Back in January of 2011, online gambling laws changed in New Jersey and the New Jersey Legislature padded a bill that would allow legal online gambling by residents of the state who were over the legal gambling age of 21. Since the state constitution would online allow gambling in Atlantic City, the servers that were to be operating online gambling sites must be located at one of the licensed casino sites in Atlantic City. The legislation was vetoed by the Governor stating that allowing any customer to bet through computer terminals would leave the chance for commercial businesses like nightclubs to become gambling hubs in the state. To respond to the veto, the United States Justice Department issued an opinion in December that the Federal Wire Act would only prohibit online sports betting and not specific casino games. In February of 2013, a revised bill pertaining to the legality of online gambling was approved by the New Jersey Legislature and was soon signed into law. This law recognises online gambling at casino sites for a trial period of 10 years. While the law does open doors for players, there are some restrictions in place. The operation of online gambling websites is restricted to the 11 land operating casinos in Atlantic City and there is a 15% tax on all online gambling revenue that is generated, which is higher than the current 8% in land casino locations.
After the bill was passed, a number of online casinos launched, including Borgata, Caesars, Trump Plaza Hotel, Bally’s Park Place, Tropicana, Golden Nugget and Trump Taj Mahal. These six sites were launched in November of 2013 after a five day period of testing. The Golden Nugget was the last site to be launched since the testing period started well after the others. In order for players to play at any of these regulated sites, it is required for them to be residents of Ney Jersey and to be of legal age. To ensure the right players were accessing sites, New Jersey has to develop a way to verify the identity of players to make sure they met the requirements. This has been a challenge, but is under control and now, many players in the state are easily and safely accessing online casinos and enjoying their favourite games, just as they would in a land casino in Atlantic City.
After being legal for just over a year, there are now some DC lawmakers that are sponsoring a legislation that would ban online gambling in New Jersey. While the legalised online casinos have stated they are trying to ensure the verification of all players, they are falling short. Some sites are not conducting the proper verifications, allowing underage gamblers and even players who reside in other states where online gambling is not yet legal. The proposed bill will eliminate the legal action of betting online, but there is no word on whether the bill will be passed. It is being opposed by many New Jersey law makers.
At this time, players who reside in New Jersey and have provided the proper forms of verification are free to create a casino account and begin playing real money games from home. Since US players have struggled when playing at off shore online casinos with the passing of UIGEA, the act has been lifted in states where online gambling is legal, allowing players the ease of using credit and debit cards to fund and manage their accounts online. With the growing popularity of online gambling, it is doubtful that New Jersey will ban online gambling. It is more reasonable to assume that bordering states will soon adopt their own online gambling laws.
With millions of US residents enjoying the services at off shore online casinos, having sites that are operating on US soil is appealing. Unfortunately, residents of the US do not have many choices at this time since the operating online casinos require players to residents of the state in which the site is operating, which is limiting the majority of the country.
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