New Jersey Online Poker FAQ


Online poker in the Garden State is relatively new, so we understand that there's a lot of confusion out there. Our FAQ has all the details on what's going on with legal online poker in New Jersey.

When did online poker become legal in New Jersey?

On February 26, 2013, online poker became legal after the Senate passed the bill by a margin of 35-1. Chris Christie, the Governor of New Jersey, signed the bill into law just a few hours later. With the stroke of a pen, the Garden State became the third sate to pass online gambling legislation.

How did it become law?

It was a long road, actually. In January 2010, Senator Raymond Lesniak introduced the very first bill to regulate online gambling in the garden state. The Governor eventually vetoed that bill. After a series of incidents, including Black Friday and the government's clarification that the wire act doesn't apply to anything outside of sports betting, new bills were introduced in the state assembly. A strong will to beat Nevada to the legalized poker punch helped the bill gain traction.

When did online sites open for business?

Online poker was officially rolled out in New Jersey on November 25th, 2013 after a 1-week soft launch.

What rules and regulations do online sites have to abide by?

All the rules that apply to land-based casinos apply to online poker sites, too. What's more, NJ online poker sites can only accept residents from New Jersey while they're within state lines. And it gets even more restrictive on the backend. Every vendor that a New Jersey legal poker site does business with has to be vetted by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. This is to ensure that there is no criminal activity involved whatsoever.

Can I play on my mobile?

At some legal NJ online poker sites, you can access the tables from your smartphone or tablet. Support for various devices varies from poker site to poker site. If your favorite NJ poker room doesn't yet offer mobile poker, it's likely that they're working on it and it will be added to the mix soon.

Can I play for free?

Definitely. And it's not a temporary deal, either. Once you create your account at a legal online poker site in New Jersey, you can play as much free online poker as you like. The quality of the games, of course, will be determined by the number of players who sit down at the free tables.

Will these sites attract a lot of pro gamblers?

They're starting to, but many pro gamblers are taking a wait-and-see approach before committing to just one site. This is great news for online poker players who want to take advantage of fish. The NJ poker market is one of the loosest markets on the planet by far.

Do I have to pay taxes on my winnings?

Not off the bat. Instead, the casinos must pay taxes on revenue earned. Land-based casino must pay 8% tax on revenue earned while Internet poker rooms and casinos are hit with a 15% tax. However, you should consult with an accountant before you file your taxes. Remember, if poker is a career for you, your winning could be considered income.

Will lots of online poker players be moving to New Jersey?

Right now, there are reports of lots of players moving from surrounding states. Many online poker pros have already moved to Canada, Europe, or Costa Rica to play on other sites, but legal New Jersey online poker sites could cause them to move back to the US. As more states look at the success of the US model, it's possible that legalized online poker could spread and states could combine their player pools.

Are these sites safe?

Absolutely. Every New Jersey legal poker online site on our list is verified to be safe and secure. They take the necessary security measures and use high-end encryption technology to keep every transaction secure. What's more, before any online poker site launched in the state, the software was meticulously audited by major gambling authorities for quality, randomness, and security.

Who regulates them?

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement regulates online poker in the Garden State. These are the same people who regulate land-based gaming, and they've been doing so for years. Their goal is simple - to make sure that the companies providing you with gambling entertainment and poker games are honest, reputable, and operating fairly.