How the Gambling Laws of New Jersey evolved over time?

How the Gambling Laws of New Jersey evolved over time?

The gambling laws of New Jersey has gone through significant changes, especially in recent years. Some of the laws caused subtle changes in the industry while others disrupted the industry up to the point which led to the closure of a massive casino operator named Ultimate Gaming. The gambling scene in the west has been surrounded by legislative changes for decades which has changed the business considerably over the years.

The state-approved its first state lottery in 1969 with the noble cause of funding education in the state. With the lottery money, New Jersey managed to build a few schools. The first casino by the name of the Resorts International Casino opened in the state in 1978. It is still open today and has is own online casino business. Following its opening, more than 16 operators started their operations in New Jersey, especially in Atlantic City.

How the Gambling Laws of New Jersey evolved over time?

Chris Christy, the governor of New Jersey rejected the bill to legalize online casino operators in the state in 2011. Two years after that, a new bill was successfully signed which legalised gambling operations. Soon, the first online casino website started to rise which offered online casino and poker games.


In the state of New Jersey gambling was restricted under two laws namely, The Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act (UIGEA and The Federal Wire Act). As of now, the state enjoys much more lenient laws compared to the past legislations. Raymond Lesniak introduced Senate, No. 3167 on January 1, 2010. It addressed possible solutions on how to legalise the gambling activities by introducing annual licensing to casino operators. Moreover, it stated that all the devices using these services need to reside in New Jersey strictly.

John Burzichelli decided to take a different approach to the solution and proposed a bill named Bill 2570 in March 2010. It proposed that anyone residing in New Jersey can access any type of gambling operations. Other details were similar to what Lesniak proposed in the previous bill. The new bill was not voted until 2011.

With a 29 to 5 margin, Lesniak’s bill was passed and was the first of its kind to be passed in the senate. However, it was yet to become the law as it needed to be signed by Chris Christy and has to be passed by the state’s assembly.


The bill which was proposed by Burzichelli was passed in New Jersey Assembly and moved on to the senate. Although the bill was highly appraised by a lot of people, after reaching Chris Christie, he rejected it. Some people still believe that he might have done that due to political reasons. On April 2011, online Poker was shut down in the US as directed by the US Department of Justice. On December, the Wire Act was changed which proposed that activities other than sports betting do not come under this legislation.


Chris Christie proposes that he wants to change the gambling scenes of New Jersey. Considering his initial concerns, Senator Lesniak introduced new bills in early 2012 named as Senate Bill S1565 and Assembly Bill A2579. Sadly, the bill failed to pass the New Jersey Senate. On December, the assembly finally passed the A2578 bill. It was passed on to the senate where it won by a margin of 33 to 3.

2013 – Now

The first casino operator, Caesars Entertainment gained access in New Jersey through the new gambling license. A press was released by The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement which stated that over 16 casinos have applied for the new licenses. Casino websites which were approved by NJDGE were legalized and approved officially. It also stated that over 100,000 people signed up for new accounts.

From 2017 onwards, Delaware, New Jersey and Nevada are sharing player pools for online Poker games.


Name: How the Gambling Laws of New Jersey evolved over time?
Author: Emma Ward
Published Date: 09/09/2019