NJ Online Poker Sites in 2021: Where to Play

Atlantic City

Image by 1778011 from Pixabay

Yes! It’s perfectly legal to play online poker in New Jersey. In fact, New Jersey is one of the six states in the United States to have passed online poker legislation and it was one of the first to do so actually.

Nevada was the first state to pass online poker legislation back in 2013. It’s no surprise that Nevada, the home of Las Vegas, was the first state to take the plunge. But New Jersey wasn’t far behind and legalized online poker and online gambling that same year. Things moved quick and sports betting followed, making New Jersey the biggest sports betting market in the world.

New Jersey became the first state to launch a new PokerStars site and it also joined a compact with Nevada and Delaware to share player pools for online poker sites. New Jersey is home to Atlantic City, the eastern gambling capital of the United States, so it’s really no surprise that its become such a trailblazer when it comes to moving gaming forward in the United States.

There’s no question that playing online poker in New Jersey is perfectly legal and safe. The hard question is where to play. We have some ideas that could help you narrow down that decision.

Best Online Poker Sites in New Jersey

New Jersey has more online poker sites than most states. There are tons of casino and state-affiliated sites and more. We personally suggest the sites we’ve listed below. We like that they accept players from all over the United States and therefore have larger player pools, bigger tournament guarantees and a wider selection of cash games. Here are our top-recommended online poker sites for New Jersey players.

Ignition

$2000 Bonus

Rating: 5/5

Min Deposit $20

2500+ Players

Rating: 5/5

$2000 Bonus - Rating: 5/5
BetOnline

$2000 Bonus

Rating: 4.9/5

Min Deposit $25

1000+ Players

Rating: 4.9/5

$2000 Bonus - Rating: 4.9/5
Bovada.lv

$500 Bonus

Rating: 4.7/5

Min Deposit $20

2500+ Players

Rating: 4.7/5

$500 Bonus - Rating: 4.7/5
Intertops

$1000 Bonus

Rating: 4.6/5

Min Deposit $25

900+ Players

Rating: 4.6/5

$1000 Bonus - Rating: 4.6/5
SportsBetting.ag

$2500 Bonus

Rating: 4.5/5

Min Deposit $20

1000+ Players

Rating: 4.5/5

$2500 Bonus - Rating: 4.5/5
America's Cardroom

$2000 Bonus

Rating: 4.4/5

Min Deposit $25

1500+ Players

Rating: 4.4/5

$2000 Bonus - Rating: 4.4/5
Black Chip Poker

$1000 Bonus

Rating: 4.3/5

Min Deposit $25

1500+ Players

Rating: 4.3/5

$1000 Bonus - Rating: 4.3/5

Latest New Jersey Online Poker News

New Jersey made most of its biggest online poker and gaming headlines over the past decade. But that doesn’t mean that the state is done making poker news. New Jerseyan love to gamble and they’ve increasingly been doing it online.

In January 2021, New Jersey surpassed $100 million in online gaming revenue for the first time in history. These numbers were largely helped by a sharp decline of in-person gaming due to the coronavirus and big NBA, NFL and other sporting events pushing up sportsbetting interest in the state. All the casino-affiliated online poker sites also saw a big surge in revenue compared to the same time the previous year. Online poker has generally risen throughout the pandemic though.

New Jersey is also a part of the interstate poker gaming compact with Delaware and Nevada. This means players share a player pool so players from Nevada can play with players from New Jersey and Delaware. This leads to larger tournaments and a bigger selection of cash games. New Jersey is making waves again with talks of a new PokerStars interstate player compact. This would include players from Pennsylvania and Michigan once the site there gets going.

We expect to see more developments from New Jersey, a state that’s always been a trailblazer when it comes to online gaming. If there’s any more news that comes out of the Garden State this year we’ll be sure to keep you updated.

Gambling and Online Poker Laws in New Jersey

New Jersey is one of the most permissive states in the US when it comes to gambling and online poker. Legislators have also expanded gambling legislation over the past decade and if there’s anything else to expand in the future you can bet they’ll be at the forefront of the fight.

Legal Definitions and Gambling Laws in New Jersey
New Jersey Gambling Laws 2C:37-1 et seq.; 5:5-1 et seq.
Legal Definition of Gambling Every state has different gambling laws that are broken down into a few key elements. These are the legal building blocks that make up gambling law. The first thing any law has to do is define what gambling actually is. In New Jersey, gambling is legally defined as:

“Unlicensed risking of something of value upon outcome of contest of chance or future contingent event not under actor’s control, upon agreement that actor will receive something of value in event of a certain outcome.”

Legal Definition of Contest of Chance Now we get more granular. You noticed there are a few terms in the above definition that are slightly ambiguous. Those are the ones that require further legal definitions. One of those terms is “contest of choice”, which is defined as the following:

“Any contest, game, pool, gaming scheme or gaming device in which the outcome depends in a material degree upon an element of chance, notwithstanding that skill of the contestants or some other persons may also be a factor therein.”
Legal Definition of Player Somebody has to do the gambling. In New Jersey, and most places that person is called a player. Dictionary-wise, that word encompasses a wide number of people, but when it comes to gambling in New Jersey, that person is legally defined as:

“A person who engages in any form of gambling solely as a contestant or bettor, without receiving or becoming entitled to receive any profit therefrom other than personal gambling winnings, and without otherwise rendering any material assistance to the establishment, conduct or operation of the particular gambling activity.”

History of Gambling and Poker in New Jersey

Gambling has been around in New Jersey for as long as the state has been around. The first instances of gambling in the state date back to the revolutionary war when the founders sold lottery tickets to help fund the war against the British. Those funds were also used to help found Rutgers and Princeton University.

There was a fair bit of momentum for gambling early on and in 1853, the state opened the first race track in the United States, the Freehold Raceway. This started the state’s long and storied history with race tracks, it’s still one of the states with the most percent of land dedicated to horse land and horse racing.

But the state’s gambling momentum was stalled in the late 19th century when gambling was made illegal. Prohibition didn’t help things either as the government tried to crack down on vices. That hindered gambling throughout the country and the state of New Jersey in the early 20th century. But after prohibition was repealed, gambling started making a comeback. New Jersey re-legalized horse tracks in 1939. Bingos and raffles followed in the 50s and then New Jersey launched a state lottery in the 60s. The decades started rolling in the big guns and then the state legalized casinos in Atlantic City in the 70s. Gaming was exploding, Atlantic City was the gambling capital of the east coast and horses were racing at all hours. This led to a gambling culture that’s ingrained in all New Jerseyans to this day.

That’s what led to one of New Jersey’s most memorable and significant gaming moves in US history. The 1992 PASPA legislation had banned sports betting in any state that wasn’t Nevada. But New Jersey then led a years-long fight that ended up in the Supreme Court. In 2018 the Supreme Court finally ruled in favor of New Jersey and this opened the sports betting floodgates around the country. New Jersey quickly legalized online sports betting and grew to become one of the largest sports betting markets in the country. Several states have followed and this has also opened up the conversation for online poker legislation in a lot of states.

That’s something New Jersey already locked down. Just months after Nevada passed online poker legislation, New Jersey did the same. Atlantic City-based casinos teamed up with online poker operators to launch poker sites that catered to New Jersyans. The state then joined a player pool sharing agreement with Nevada and Delaware, further expanding the number of players at each site.

Online poker and gaming have continued to grow ever since in New Jersey as it proves itself to still be one of the gaming capitals of the United States.

Famous New Jersey Poker Players

Phil Ivey

Phil Ivey isn’t afraid of anyone in poker cash games

New Jersey is home to a lot of famous gamblers and gambling lore. Phil Ivey, easily one of the most famous and popular poker players in the world hails from New Jersey. Here’s a list of the top 15 highest-earning tournament poker players to come out of the Garden State.

1st: Phil Ivey – $31,377,928
2nd: Thomas Marchese – $19,016,194
3rd: Chris Klodnicki – $10,103,725
4th: Scott Blumstein $8,590,428
5th: Paul Volpe – $8,544,636
6th: Darren Elias – $7,843,136
7th: Joshua Beckley – $5,389,639
8th: Tom Dwan – $4,818,036
9th: Matthew Stout – $4,220,957
10th: Michael Ruane – $3,503,843
11th: William Tonking – $3,030,515
12th: Allen Bari – $2,905,680
13th: Michael Wang – $2,676,012
14th: Jeffrey Papola – $2,532,843
15th: Todd Terry – $2,363,560

State-by-State Laws

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