New Jersey was not only the first state to introduce online sports betting – it was instrumental in overturning the federal ban. For decades the PASPA (Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992) stood in the way of this. Ex-Governor Chris Cristy took the fight all the way to the Supreme Court. In 2018, PASPA was overturned – allowing the states to regulate their own online sportsbooks.
With poker rooms and NJ casinos already operating online, and a licensing system in place, NJ was in a unique position to move forward quickly with NJ sports gambling. Just one year after betting was legal, 12 New Jersey online sportsbooks launched along with the ability to bet on sports at the major casinos and racetracks.
This page covers everything you need to know to get started with online sports betting in New Jersey. You’ll find info on the online and brick and mortar books, NJ sports betting apps, in-play (live) betting and the types of bets available. At the end of this page you’ll find a FAQ section detailing the practical aspects of enjoying a bet online.
When people from all states are able to bet online – it is New Jersey they will thank for the opportunity. This state has been a pioneer in challenging the old laws which prevented states from making their own decisions on sports betting activity.
The act in question was PASPA. This was put in place in 1992, making sports betting illegal in most states. The only place you could legally bet was Nevada, with the famous casino sportsbooks of the Las Vegas strip becoming a popular destination for the big sporting events.
New Jersey’s fight against PASPA started in 2014. An act was passed which legalized US sports betting, which was then challenged. Appeals lasted for years, ending up in the Supreme Court. Eventually, and to the dismay of many pro sports leagues, the act was declared unconstitutional in May of 2018.
Separately, New Jersey set up a licensing body (the New Jersey Division of Gambling Enforcement) in 2013. Licenses were awarded to brick and mortar casinos, who partnered with technology providers to bring poker and casino games online.
With the licensing and infrastructure in place, it was a relatively simple step to add online sports betting. The first wave of legal sports betting sites opened in the fall of 2018. With 12 books currently in operation, many run by big international brands, there is plenty of competition. This results in some great odds and bonus deals for players.
When many people think of sports betting online, they imagine setting bets at a desktop. New technology has bought NJ betting to mobile apps. This means you can bet while watching a game, adding a new level of excitement.
Most NJ betting sites offer a choice of downloading an app – or using their website (which will respond automatically to your screen size). There is little to choose between the two options, with all betting markets, including live (in-play) betting available on the go.
There are some additional steps required for NJ betting with apps:
Betting on sports as they happen has been available for quite some time internationally and has been a be a big hit with bettors on all kinds of sports.
The idea is that the lines update in real time, based on the action in the game / race / fight involved. The money line, spread and totals will instantly change – along with any sport-specific bets and props.
You can take advantage in several ways.
For casual sports fans, adding bets as the action unfolds is enjoyable in its own right. You can see how your team starts – and add to a position if you see them start strong. For more experienced sports betting fans, you can use live betting to hedge positions or double down on your winning positions.
Placing a live bet works exactly the same as regular betting. You might notice that these bets take a little longer to process than usual. This is to make sure that the match state does not change again while the bet is going through.
Related to live sports betting, and available at some NJ books is ‘Cash Out Betting’. This allows you to exit a bet early at a pre-set price. It can be used to get a little back on bets which might lose, cash out of parlays before the final leg, or free up some cash for a better proposition.
With 12 sportsbooks in operation, there is plenty of competition for your bets in New Jersey. You can take advantage right away with welcome bonus offers. These include free bets, rebates and matched bonuses. Here are the types of offer to look for when you sign up:
You might find variations on these themes. For example, sportsbooks which give you $20 in free bets each time you wager $100 for your first $500 in wagers.
While taking advantage of welcome offers is a great way to start your betting bankroll, ongoing offers are also important. When you settle for one sportsbook, make sure it has the promotions and specials to keep your bankroll regularly topped up.
Things to look for include a comp / loyalty points scheme, reload bonuses, parlay insurance promotions, picks contests or leader boards. Some books will also offer cross over promos to try out their casino section.
As well as the online betting opportunities, there are plenty of places to bet live in NJ. Most of the books are at the Atlantic City casino resorts, though you will also find them at Monmouth Park and Meadowlands.
Here is a list of the 11 retail sportbook venues where you’ll be able to place bets live:
Yes, sports betting was made legal in 2014, though challenges based on the PASPA needed to introduce this took until May 2018 to resolve. Online and brick and mortar sportsbooks are licensed by the NJDGE.
You can place a bet on your desktop computer, mobile phone or at one of 11 brick and mortar sportsbooks. As long as you are within the borders of New Jersey, real money bets will be accepted. Geo-location technology is used to pinpoint your exact location. You can view our list of the top NJ sports betting sites above for bonus offers.
Anyone over 21 who is inside state borders can place a bet. There is no requirement to be a permanent resident. You will be required to supply Id documents; this protects the sportsbooks against fraud as well as ensures underage patrons can’t bet.
The list of sports to bet on is huge. The major leagues are covered in depth, with college games and season-long futures bets (on both teams and players) available. Other popular sports include soccer (both MLC and international leagues), golf, fighting (UFC and Boxing) and tennis.
Depending on the sportsbook, you can find a long list of niche sports. Bets on cricket, rugby, Aussie rules, snooker, darts, motorsports and cycling are available.
Most bettors stick to money line, spread and totals bets – either as singles or parlays (multi-match) bets. As you gain experience with sports betting, you’ll find that a lot of other options are available. These include player props, period betting, in-play (live) betting, cash out bets, teasers and more. Most New Jersey sports betting sites will allow you to switch between decimal and fractional odds.
Yes, live betting is available at the best NJ sports betting sites. This allows you to place bets on events which are already underway. Some sports are well suited to this format. Longer format games (or those with plenty of time-out periods) such as Football, baseball and Golf work well. I recommend you try out live betting, this can add a lot of extra interest to events you are watching.
A big advantage to betting at a legal / regulated sportsbook is that you have easy ways to move your funds onto and off from the sportsbooks. Most of the NJ online sportsbooks accept PayPal as well as credit cards, PayNearMe and ewallet services, like Neteller and Skrill.
Yes. Compared to the grey-market offshore books you have a lot of different protections in New Jersey. First, all the sites are overseen by the New Jersey Division of Gambling Enforcement. This gives you an avenue to escalate any disputes, and ensures you’ll be treated fairly. Second, the books are all partnerships between big venues and global technology brands. These businesses have built reputations for many years.