New Jersey fought the courts for nearly a decade before finally having PASPA overturned as unconstitutional. Once the Garden State was able to legalise sports betting, it did so without delay and boasts now the most thriving casino and sports betting industry outside of Nevada.
Whilst New Jersey’s sports betting market is the most mature of the new markets, it still continues to grow and develop even with more and more neighbouring states now also moving towards sports betting legalisation or having already established it.
Let’s take a look at how New Jersey paved the way for sports betting in the US and its continued success.
Top NJ online sportsbooks 2022
Best NJ mobile sports betting apps
As of now (May 2022), residents in New Jersey can choose among 22 online sportsbooks and nearly a dozen retail bookmakers. Narrowing down which one is the best one seems rather unfair as it is ultimately up to your personal preferences and sports betting needs which one you will choose.
Most bettors will sign up to multiple sportsbook to test them out before settling on just one. Some never settle on just one and for the purpose of always having the best odds available or being able to continue shopping around for the best line prices, you may keep more than one mobile sports betting app installed.
Here we are giving you an idea of which apps you might want to consider checking out.
In New Jersey, DraftKings is partnered with Resorts Casino, and it was here that the very first online wager was taken in August 2018. Whilst primarily established as a DFS operator, DraftKings has become on of the foremost sports betting operators in the US. They also offer online casino gaming, which is legal in the Garden State and even outperforms sports betting.
DraftKings’ bet carousel and other features make it one of the best mobile betting apps around.
FanDuel is one of the partners of Meadowlands racetrack and just like DraftKings a betting site that started out in daily fantasy sports. FanDuel boasts one of the best mobile betting apps, particularly because it is easy to use, and customers get to benefit from features such as same-game parlays. On top of that you will find not just a wide variety of sports to bet on but also great betting options overall.
BetMGM has partnered with Borgata in NJ and has managed to establish itself as one of the biggest sportsbooks around. They have a massive selection of sports to bet on, covering a ton of markets as well. You will be hard-pressed to find another book that offers so many bets you can place. Plus, the “Edit my bet” feature is often quite handy. Only navigation could be improved here as it does take some getting used to.
SugarHouse has partnered with Monmouth Park (the racetrack where the first retail sports bets were taken in June 2018). The sportsbook comes with an attractive first deposit offer for new players and is a good option for regular rewards as well. The app tends to be a bit cluttered and takes a while to get used to, but overall, it is a solid option for newbies who also want to get into a bit of casino gambling.
Unibet hails originally from the UK and is partnered with Hard Rock Casino in New Jersey. Here you get an app without any bells and whistles, where functionality is key. You’ll benefit from a wide variety of sports to bet on alongside plenty of markets as well as daily profit boosts. It’s a good place to start when you are still new to online betting since Unibet comes the experience of many years.
History of betting and online sports betting in NJ
Way back in 1870, Monmouth Park opened a racetrack, where parimutuel betting was allowed. However, in 1897, New Jersey outlawed all gambling.
Only in 1939 things changed again when parimutuel betting was once again permitted at the racetracks in NJ.
A referendum backed by voters made raffles and charity bingo legal in New Jersey in 1953. And in 1970 the state lottery was created. This was also preceded by a major referendum.
In 1976, casino gambling was legalised, though the main provision was that it would only be allowed in Atlantic City.
Things changed on a federal level when Congress passed a law in 1992 called P.A.S.P.A. (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act), which essentially prohibited sports betting in the US.
In 2009, Senator Ray Lesniak was the first to argue that it was not fair for some states (such as Nevada) to have legal sports betting but not others. It was the first real challenge of PASPA, but the case was thrown out with the argument that only then-Governor Chris Christie could bring forth such a lawsuit.
When New Jersey voters supported yet another referendum to legalise sports betting in 2011, Governor Chris Christie signed legislation in 2012 that legalised sports betting at the casinos and racetracks. This happened in direct conflict with P.A.S.P.A. and resulted in a lawsuit by four major sports leagues and the NCAA against Christie.
Failing in lower instances, Christie finally appealed to the Supreme Court in 2014, but it declined to hear the case. That same year, New Jersey moved to legalise sports betting once again, but it took until 2017 for the Supreme Court to decide that they would hear the case. In May 2018, S.C.O.T.U.S. overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act, thereby eliminating the ban on sports betting.
Wasting no time, new Governor Murphy signed an updated sports betting bill into law in June 2018.
The Monmouth Park racetrack opened its sportsbook almost before the ink was dry and began accepting wagers. Just two months later, DraftKings became the first online sportsbook to offer mobile sports betting in the Garden State.
Future of sports betting in NJ
All betting and gambling in New Jersey is overseen by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. The state had decided to make it relatively easy for casino and racetracks to offer sports betting in the state, but that doesn’t mean that legislation isn’t strict or control lacking in any way.
Indeed, several operators have already been fined for violating various rules laid out in the licensing agreements. None of the fines were terribly high, but they illustrate that the NJDGE is vigilant.
It is worth noting, that racetracks and casinos are allowed to have three “skins”, which means they can partner with up to three online betting operators to offer sports betting in the state. Most casinos and racetracks have not yet used all skins. As such, more than the 22 currently operating bookmakers are likely to enter the NJ market.
Sportsbooks such as BallyBet, Fubo Sportsbook, Maxim Bet and Sporttrade are all set to launch in NJ as well.
New Jersey may seem like a saturated market, but there still seems to be more room for further sportsbooks to join the fray. Since entrance into the market comes at a reasonable price (USD 100,000 in licensing fees) with manageable tax rates, more books may enter in the future.
The Garden State is already home to the most mature sports betting market outside of Nevada, but the full potential has not been reached yet. Betting on in-state college teams and events is currently not permitted and new bills have already been introduced to change that. The last attempt failed, but law makers seem still interested in pursuing the full legalisation of betting on college sports in NJ as well.
How to get started in PA with a sportsbook or mobile betting app
There are plenty of sportsbooks to choose from in New Jersey if you want to place legal bets on your favourite sports and teams. The challenge will be finding the one that suits your needs and has everything to offer that you are looking for. Since no mobile betting app is every truly perfect, you may well sign up at more than one sportsbook.
Whichever site you end up choosing, you usually have to go through the same few steps to sign up and get started on sports betting:
- Only install mobile betting apps that are licensed through the NJDGE
- Register or sign up for an account (make sure to use proper credentials, including name, address, age, and the last four digits of your SSN)
- Allow the app or site to confirm your location (usually done via a separate geo-location app)
- Make a deposit
- Claim the welcome offer (if available)
- Start betting
This is usually done in a matter of minutes, though you should also be aware that you will need to verify your location. If you are wondering which geo-location app to install, keep in mind that most sportsbook actually recommend one that is safe and reliable.
What sports can you place wagers on in NJ?
New Jersey doesn’t have its own professional franchises to follow, but neighbouring states have plenty on offer for NJ residents.
Of course, the NFL is huge in the Garden State as well. Bettors will typically take their pick between Buffalo Bills, the New York Jets or the New York Giants with the Giants having the largest following. But since the Philadelphia Eagles also get a lot of support in NJ, you may find that plenty of bets are available for their games as well.
NBA fans will focus their energies on the New York Knicks above all other teams, though the Brooklyn Nets and the Philadelphia 76ers will show prominently in the betting options as well.
If there is one team that New Jersey bettors are likely to support it is the New York Yankees. They have scored 27 championship titles thus far, more than any other sports franchise in the US. Of course, you also have the Mets in New York, and the Philadelphia Phillies are also a franchise with a proud fan base.
If you follow the NHL, you will know that the New York Islanders are four-times Stanley Cup winners, whilst the Buffalo Sabres have never won a title. Of course, the New York Rangers are another team to keep an eye out for. Whilst the Philadelphia Flyers have won two Stanley Cups all the way back in 1974 and 1975, they are a great team that is very competitive and a good option for some solid betting action.
As noted above, in-state college sports betting is not allowed in New Jersey. You are not allowed to place wagers on in-state college teams wherever they may be playing and there is also no betting on college sports within NJ regardless of where the teams are from.
You will only be able to bet on college sport events and teams that take place and are from outside of the Garden State.
NJ Sports Betting FAQ
No, but it is important that you are located within NJ borders when registering an account or when using the sportsbook app. You will be required to download a geo-location app to verify your location as well. And you must be 21 years or older to sign up to sportsbook.
Online sportsbooks pay 13% in taxes on their gross sports betting revenue. Casinos only pay 8.5% in taxes for retail sports betting. Racetracks pay the same rate but also an additional 1.25% in taxes for wagers placed online. Finally, all sports bets are subject to 0.25% in federal taxes.
Yes, it is. New Jersey does not just have legal land-based casino in Atlantic City, but online gambling was also legalised.
Whilst you can technically bet at offshore sportsbooks, they are not licensed by the NJDGE and are therefore not safe for you to sing up at.
Yes. DFS was legalised in 2017.