Find the Best Casinos: NJ Online Casino List
New Jersey residents and visitors have a wealth of online gambling options.
Over two dozen online casinos and poker houses are operated in the state by top names in the casino industry—both American and worldwide!
Overwhelmed? Confused by the rules? Unsure of which casino to pick or how to take advantage of new player bonuses?
Then you have come to the right place.
NJ Gambling Fun is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know to immerse yourself in New Jersey online gambling culture … and maybe even come up a big winner!
Online gambling has been legal in New Jersey since 2013. Read on to discover how to get started in this fun, lucrative pastime from the comfort of your New Jersey home ... New Jersey hotel …
… or anywhere you happen to be when you find yourself passing through the Garden State! Just jump online, either desktop or mobile and ante up!
How to Start Playing at NJ Online Casinos
First of all, don’t get fooled by a counterfeit site.
Only state-licensed Atlantic City-based online casinos are legal and safe to gamble at.
They receive oversight from the Division of Gambling Enforcement (DGE) and employ on-staff online supervisors to prevent cheating and fraud.
Check out this complete list of safe, licensed NJ online casinos.
So … you have a lot of choices. Which one to pick? There’s no right answer, but you might start with:
- The casino offering your favorite games with all the best odds and RTP (return to player)
- The casino offering the best newcomer bonus—either a deposit bonus, free-play bonus, or both.
- The casino offering the special features you’re looking for, such as live-dealer gameplay.
Don’t know which sites offer these features? Don’t worry! NJ Gambling Fun maintains an up-to-date list of every NJ online casino, grouped by features, bonuses, and more.
Browse our site, or reach out to find the perfect NJ online casino to sign up to!
Once you select your casino:
- Create an account. You’ll need to provide personal details and identity verification, up to and including giving the casino a GPS tracking location (to ensure you’re eligible by location) and your social security number.
- Fund your account using an approved payment method (see below).
- Register for free-play or deposit-match bonuses available to new players. This can usually be done with a simple code or at the click of a button. Check our listings for the most current codes!
How Do I Deposit Money Online at NJ Online Casinos?
There are many ways to get money into your NJ online casino account, most involving a credit card, debit card, eCheck, or reputable cloud-based payment processor.
NOTE: While the gameplay is restricted to players physically within New Jersey, your gaming account can be funded from anywhere in the world, as long as you have internet access.
Automated Clearing House (ACH)
ACH is a kind of instant echeck. If you have a checking account accessible by cloud banking, this is one of the quickest, easiest, cheapest, and most secure ways to fund your online gambling account.
Most online casinos accept deposits by PayPal, one of the oldest and most popular cloud-based e-wallets. To fund your online casino account using PayPal, you must have a PayPal account and fund that account in some way, usually by eCheck, credit, or debit card deposits. Payments you have accepted using PayPal can also be used.
Credit Card or Debit Card
Direct credit or debit card deposits can be made quickly, securely, and easily using Visa, Mastercard, American Express, or Discover-branded cards. The funds are usually available immediately.
In Person at the Casino Cage
If you find yourself at the land-based parent casino of your favorite NJ online gambling app, why not go straight to the cage and deposit money directly into your online banking account? A great option if you want to deposit cash.
Another option to deposit cash into your online casino account that doesn’t require you to visit Atlantic City. 7-Eleven offers “PayNearMe,” a cash-depositing service available at 7-Eleven convenience stores.
Deposits must be between $10 and $500. You start the deposit within the app, selecting “CASH AT 7-ELEVEN” or “PAY WITH CASH.” The app then generates a barcode you can bring to a nearby 7-Eleven to fulfill the deposit.
Money funded via PayNearMe should be ready for use within minutes.
Neteller and Skrill
These different online wallet options might work if your credit card has been declined. They fund quickly from Visa or Mastercard, support multiple currencies, and boast excellent customer service.
Note that both services charge significant fees of 2.5% or higher.
A wire transfer is an old-school mode of electronic funds transfer mostly replaced by ACH.
However, if your checking account does not support ACH, or if you have some time to kill and don’t mind a $12 flat fee, NJ online casinos accept wire transfers; these usually take 5-7 days to clear.
How to Withdraw Money from NJ Online Casinos
Subject to Terms and Conditions, you can withdraw funds from your NJ online casino account from anywhere in the world. The process is streamlined and easy.
When picking a withdrawal method, consider your preferences, comfort level, and required turnaround time.
Quick and secure, ACH only takes 1-2 days to post to your connected bank account.
Some online casinos offer prepaid cards. Sign up for one ahead of time and you can enable cloud-based transfers of funds that post to the card quickly, usually faster than 24 hours.
Transfers to PayPal take a day or two. The funds appear as available PayPal funds, which can be used to pay for other transactions over PayPal, transferred to a connected bank account in 24 hours, or transferred to your bank account instantly for a small fee.
Customers with a verified Neteller account can withdraw to that account with a turnaround time of about 24 hours.
You can choose to be paid in the mail by check for withdrawals over $300. Checks typically take 2-3 weeks between request and arrival. As you might expect, this is not a favorite method for most customers.
Cash at the Cage
If you happen to be on the grounds of the land-based AC casino that owns your favorite NJ online casino, pop along to the cage and have the cashier pull cash out, debited to your online gambling account.
Bonus Terms & Conditions for NJ Online Casinos
To be eligible for a bonus, you must comply with the online casino’s Terms and Conditions. Exact Terms and Conditions vary, but in general they limit bonus access to new players and attempt to guard against misuse.
Here are some of the most common Terms and Conditions applying to NJ online casino bonuses:
- You must be a new player. Free-play bonuses are a perk limited to first-time users of the site, not returning players.
- You must validate your account. You must register for an account with the site and have that registration approved by the site operator. This might include an identity check and validation that you are not restricted from New Jersey gameplay for any reason.
- You must meet the playthrough requirement. This obliges you to bet the bonus amount (along with any winnings) a certain number of times before you are eligible to withdraw any winnings or leftovers as cash.
- You must opt in for the bonus. This is usually easy to do through a link, web button, or bonus code.
- You must comply with timing requirements. Bonuses can be claimed for a certain period after account creation. If you wait too long after opening the account to opt in for your bonus, the bonus offer may expire. If you opt in for the bonus but don’t use it within a certain time window, the bonus itself may also expire. No use complaining afterward!
- Your bonus may be limited to eligible games. Free play is sometimes limited to certain games and not others.
How do Match Bonuses Work at NJ Online Casinos?
New players taking advantage of a match bonus may deposit funds into their new account, and the online casino will match those funds up to 100% and a set amount.
You can claim these bonuses by creating an account and entering a promo code, or by hitting an opt-in button or link.
Each online casino has different bonuses with slightly different terms. If you plan to sign up for NJ online gambling anyway, don’t miss out on the bonuses! Otherwise, you’re leaving free money on the table.
The online casinos make it hard to bilk them out of that money without playing, however. Usually, you have to bet at least 1x, sometimes 10x or 20x of the bonus or deposit amount.
Match bonuses differ from “no-deposit bonuses” or “free-play bonuses,” which offer free playing money--usually in smaller amounts--without any deposit required.
NJ Online Casinos’ Legal Framework
Casino gambling has been legal in Atlantic City, NJ since 1976. Casinos apply for a license and submit to regulation from the Division of Gambling Enforcement (DGE).
State Senator Raymond Lesniak first proposed legislation to legalize online gambling in 2011. The bill passed the state legislature but was vetoed by Gov. Chris Christie.
Senator Lesniak presented a revised version of the bill, which passed the legislature with a supermajority and was signed into law by Gov. Christie in 2013.
The revised and implemented bill allows licensed Atlantic City casinos to sponsor and maintain online gambling platforms, provided that the websites and apps run off servers housed on the grounds of an Atlantic City casino.
Players must be over 21 and physically located within the state of New Jersey in order to play legally. The player’s precise location is verified by GPS.
Accounts can be created, and money deposited or withdrawn, from anywhere in the world. Only gameplay is geographically restricted to New Jersey.
NJ Online Casino list: Official Licensed Online Casinos List
Here is an up-to-date list of all NJ online casinos, grouped by license:
Golden Nugget is the top land-based casino in Atlantic City. Coming to market with its online casino launch comparatively late due to technical difficulties, it’s since established itself as a dominant force in the New Jersey online gambling scene.
Launched December 13, 2013, Golden Nugget’s flagship online casino was initially powered by Scientific Games, only to switch to NYX … only to then return to Scientific Games when it bought NYX!
GoldenNuggetCasino.com offers live-dealer tables and Micro Blackjack with $0.25-per-hand limits.
Launched November 21, 2013, Betfair jumped ship to the Golden Nugget license exactly one year later when its original sponsor, Trump Plaza, folded. Betfair maintains its autonomy on a separate platform, only sharing the GN license.
Launched September 13, 2016, SugarHouse didn’t make a big splash, but its proprietary platform and commitment to quality made it a big hit, further expanding the footprint of the Golden Nugget license.
Launched February 2, 2019, the Churchill Downs BetAmerica brand chose Golden Nugget for its NJ license, putting the parent casino in a position where it earned--and still earns--double the online gambling revenue of its competitors across four brands.
Both Tropicana-licensed online products use Gamesys as their platform, compared to the hodgepodge powering the Golden Nugget products.
Tropicana’s online casino offerings were early industry leaders, helping to prove the concept of New Jersey online gambling.
They particularly appealed to privacy conscious players by requiring only the last four digits of the social security number to register, compared to other NJ online casinos that required the full SSN.
Launched on November 21, 2013, the Tropicana online casino has maintained steady popularity among players due to its lucrative and generous bonus offerings.
Launched January 24, 2014, Virgin’s online casino, as you might guess, is part of Richard Branson’s UK-based Virgin empire. Gamesys, the platform powering both Tropicana online casinos, is also a subsidiary of Virgin.
Borgata led the New Jersey gambling market with its first, most dominant launches in conjunction with its partner company, PartyPoker. However, Tropicana and Golden Nugget followed close on its heels, giving it a run for its money.
The Golden Nugget has established itself as a clear industry leader, but Borgata retains a healthy market share.
Launched Nov. 21, 2013, Borgata’s online gambling app and website befit one of the most prestigious casino brands in AC, with sleek UX, generous bonuses, and a huge catalog of games.
Launched November 21, 2013, PartyPoker returns to claim its crown as a leader in online poker after a bum rap with the UIGEA that temporarily drove it out of the US market.
Launched November 17, 2014, Pala’s online casino distinguishes itself with its bonkers Million Dollar Slot promotion, a daily opportunity to win $1 million on a single slot spin with $50 in lifetime deposits and at least $10 on deposit.
Newcomers get an extra crack at the Million Dollar Slot.
Launched August 1, 2017 MGM bought its way into the Borgata empire by buying Borgata partner Boyd Gaming Corporation in 2016. MGM’s successful online launch is rumored to presage a foray into land-based resorts in AC.
Launched March 2018, PartyCasino is the first American foray for one of Europe’s oldest and most popular online casino brands.
Caesar’s was a top player in the NJ online casino market, but now trails Golden Nugget--well, just like everybody else! Still, its slate of products maintains a robust and loyal following.
Launched November 21, 2013, 888 is the flagship online casino of the 888 online gaming platform, operating under the Caesar’s license and offering a robust app featuring hundreds of games, including several with live dealers.
Launched November 21, 2013, Harrah’s is also powered by 888. Players earn Caesars Total Rewards for gameplay at Harrah’s online casino.
Launched November 21, 2013, Caesar’s own-branded NJ online casino was originally powered by Amaya, but since 2016 has been powered by NYX Gaming.
The World Series of Poker operates its New Jersey online poker site under the Caesars gaming license.
Resorts was late to market with online gambling. It made a big splash but now trails the dominant NJ online casino brands. It has a much bigger footprint in the NJ online sports betting market.
Launched February 26, 2015, the Resorts NJ online casino makes up for middling bonuses with its outstanding games selection.
Launched July 20, 2015, Mohegan Sun online is a sister site to Resorts Online Casino, built on the same platform with very similar gameplay and selection. Still, it’s an opportunity for another set of deposit bonuses.
Launched March 16, 2016, PokerStars adds to the worldwide PokerStars family of online poker games. Under the auspices of the Resorts license, PokerStars offers one of the best--if not the best--New Jersey online poker platforms.
Launched Dec. 2018, the popular sports book maintains a small selection of online casino
OCEAN RESORT CASINO
Ocean Resort Casino opened on the bones of failed Revel Atlantic City, launching its signature online casino within two weeks of opening its doors.
Launched July 10, 2018, Ocean Resort Online Casino is late to market and hungry to compete. Powered by GAN, it offers one of the best newcomer bonuses in the market: $125 of free play and up to $10,000 matched (up to $1,000 per day for the first ten days).
Launched October 2, 2018, the Pennsylvania online gaming brand outdoes even its PA sister site with this Ocean-licensed NJ site.
HARD ROCK HOTEL & CASINO ATLANTIC CITY
Hard Rock opened on the site of the flopped Trump Taj Mahal on June 28, 2018.
Launched June 29, 2018 on the Gaming Innovation Group (GIG) platform, the Hard Rock NJ online casino offers an impressive UX and over 400 games.
Launched June 2019, this newcomer to the American market is backed by a long European pedigree, evidenced by its polished online product.
How Online and Land-Based Casinos Operate in New Jersey
By law, NJ online casinos must run off servers housed in the grounds of an Atlantic City casino and must operate under the license of one of the state-approved Atlantic City casinos.
Each licensed casino is free to apply its license to multiple online casino brands, including national or global online casino brands operated by companies outside New Jersey.
To open a branded casino in New Jersey, an out-of-state company must first partner with an Atlantic City casino, at least for the use of the license.
What are the Online Casino Games Types You Can Play in New Jersey?
Most land-based casino games have been replicated in online format. The average NJ online casino offers hundreds of gaming options, ranging from cards to slots to classic casino games of chance.
Some of the most popular online games to play at NJ online casinos include:
Also known as “Twenty-One,” Blackjack is a popular card game related to Pontoon and Vingt-et-Un (“Twenty One” in French).
Two to seven players play against a dealer, revealing cards and trying to produce the best hand.
Face cards count as 10, aces as 1 or 11. Whoever gets closest to 21 without “busting” (going over 21) wins.
Named after the French word for “wheel,” players bet on a single number, one of two colors (red or black), groupings of numbers, or odd vs. even.
A wheel is then spun, with a ball tossed at a counter-spin. If the number landed matches the player’s bet, the player wins.
Craps is a dice game, with players betting on the outcome of the dice roll. The game can be played against other players or against the house.
Baccarat is a card game played against two hands—the house (“banker”) vs. the player. A Baccarat hand could end in a win for the player, the banker, or a tie.
This Chinese game builds its gameplay from a collection of 32 dominoes.
Let it Ride
A form of poker based on a five-card hand composed of two community cards and a player’s own deal of three cards.
One of the most popular forms of poker, in Texas Hold’Em, players are dealt two cards face-down, which only they can see.
They then must build a winning hand of five cards out of those two cards, and any combination of five community cards.
Based on traditional poker, Three-Card Poker pits the player against the house in a three-card head-to-head.
Is it Safe to Play at NJ Online Casinos?
Yes it is. Licensed online casinos abide by strict data security controls.
Your money is as safe in an online gaming account as it is at the cage of a casino.
Online gamblers were shaken by “Black Friday,” an event in April 2011--before the legalization of NJ online gambling--when PokerStars and FullTilt, both multistate online poker platforms, were raided by the Department of Justice under suspicion of violating the Unlawful Internet Gaming Enforcement Act (UIGEA) of 2006.
With the sites frozen, players had no way to access their money and feared they had lost all their funds.
PokerStars, eventually cleared of wrongdoing, had not commingled player and corporate funds and was able to issue immediate refunds to all players.
Full Tilt, however, had commingled player and corporate funds and was not able to refund players. Ultimately Full Tilt was acquired by PokerStars. Under the terms of the deal, PokerStars belatedly refunded the players’ frozen funds and went some way to renewing their faith.
By contrast, New Jersey online casinos are fully licensed and legal under codified New Jersey law.
They are required to comply with the UIGEA and are subject to audits and supervision by the DGE to ensure the games are fair.
Every online casino must employ monitors to watch for cheating and illicit behavior.
How to Find the Best Bonus Codes for NJ Online Casinos
NJ Gambling Fun keeps a comprehensive, up-to-date list of the best available NJ online casino bonuses, including:
- Deposit Matching: matching funds from the casino for your first deposits.
- No-Deposit Bonuses: “free money” deposited into new accounts, provided that you gamble a certain amount before withdrawing.
- Bonus Codes: code-based bonuses for specific online casinos and games.
- Returned Losses: A special perk where some online casinos refund losses to new players.
Using Bonus Codes at NJ Online Casinos
Bonus codes may be available at sign-up. NJ online casinos also offer exclusive and promotional bonuses which can be claimed by returning players.
To use a sign-up bonus code:
- Find the bonus code for the relevant site. See our directory of the most up-to-date bonus codes.
- Enter the bonus code into the “promotional code” field when creating your account.
To use targeted, exclusive, or VIP bonus codes for returning players:
- Copy the code from the promotional announcement or literature.
- Paste or enter the code into the “promotional code” section when funding your account.
Can You Play Casino Games on Your Mobile Device in New Jersey?
Yes, you can. Every online casino has ported a portion of its game catalogue to a proprietary mobile app, and many apps have hundreds of games to choose from.
By downloading these apps, you can gamble online from anywhere in New Jersey from your mobile device, as long as it has data access.
Can I play online casino games in New Jersey from my iPhone or iPad?
Yes. Online casinos offer dedicated iOS apps that you can play from an iPhone or iPad. Note that the version of iOS must be sufficiently up-to-date to support the current app version.
Can I play online casino games in New Jersey using my Android tablet or smartphone?
Yes. NJ online casinos offer Android apps compatible with any tablet or smartphone running a compatible version of the Android operating system.
Note that Android handles online gaming differently, so there may be extra steps to install a New Jersey online casino app. However, the extra steps should not be too burdensome, and then you’ll be ready to play on your smartphone or tablet.
When mobile, can I play the same games as on the desktop browser versions of NJ online casinos?
No. Mobile online casino apps in New Jersey typically offer a smaller games selection than the desktop browser versions.
This is for several reasons. Some games feature gameplay that just doesn’t work on a small screen. The casino may also still be in the process of porting certain games.
Finally, online casino companies in NJ don’t want to overwhelm their users with too much selection on a small screen, and may have made a calculation to limit mobile options to certain, more popular games.
Can I play for free using promotional bonuses on NJ online casino mobile apps?
Yes, although bonus play may be restricted to certain games on the mobile app.
Do I need to make another account to play NJ online casino games on a mobile device?
No. The desktop and mobile online casino versions are integrated. If you make an account on one, it will be accessible on the other with the same username and password.
Once logged in, you will be able to add funds, withdraw funds, and access bonuses and offers interchangeably between the desktop and mobile online casino versions.
Can I Play with Live Dealers at NJ Online Casinos?
Yes, you can. Not every online casino offers this, and not at every table game. However, the following NJ online casinos offer the option to gamble with a live dealer from both their desktop and mobile apps:
Note: Demo/free-play versions of the games cannot be played with a live dealer. You can only play for cash bets / real money with a live dealer.
The following live-dealer games are available through NJ online casinos:
- Casino Hold’em
- Three-Card Poker.
So, How Does This Work?
The live deal is transmitted from a studio by live stream, where the dealer executes the deal in real-time—dealing actual cards, spinning an actual wheel, etc.
Without a live dealer, NJ online casinos use “random number generation” (RNG) software to create a fair game of chance.
Different online casinos have different terms, conditions, and policies applicable to online games with a live dealer. Make sure to read the section on live dealer games before you play so you understand the rules.
Consider first playing the “free,” RNG-controlled demo version of the same game on the online casino and become familiar with the rules and gameplay before betting real money on any game with a live dealer.
NOTE: The “house edge” on live dealer games tends to be higher than the RNG-controlled versions of the same games. The longer you play, the more money you’re likely to lose compared to the versions of the games that use RNG software instead of a live dealer.
Especially in the case of live-dealer games, we highly recommend:
- Limiting your gameplay sessions to 90 minutes.
- Practicing the discipline of quitting while you’re ahead and/or declining to chase losses.
- Comparing the house edge on different versions of the same game and picking the lowest house edge.
- Play for slightly lower stakes than you usually would, rather than picking higher stakes at a live-dealer table. Live-dealer online casino games offer a wide range of stakes.
Are Live-Dealer Games Available 24/7?
No, live dealer games will be offline for certain hours of the day. However, off hours are limited, and the window of gameplay wide enough to accommodate most gaming schedules.
Advantages of Playing at NJ Online Casinos
There are many benefits to gambling at NJ online casinos vs. land-based casinos …
Online gambling has been legal in New Jersey since 2013
As long as you’re in the state of New Jersey (either a resident or a visitor), over the age of 21, and playing using an app or website authorized by a licensed Atlantic City casino, you can gamble to your heart’s content without fear of legal reprisals.
Online casinos are subject to constant scrutiny by the New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement (DGE)
This is to make sure that casinos are offering fair games. Otherwise, you might assume that unscrupulous casinos are falsifying their house edge or fixing the computer coding against players.
State regulation ensures this doesn’t happen. NJ online casinos feature some of the fairest gameplay in the gambling industry.
The law requires New Jersey online casinos to also self-regulate
New Jersey law requires licensed casinos to employ monitors, who watch the gameplay in their online casinos for signs of scams, cheats, and outside threats to fair gameplay.
New players can take advantage of deposit bonuses and free-play offers
As a newcomer, this lets you enjoy several games for free, or to have the house match your initial deposit up to a certain dollar value.
Depositing and withdrawing money is easy
Rather than waiting in line at the cash table, you can upload and download money securely using cloud-based payment apps, many of which you probably already use.
NJ online casinos offer low minimums and high maximums
On the floor at a land-based casino in Atlantic City, it can be hard to find a table with a minimum below $10. Over the weekend? Forget it. $15--if you’re lucky.
Online, it’s a whole different scenario. You can easily find table minimums of $1, or, in the case of Micro Blackjack at the Golden Nugget Online Casino, only 25 cents per hand.
Meanwhile, maximums tip the scales at a healthy $200-$1,000. Penny slots at land-based casinos tend to max out at $5, while high-limit slots are rare. Online, you can find penny slots for up to $200 a spin.
New Jersey online casinos offer better returns than those at land-based casinos
The likelihood that you’ll win a given casino game is called the “return to player” or RTP, usually expressed as a percentage below 100. This is an indicator of how much money you are likely to make (or lose) the longer you play.
The difference between the RTP and 100% is the “house edge.” It’s how all casinos make money over the aggregated bets within a game. Even if one player wins money in excess of the house edge, the rest of the players betting—and losing—make up for it in the long run.
Online casinos, on the whole, offer better RTP and a lower house edge than their land-based counterpart games.
For example, land-based slots average an RTP of 91.5%, with a resulting house edge of 8.5%. In other words, as your gaming session continues, you’re most likely to lose 8.5% of your money, which the casino gets to keep as revenue.
With online slots, the standard RTP is closer to 95%, sometimes as high as 97%, meaning over a long gaming session, you’re likely to lose only 3-5% to the house.
The longer you play, the more likely it is that you’ll win big, meaning you have a better chance of beating the house if you play a long session online … provided that you take your winnings and quit while you're ahead!
RTP is even better for online poker. Game King offers single-line poker with an RTP of 99%. For multi-line poker at the Tropicana and Virgin online casinos, RTP tips the scales at 99.73%. RTP for online blackjack pushes in at 99.6%.
The Golden Nugget Online Casino actually lets you check the RTP, listed alongside the game.
You can play NJ online casino games anywhere in the state
This includes your home (if you are a resident), your hotel room or Airbnb, or at your favorite restaurant while you eat and drink as you please. You don’t have to deal with traffic, parking, noise, waits in line for tables, cigarette smoke, or any other distractions from the thrill of gameplay.
Can I Play Poker Online at a New Jersey Online Casino?
Yes, you can. Numerous NJ online casinos offer online poker tables, with both RNG interfaces and live dealers playing with a real shoe. Options include:
How do NJ Online Casinos Make Money?
With casinos offering large deposit bonuses and free-play credits, many players wonder: “How do New Jersey online casinos make money when they’re giving so much of it away?”
Don’t worry—New Jersey online casinos are doing fine! As of October 2019, NJ online casinos have generated over $1.4 billion in revenue!
Remember, too, that the “free money” is only available to new players. You get 25 free slot spins … an hour of free blackjack play … a certain amount of money to play with … but the Terms and Conditions of the bonus will always require you to play more than the free amount before you can withdraw any cash.
For example, you get $25 in free play, but you have to bet a total of $250 before you can withdraw cash. If you lose it all in the process … oh, well.
Meanwhile, you’ve created an account and gotten into their system--and they’ve gotten into yours!--where they can offer you incentives to play more, i.e. further bonuses, building hype around new games or tournaments, etc.
To the casino, free-play bonuses are just a marketing expense, like a billboard or a radio ad. Even better, they don’t incur the expense unless you’ve already become a customer!
The online casino is making two bets of its own, both of which it wins more often than it loses:
- You will fall in love with the thrill of online gambling and continue to do so with your own money once the deposit bonus or free-play bonus is spent.
- The more you play, the more they earn, because of the house edge built into the games.
The house edge is how the casino wins every bet. Not every individual bet; over a short play period, you could win big and come out ahead. But meanwhile, twenty other players have lost, meaning the casino still makes a net amount of money.
For all the excitement of the “game of chance,” the casino business is very boring. You just need an RTP (return to player) smaller than 100%. The difference between 100% and the RTP is the “house edge.”
The casino will make that much money on average across all bets placed in that game. Whereas the outcome of any hand you play is unpredictable, how much money the casino makes is very predictable.
For example, if a game has an RTP of 95%, the house has an edge of 5%. If twenty players bet a total of $1,000, the house will pocket $50 like clockwork. Any one of those players might finish ahead or behind, but the house still gets its $50, regardless of who wins and who loses.
The longer you play, the more your winnings or losses resemble the house edge. Of course, the bigger the house edge, the faster you stand to lose money, so you had better hit a lucky streak early.
By contrast, a low house edge allows you to (most likely, and with good strategy) play longer and with less drain on your bank—giving you more chances to win big!
As such, many players at NJ online casinos gravitate toward games with a higher RTP and a lower house edge.
Here are the best RTPs online right now:
Game: Vegas Blackjack
Total Games: 502
Exclusive Free Bonus: $25
Total Games: 372
Exclusive Free Bonus: $30
Casino: Golden Nugget
Game: Jacks Or Better
Total Games: 584
Exclusive Free Bonus: $20
Casino: 888 Casino
Game: Classic Blackjack
Total Games: 200
Exclusive Free Bonus: $25
Game: Single-Deck Blackjack
Total Games: 234
Exclusive Free Bonus: $25
How Does the State of New Jersey Make Money from Online Gambling?
The state of New Jersey taxes the revenue of online gambling winnings at a statutory rate of 13% and an effective rate of 17.5%. This is higher than the taxes levied on land-based gambling revenue for Atlantic City casinos (8.5%).
As of October 2019, almost a quarter of a billion dollars in taxes have been paid to the State of New Jersey on the revenue of NJ online gambling.
The State of New Jersey also charges a $100,000 application fee and a $400,000 licensing fee to Atlantic City casinos. The application fee gets applied to the balance of the licensing fee if the application is successful.
Does Online Gambling in New Jersey Impact Atlantic City Revenue?
A total of $1,403,371,426 in revenue has been generated by New Jersey online gambling since its legalization in 2013.
Online gambling revenues have increased steadily since legalization, crossing the $30-million-per-month mark in January of 2019, and as high as $41 million in the single month in September of 2019.
Many industry professionals had expected online gambling to stabilize in revenue within three to four years. Instead, it continues to grow. No month has seen a dip in revenue year over year (i.e. each November has always been bigger than last November, and so on.)
All of this revenue is technically localized in Atlantic City, despite players being anywhere in the state. This is because, by law, Atlantic City is the only place in the state where gambling is legal.
Every New Jersey online casino runs off servers stored on the grounds of a licensed Atlantic City casino. A bet constitutes a contract, and online contracts don’t take effect until confirmed within the server.
Since the location of execution of a contract matters--i.e., it determines jurisdiction--that means that even though players may be anywhere in the state, under the law, the bet took place in Atlantic City.
Some industry professionals have predicted that online gambling would bring economic decline to Atlantic City itself due to the loss of tourism.
They were sure that while the casinos per se might make money hand-over-fist, land-based casinos would suffer, leading to lost jobs, lost income taxes, and bankruptcies.
Indeed, five hotel/casinos in Atlantic City closed between 2014 and 2016, while online gaming grew 62.5%. However, two more land-based casinos also opened.
Still, all land-based casinos except one (Golden Nugget) have seen land-based gambling revenues dip.
Nevertheless, the industry consensus is that online gaming has had a net positive effect on the economy of Atlantic City.