On May 14 of 2018, the U.S. Supreme Court made the monumental decision to strike down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), legislation which had effectively banned sports betting outside of Nevada for over two decades.
New Jersey quickly took advantage of the ruling, passing a bill legalizing sports wagering at casinos, racetracks, and via online sites and mobile apps soon after.
This new era of regulated sports betting is a win-win for both sports gamblers and for the state of NJ. Garden State sports fanatics now have a bevy of options for making wagers completely legally at reputable and licensed sportsbooks, while at the same time generating much needed tax revenue for the state.
With legal sports betting now a reality, the industry is moving at a frenzied pace. Domestic and international gambling operators are all looking to throw their hat into the ring to try and take the biggest slice of what could be a hugely-lucrative pie.
On this page we’ll take you through everything you need to know about wagering on sports in New Jersey, show you where you can bet right now, and present exclusive bonus codes which new players can use to take their bankroll to the next level.
Play legal NJ sportsbooks with a bonus
The latest on New Jersey sports betting
- playMGM became the second operator to launch a mobile sportsbook (in a soft launch phase), trailing DraftKings by a few weeks. We think the new app has a leg up on its competitor, with more attractive betting lines and an improved cashier experience. Play SugarHouse Sports quickly followed suit, becoming the industry’s third NJ online sports betting app.
- Atlantic City’s Golden Nugget and Resorts both launched brick-and-mortar sportsbooks on the same day. Both GN and Resorts are partnered with sports wagering software provider SBTech. DraftKings is a skin of Resorts, and has its own technology partnership with Kambi.
- The Meadowlands, long considered New Jersey’s premier raceway, came out on top in terms of sportsbook revenue in July. The track, which is partnered with DFS giant FanDuel for sports, took in $1,357,477, while Ocean Resort, its closest competitor, banked $1,036,766.
Sports betting: Where to play?
Yes, you can bet on sports in New Jersey right now, at select brick-and-mortar casinos, horseracing tracks, via mobile devices and online sites. Below we’ve provided a list of everywhere you can wager on sports in the Garden State, and also highlight which venues might go live in the future. The industry is ramping up quickly, and we expect to see a wave of brick-and-mortar and online sites go live in the very near future.
NJ land-based sportsbooks
|Monmouth Park||Monmouth Park Sports Book By Will Hill||Oceanport||June 14, 2018|
|Borgata Casino||Borgata Race & Sports Bar||AC Marina||June 14, 2018|
|Ocean Resort||Will Hill Sportsbook @ Ocean Resort||Atlantic City||June 28, 2018|
|Meadowlands||FanDuel Sportsbook||East Rutherford||July 14, 2018|
|Bally's Casino||Wild Wild West Sportsbook||Atlantic City||July 30, 2018|
|Harrah's Casino||N/A||AC Marina||Aug. 1, 2018|
|Golden Nugget||The Sportsbook||AC Marina||Aug. 15, 2018|
|Resorts Casino||Resorts Sports Book||Atlantic City||Aug. 15, 2018|
NJ online/mobile sportsbooks
|Online sportsbook||Land-based partner||PC?||Mobile?||Launch Date|
|playMGM||Borgata Casino||Planned||Android only||8/22/18|
|Play SugarHouse||Golden Nugget||Yes||Yes||8/23/18|
|William Hill||Monmouth Park||No||Yes||9/2/18|
|888 Sport NJ||Caesars||Yes||Yes||9/10/18|
NJ sports betting partnerships
The web of NJ sports betting partnerships has become tangled, with multitudes of operators, providers, and eligible license holders all trying to get their piece of the pie.
In the near future, we plan on releasing a downloadable document that offers a top-level view of the emergent NJ sports betting industry. Stay tuned.
NJ online sportsbook reviews
Our sportsbook analysts provide the most thorough, in-depth, honest and comprehensive reviews of all of New Jersey’s emerging sportsbooks. Our reviewers are all located in the Garden State, and put each book through its paces, while focusing closely on the following factors:
- New player bonuses: Our readers are, understandably, highly interested in the lucrative welcome bonuses offered by NJ online sports books. These can take a couple of forms, and generally consist of no-deposit bonuses, free bets and deposit match bonuses. We dissect the fine print and tell you which are worth your time and which you should avoid, while offering exclusive bonus codes that will give you the most bang for your buck.
- Promotions: NJ sports books do everything they can to attract new players and keep them loyal through one-off and revolving promos. This is a great benefit for Garden State gamblers, who can cash-in by playing at the right sportsbook at the right time. We keep track of all promos running in the state, so check in frequently to see what’s being offered at any given time.
- Betting lines: A sportsbook may offer an attractive bonus and promotions, but might spread unfavorable lines – something which could eat into your win rate. We keep a close eye on the lines set by NJ books and compare them with not only in-state competitors, but with lines set in Vegas and beyond.
- Game selection: New Jersey law allows for state sportsbooks to offer a huge array of betting types on a wide range of sports. NFL, MLB, NBA, college football and more are all fair game. Our reviews lay out exactly which sports are offered at which book, and which types of wagers can be placed on them.
- Cashiering: Legal sportsbooks offer a major advantage when it comes to making deposits and withdrawals. While unregulated offshore casinos use illegal and unreliable cashiering methods, licensed NJ books provide a huge range of options for getting money on and off the site. We’ll give you a rundown of every method offered at each individual book.
Benefits of legal online sports betting
Safe, legal, regulated
Gambling at a regulated NJ online casino, you’ll never have to worry about having your hard-earned cash pilfered by an unscrupulous operator, falling victim to a scam, or being deceived by dishonest promotions.
This is not the case at illegal, offshore sports books, which are sometimes successful at convincing novice players that they are licensed, when they are, in fact, operating totally unchecked.
New Jersey online books are regulated by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), the same body which governs the state’s land-based casinos. Before becoming licensed, state sportsbooks must pass a rigorous and lengthy inspection and investigative process, which includes thorough background checks of key employees. If you ever have a conflict with an NJ gaming site, rest assured that the DGE has your back.
Black-market sportsbook sites are legally prohibited from accessing the U.S. banking system. Instead, they try and circumvent the law by using illegal tactics which puts your money at extreme risk. Players who choose regulated sportsbooks, on the other hand, have little to no problem making deposits seamlessly and receiving withdrawals rapidly.
Most major sportsbooks offer a bevy of deposit methods, which can include Visa and MasterCard credit cards, Neteller, bank wires, paper checks, PayPal and cash at its partner-casino’s cage. What’s more, your money must legally be kept separate from other operator expenses, meaning that a run on the bank won’t have any impact on your withdrawal.
Mobile betting via authorized apps
NJ law allows for online sportsbooks to offer apps for mobile devices, made by manufacturers like Android and Apple. Offshore bookmakers, however, are prohibited from offering mobile apps to U.S. customers through the iOS and Android app stores.
Playing on a dedicated mobile app, rather than directly on the website through a mobile browser, brings a host of benefits and provides a much more reliable experience for customers looking to place bets on-the-go. Indeed, patrons can make wagers, check lines, view loyalty points and make deposits and withdrawals via a smooth and polished piece of software downloaded right to their smartphone or tablet.
New Jersey sports betting: FAQ
The law forbids those who have vested interests in key sports markets from booking bets in that market. This is why Golden Nugget Casino, which is owned by Tilman Fertitta (also the owner of the NBA Houston Rockets), cannot accept NBA wagers.
New Jersey is currently only one of three states, with Pennsylvania about to become the fourth, to offer at least some form of regulated online gambling.
Under existing law, any Atlantic City casino authorized to offer a game can offer the same game online, in so long as it possesses an iGaming license. Borgata, Caesars casinos, Golden Nugget, Resorts, and Tropicana already have an online gambling license, as do newly opened Hard Rock Casino and Ocean Resort Casino.
However, worth noting is that each license holder is limited to just three skins (individually branded websites).
Fortunately, New Jersey bettors are not burdened with having to visit an affiliated land-based casino to set-up a mobile account, as is often the case in Las Vegas. Instead, all that’s required is for the player to download the Android or iOS powered app, punch in their registration information, have their account approved, and deposit using one of a variety of payment processing methods.
Players that already have a NJ online casino or poker account at a site may be able to bypass the registration process entirely, as we’re seeing several operators integrate their sports betting operation into their existing online gambling platform.
- Money line
- Point spreads
- Over/under totals
- Teasers; two outcomes or more
- Parlays; two outcomes or more
Online sportsbooks in Europe have recently introduced more exotic betting structures, including accumulators. Some of these innovations could find their way to New Jersey.
New Jersey has recently indicated that betting on college sporting events that take place within the state may not be allowed, nor will betting on college teams from NJ playing out of state. The same will hold true of high school sports if those should ever be implemented for wagering.
In Nevada, sports betting is on the upswing, having generated a record-breaking $248.8 million in 2017. $4.89 billion worth of wagers were placed, eclipsing 2016’s then record by nearly $360 million. Annual handle has nearly doubled in the past decade.
The New Jersey market stands to be much bigger, as the state boasts a far larger population (8.9 million for NJ v. 2.94 million for NV), and will offer online, which will account for the bulk of industry revenue. Gambling Compliance places the industry’s near-term forecast at $297.8 million, with what appears to be nearly $250 million coming from online.
For perspective, online casinos and online poker only made $245.6 million collectively in 2017, and that was the industry’s (very successful) fourth full year.
So far, through the industry’s first couple of months, in which there were just a smattering of physical books open, sports betting generated over $3.2 million in completed events revenue. Monthly totals are expected to swell dramatically now that online/mobile sites are popping up, and NFL Season is upon us.
The story of NJ sports betting
Sports betting in the U.S. was crippled by a 1992 law called the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA), which prohibited full-scale sports betting outside of Nevada.
New Jersey, a state already reliant on gambling tax revenue, was given a one-year period in which to pass legislation explicitly legalizing the industry in the state. Gridlock prevailed, however, and lawmakers were unable to come to a consensus on a bill, thus shutting the state out of the industry for decades to come.
The regrettable decision would come back to haunt them. In the late 2000s, when the AC gambling industry was showing signs of decline, State Sen. Raymond Lesniak began to make a push to reverse the ban and allow NJ casinos start accepting sports wagers legally.
In 2009, Lesniak introduced a sports betting bill, which was eventually passed by statewide referendum by a two-to-one margin in 2011. Early the next year, Gov. Chris Christie signed legislation legalizing sports betting at the state’s race tracks and casinos.
Major professional sports leagues, however, were having none of it. Shortly after regulations were posted, on Aug. 7, 2012, the NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL and Major League Baseball filed suit against New Jersey and Christie, the start of what evolved into a five-year legal battle.
The sports leagues won the case, commonly known as Christie I, in district court and appeals court and then appeared to have ended the affair when the Supreme Court declined to accept New Jersey’s appeal on June 23, 2014. But Lesniak and the Garden State did not give up.
In 2014, Lesniak introduced new legislation, which attempted to comply with PASPA by repealing chunks of the state’s sports betting prohibitions, while also limiting the activity to casinos, racetracks and former sites of racetracks. Again, the sports leagues filed suit and were ultimately granted an injunction.
Around this time, though, attitudes surrounding sports betting began to change, with some leagues softening their stance and even embracing the quasi-gambling vertical daily fantasy sports. Despite that, sports leagues maintained a leg up in what became known as Christie II, and again prevailed in district and appeals court.
In a last-ditch effort, New Jersey attempted a Hail Mary, asking the Supreme Court to hear a case it declined to take just three years earlier. To the surprise of many, it accepted.
The Supreme Court case
Oral arguments were heard in the Supreme Court case – ultimately dubbed Murphy v. NCAA – on December 4, 2017. Ted Olson, an attorney representing New Jersey, argued that PASPA was unconstitutional, as it commandeered states’ rights to enforce federal sports betting prohibition. The New Jersey thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association was also a plaintiff in the case.
The NCAA, NFL, NBA, NHL and MLB, which have long expressed concern that sports betting would tarnish the integrity of their leagues, were represented by Paul Clement. U.S. Solicitor General Noel Francisco and various groups opposed to sports wagering filed briefs in support of the leagues.
On May 14, 2018 SCOTUS announced its ruling that the law violated the 10th Amendment in a 7-2 decision, and declaring it completely unconstitutional by 6-3. Justices Ginsburg, Sotomayor, and (in part) Breyer dissented.
The decision essentially gave the green light for states to legalize sports betting, should they choose to do so. New Jersey lawmakers acted quickly, passing a law to regulate the industry the following month. Three days later, Monmouth Park racetrack and Borgata became the first two properties to open sportsbooks in the state.