New Jersey is finally successful in its fight against the PASPA.

Still, these casinos can be a hefty hike to make regularly, and not everyone will want to spend a significant amount of time in these labyrinths designed to keep people trapped inside. Fortunately, there are options for those who wish to gamble more frequently from the comfort of their own home.


While the State of New Jersey does not sanction online gambling specifically, leading to it being considered “unlawful,” there are no criminal punishments associated with gambling online. The only concern is finding a gambling website that is able to operate legally without any threat of getting shut down by Federal or state governments.

The easiest way to go about doing this is to gamble with a website that was established and is maintained in a foreign territory. Since these websites are able to operate legally and we know that New Jersey residents are able to gamble online free from worry of legal prosecution, this is a completely viable pastime for those who wish to gamble in New Jersey without having to deal with a loud casino.

The online gambling hubs listed on NewJerseyGamblingLaws.com are all certified by reputable international agencies. This means that there is certified fair play at all of these websites and that payouts will be processed both quickly and reliably.

Best Legal Gambling Site For New Jersey Residents

BetOnline Sportsbook

RATED:5 Star Review

Voted #1 In New Jersey For Several Consecutive Years

One of the best sites going for New Jersey residents right now is BetOnline. Whether you want to play poker, bet on any popular sports or play casino games with live dealers via webcam, BetOnline has you covered. As a member of this fantastic legal gambling site for New Jersey residents, you will be given access to some of the most lightning fast servers in the business, meaning that you can make bets, play your games, even request payouts all at the speed of light. BetOnline is all the convenience of online gambling with the perks of gambling in a den down the street built right in.

The best facet of this online gambling network is the access their members have to cutting edge technology. BetOnline’s top notch mobile app is unparalleled in the industry, meaning that you can play poker, casino games, bet on sports or even manage your account from anywhere in the world. When you BetOnline, you can always be online, and always win big.

Accepts Crypto
Large game Selection
Poker Rooms

Other Recommended New Jersey Betting Sites

User Rating Average
Live Dealer Casino
Lifetime Bonuses
Skill Based Games
User Rating Average
Smartphone Friendly
Weekly Poker Promos
In-Game Live Betting
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18+ Years Accepted
Friendly Wager Rules
High Betting Limits

Finding More Help:


We here at NewJerseyGamblingLaws.com are not lawyers, just gamblers who are passionate about out hobby. While we are confident the information presented here on this page is accurate, it cannot be a considered a legal consultation. If you have any further questions related to gambling legislation in New Jersey, we recommend you view New Jersey legal code for gambling at www.njleg.state.nj.us, or any other resource with a complete list of all the New Jersey gambling laws.