Legal New Jersey Sports Betting

Legal New Jersey Sports BettingThe topic of legal New Jersey sports betting finally forced its way through to the mainstream, as the state successfully challenged the restrictive Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA, 1992) all the way to the Supreme Court, coming out on top in the end. On May 14, 2018, the SCOTUS overturned PASPA as unconstitutional, thereby allowing New Jersey – and all other states in America – to legalize and regulate their own sports betting industries. With the thriving Atlantic City gaming market and several historic racetracks throughout the state, the industry for legal sports betting in NJ has the potential to overshadow that of Nevada.

Despite PASPA’s overturn, to better understand legal sports betting in New Jersey, it can be helpful to learn about certain other federal and state laws. Becoming familiar with the current state of legal New Jersey sports betting will give you a clearer picture of how and where you can bet on sports. Yes, it’s easier than ever to wager on athletics in NJ, but there’s still some background that all responsible gamblers should be aware of.

Is Land Based Sports Betting Legal In New Jersey?

Land-based sports betting is finally legal in New Jersey! While PASPA was still in effect, the only states granted exemption were those that had sports betting laws in place before the federal law was made effective on January 1, 1993. Nevada, Delaware, Oregon, and Montana were the only states grandfathered into the law, though NV was the only state with single-game wagering (aka full-service sports betting).

Ironically, the one-year grace period from the time PASPA was signed (October 28th, 1992) to its effective date was specifically meant to allow the state of NJ to enact their own sports betting laws. However, lawmakers inexplicably failed to pass any sports betting laws during the window, which resulted in the state falling under the umbrella of the federal ban. Over the ensuing 25 years, NJ legislators have worked vehemently to get the prohibition lifted. Now that they have done just that, you can enjoy land-based, legal New Jersey sports betting all across Atlantic City and throughout the rest of the state. State-based online sports betting is also an option in New Jersey, and the sky’s the limit for how far the industry can continue to go.

Is Online Sports Betting Legal In New Jersey?

Internet gambling has been legal in the state for years, but online sports betting has only recently been made legal in New Jersey. Policymakers had pushed for legal New Jersey sports betting sites that would be regulated by the state long before PASPA was eliminated, and with the federal ban no longer standing in the way, NJ residents can wager at any number of casino-affiliated online sportsbooks. The catch is that to set up an account, online bettors in NJ must actually go to those books’ associated casinos to register. However, withdrawals may be requested via mail, so at least some measure of extra convenience is in place in that regard.

All that being said, it is important to note that despite the proliferation of local online options (and an obvious state interest in promoting those options), there has been no legislation enacted or even suggested that would make using offshore sportsbooks against the law. This is a good thing, as such offshore books are often superior to in-state options, particularly when it comes to action on local teams (as there is no home-team skew on the betting boards, driving up the vig, or house take, to compensate). Additionally, these overseas sites are licensed and operated by local gaming authorities in their own home countries, and each operator is authorized to accept players from the USA.

New Jersey Sports Betting Revenue

New Jersey is in a league of its own (excluding Nevada) when it comes to the sheer volume of sports wagering. While some states are just breaking even or failing to live up to sports betting revenue expectations, New Jersey has seen their handle surpass $1 billion since the start of 2019, with roughly 80% of it coming from online sports betting. Meadowlands and Resorts Casino (through their online skins) are responsible for three-quarters of all revenue since the industry launched in June 2018. Add in Monmouth Park and Ocean Resorts and these four sportsbooks account for over 90% of the total tax contributions.

Where To Bet On Sports In New Jersey

The better question is, “Where can’t you bet on sports in New Jersey?” Now that the activity has been legalized, you can wager on sports in NJ at any number of physical locations, including all of the casinos on the Atlantic City strip, The Meadowlands, and Monmouth Park. You can also wager on sports via any number of local Internet-based books no matter where you are in the state, and of course, the offshore option is always right at your fingertips anywhere you have a data or Wi-Fi connection.

The only venue in New Jersey that doesn’t offer sports wagering (yet) is the Freehold Raceway, though site officials are working hard to bring sports betting to the historic venue ASAP.

Where’s The Closest Place To Me To Bet?

Finding the closest place to bet in New Jersey is simple no matter where you reside within the state: Atlantic City and the pair of more centrally-located racetracks in NJ (The Meadowlands in East Rutherford and Monmouth Park in Oceanport). Please note: If you also wish to enjoy casino gaming along with your sports betting, casino action is limited to the AC strip area, which means all you have to do is select your casino and drive into the city.

All of the casinos in AC have plenty of table games for players to choose from, but the real highlight lately has been the many different, competing sportsbooks that these sites offer. Plus, with 10 casinos on the AC strip (and with most of them offering online sports betting components), New Jersey is one of the easiest places to shop lines among actual physical venues, giving you a decided sports betting edge that you can only otherwise find at legal offshore sports betting sites.

Atlantic City New Jersey Sportsbooks
Freehold New Jersey Sportsbooks
Meadowlands New Jersey Sportsbooks
Oceanport New Jersey Sportsbooks

New Jersey Cities With Sports Betting:

  • Atlantic City
  • East Rutherford
  • Oceanport

New Jersey Sports Betting Revenues For March 2019:

Though the fledgling New Jersey sportsbooks took a bit of a bath during the Super Bowl in January (which, ironically, is the direct opposite of “cleaning up”), the ship has since been righted – and then some! On the heels of March Madness (the second-most-popular sports wagering event on the US calendar), NJ sportsbooks took in a total monthly handle of $372,451,342. This eclipses February’s record handle by over $52 million. Obviously, sports betting in NJ is hugely popular, and it’s only picking up steam. 

In terms of revenue, March’s numbers include $31.7 million in total take across all 10 retail sportsbooks and 13 online sportsbooks that operate in the state. Collectively, NJ sportsbooks held 8.5% of all wagers, which is above the average 6-7% rate achieved by most books in most regions. The biggest individual winner for the month was FanDuel, which operates The Meadowlands’ sportsbook on-site and online. FanDuel took in roughly $17.5 million of the total sports betting revenue in the state, while its competitor DraftKings came in second with just over $7.3 million in profits. These two books control 78% of the New Jersey sports betting market. 

Broken down by mobile vs. retail, the numbers show exactly how important statewide Internet-based wagering is to states that wish to legalize sports wagering. In New Jersey, three weeks of March Madness action led to massive standing-room-only crowds at physical sportsbooks throughout the state, which were pushed beyond capacity for much of the month. Still, $298,282,154 was wagered online by patrons who couldn’t make it to a proper betting venue. This is fully 80% of all wagers placed in the state. In other words, at maximum capacity during a popular tournament, local books only processed 20% of all wagers made by NJ residents. For any state that wishes to maximize its sports wagering tax revenue, New Jersey is Exhibit A in why mobile needs to be an absolute priority.  

New Jersey Sports Betting Sites

There are two kinds of New Jersey sports betting sites: those that are and are not regulated by the state government. The state-regulated sites require you to sing up on-site, but after that, you can wager from anywhere in the state. However, you must still physically be located within New Jersey’s borders, and the Interstate Wire Act remains in effect.

The other kind of NJ sports betting sites are the offshore options. These sites are operated offshore in locations such as Costa Rica where online sports betting has been permitted for decades. Such sites offer betting lines on all of your favorite sports, ensuring that you can bet on the New Jersey Devils and other teams. The action is the same that you would find in a Vegas sportsbook, with the best odds and betting options like moneylines, totals, point spreads, and parlays. Even better, you are not geo-fenced at these books, and you can also wager on NJ college athletics, which is not allowed at state-sanctioned sites.

Joining an overseas sports betting site in NJ is simple to do: Just find a sportsbook that suits your needs and sign up. It’s that simple. Accounts take less than 5 minutes to create, and membership is always free. There are numerous online sportsbooks that take residents from NJ and all over the US, and all the top brands are 100% safe, secure, and legal to use.

New Jersey Sports Betting And Gambling Laws

New Jersey sports betting and gambling laws have become a national talking point and hot-button political issue over the last several years in the push to establish legal New Jersey sports betting. Initially, all gambling was legal in the state, but in 1894, all gambling was banned. In 1939, horse racing betting (pari-mutuel betting) was re-legalized, and shortly thereafter, most charitable gaming (bingo, pull-tabs, raffles) was also approved.

The state lottery was legalized in 1970 with wide public support, and in 1975, NJ made history by introducing the Pick-It, which was the first lottery system in America that allowed players to choose their own numbers. In 1976, New Jersey voters approved a referendum allowing casino gaming to be made legal in the state, provided all of the venues would be located in Atlantic City.

In 2011, online casino gaming launched in New Jersey, and one year later, then-governor Chris Christie signed voter-approved legislation legalizing sports betting in the state. The legal challenges by various sports leagues (including the NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, and NCAA) dragged on for a further six years, leading to the watershed SCOTUS ruling declaring PASPA unconstitutional and null and void.

More recently, Assembly Bill 4111 was passed and signed into law, refining the legal structure and regulatory standards of New Jersey’s new sports betting industry. The law sets the minimum age to wager on sports at 21, makes it unlawful to wager on NCAA contests held within the state of NJ, makes it unlawful to wager on NJ collegiate teams regardless of where they play, and wagering on eSports is also against the law. Further, the legislation mandates an 8.5% taxation rate on physical sportsbook revenue and a 13% taxation rate on Internet-based sportsbook revenue.

What Teams Can I Bet On?

New Jersey’s close proximity to the Empire State puts it in a unique position when it comes to the teams that residents bet on. The state is somewhat of a mixed bag, with the teams that sports fans root for depending on which side of the state they reside. For example, in South Jersey, the majority of sports fans root for the Philadelphia Eagles.

Making things more interesting is that MetLife Stadium in East Rutherford is home to two NFL teams, the New York Giants and the New York Jets. The state is also home to an NHL team and one from the MLS. At sportsbooks, you will find betting odds on nearly every professional and collegiate team that you can think of (although NJ-based teams can only be wagered on via offshore venues due to state law). Here are the most popular teams that NJ residents bet on:

Popular Pro + College Teams To Bet On In New Jersey

Rutgers Scarlet Knights (Big 10) Princeton Tigers (Ivy League) New York Giants (NFL)
New York Jets (NFL) Philadelphia Eagles (NFL) New York Yankees (MLB)
New York Mets (MLB) Philadelphia Phillies (MLB) New York Knicks (NBA)
Brooklyn Nets (NBA) New Jersey Devils (NHL) New York Rangers (NHL)
New York Islanders (NHL) Philadelphia Flyers (NHL) New York Liberty (WNBA)
New York Red Bulls (MLS)    

Horse Racing Betting In New Jersey

Horse racing betting in New Jersey was banned in 1894 and then legalized formally in 1939. However, during the ban, betting the ponies was extremely popular in the state. The first horse race track was Freehold Raceway (which is actually the first commercial horse racing track in US history, having first opened its doors in the 1830s), and there are now a total of three tracks where patrons can bet on the horses. The state also has a handful of OTB betting locations where you can enjoy food, drink, and plenty of races.

New Jersey residents can also use online racebooks when not spending the day at the races. You will get excellent horse betting odds, horse racing results, and live streams to keep you up on all of the action at any top offshore sportsbook service. Mobile racebooks make placing straight or exotic horse bets even more convenient, providing instant access to major tracks from the palm of your hand via cutting-edge mobile betting. These horse racing betting sites give you the most flexibility when betting on the Sport of Kings.

Daily Fantasy Sports In New Jersey

New Jersey was not the first state to regulate daily fantasy sports, but they have become leaders with their innovative DFS products. The state launched FastPick, a parlay-style daily fantasy sports platform. The product made Resorts AC the first casino outside of NV and CO to partner with a DFS platform. FastPick is different in that participants are playing against the house rather than other users. Before PASPA was overturned, this was the closest that you could get to legal New Jersey sports betting.

The NJ Legislature passed a fantasy sports bill to regulate DFS in the state. The bill, A 3532, states that players must be at least 18 years old and also requires certain consumer protections. Contests are permitted on both collegiate and professional sports.

FAQ’s About Legal Sports Betting In New Jersey

Can I Bet Real Money On Sports In New Jersey?

You can bet real money on sports in New Jersey and not have to worry about getting in any trouble. Real money sports betting makes betting on sporting events even more exciting. You can start betting with only a few dollars at most online sportsbooks, and high rollers can enjoy betting limits upwards of $5000. You can start betting real money on sports in New Jersey at any of the top online sportsbooks.

Is Online Sports Betting Safe In New Jersey?

Online sports betting is safe in New Jersey at both state-based sportsbooks and offshore sportsbooks. Further, there is nothing legally preventing NJ residents from using sites that are operated overseas. In terms of overall site safety, sports betting sites use the latest security protocols to keep your information safe. All of your financial data is encrypted, and your personal contact info is kept confidential. You can trust in legitimate online sports betting sites in NJ.

Will I Get Arrested For Betting At Offshore Sportsbooks In New Jersey?

The chances of getting arrested for offshore sports betting are slim to none as a casual bettor. As long as you are using reputable online sportsbooks, you should have no problems with law enforcement. You are only at risk of getting into trouble if you attempt to start taking bets yourself or use a local bookmaker who is not licensed. There has never been a case where an NJ resident was fined or jailed for using a legitimate offshore, online sportsbook.

What Is the Sports Betting Age In New Jersey?

The sports betting age in New Jersey is 21 years old. Most states in the US share the same sports betting age, though many online sportsbooks will start accepting bettors at a younger age (18). This is because the sites operate outside of the United States where the local betting age may be lower. You should always follow your state age requirements in order to partake in legal New Jersey sports betting, even if it’s technically legal to bet at a younger age online. However, betting on sports at offshore books while under 18 years old violates their terms of service and will result in account termination and forfeiture of your account balance.

Are There Mobile Sports Betting Apps Available In New Jersey?

There are mobile sports betting apps available in New Jersey that make betting on your favorite sports even more convenient. You can bet on the New York Giants and other teams from your iPhone, iPad, or Android device. In-state online sportsbooks have several official apps available, though this isn’t the case with the offshore books. Overseas sports betting sites have the same selection of sports and wager types available through their custom-made mobile browser interfaces, though, and you also get access to all of your essential account functions. All of the top legal offshore sportsbooks have mobile-optimized options that support all site activities, including casino gaming, horse racing betting, and live sports betting.

Where Is The Best Place To Bet On Sports In New Jersey?

Where better to place bets than from the comfort of your own home? Online sportsbooks are the best way to bet on sports on a regular basis or when you don’t wish to make an evening out of going to the casino or racetrack. You can log into your sports betting account and start wagering on sports without having to travel to a physical sportsbook. There are also thousands of betting options and huge bonuses at most sports betting sites, especially those located overseas.

Should I Use An Unlicensed Local Bookie In New Jersey?

You should avoid using an unlicensed local bookie in New Jersey at all costs. Though it may not be the scene of broken bones and mobsters as portrayed in movies, underground bookmakers are extremely dangerous. Both you and the bookie can get arrested on charges of gambling, which can come along with fines and even jail time. The safest route for legal New Jersey sports betting is to go online or to a local, regulated establishment.