Legal Online Poker In New Jersey Is Alive And Well

In November 2013, the first regulated online poker rooms launched in the state of New Jersey. This was a part of an overall launch of various types of online gambling sites, including casino games. New Jersey is an interesting case for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that their online gambling legislation was largely a bid to help boost gambling revenue in the state as Atlantic City pulls in lower numbers each year. Online poker is a significant part of that and New Jersey is certainly one of three states that have pioneered legal online poker in the United States.

Best Legal New Jersey Online Poker Sites

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Site Name Bonus Offer Rating States USA
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WSOP Poker 100% Max $400 4.5 Star Rating 3/50 USA Accepted

The Nature of Their Legislation

The tie-in with Atlantic City is a big part of the online poker landscape in the state. Each online poker room has to be licensed to operate under an existing land-based casino in the state. This set a precedent that can't really be followed in other states since Atlantic City is the second-largest gambling city in the United States, and Nevada already had regulated online poker when New Jersey's games launched. As a result, other states that might want to push through legislation to regulate the industry haven't really been able use New Jersey as a blueprint of what to do.

Players are able to get in on the action with any of the sites regulated in New Jersey as long as they are physically located in New Jersey. This has caused some problems while they've had to work out some software bugs with geographical location verification programs that were a bit conservative and decided some players who were actually located in New Jersey weren't allowed to play for being outside of the state. The vast majority of those issues have been solved, and that's all a part of being one of the first states to regulate the online poker industry. It's not a big deal in the grand scheme of things, but it's worth noting in case it happens to you.

Market Share Issues

Poker is a game that requires a certain size of a market to be able to function well because of the way the ecology of poker players works. As of spring 2016, the average number of total players online in all of the regulated sites combined is between 400 and 425. This fluctuates a bit throughout the day and throughout the week, and if you hit at peak times, then you can easily see over 500 or 600 total players getting in on the action.

However, that's not a very big pool of players to share between multiple sites, and when the PokerStars NJ site launched in March 2016 and immediately started pulling away about half of the market, the other major competitors had to adjust by merging player pools to try to compete. At the time of this writing, PokerStars holds about 50 percent of the market, the shared player pool between and 888 holds about 30 percent, and the shared player pool between PartyPoker and Borgata holds about 20 percent.

Keep in mind that the sites for PokerStars, PartyPoker, etc. only include players from New Jersey, and these players aren't mixed in with those from any other part of the world.

The Need for Interstate Poker

The size of the market for regulated online poker in New Jersey is pretty low for a couple of reasons. First, many players who are used to playing poker regularly do so at offshore sites or through land-based poker rooms. Second, do not have pacts with any other states to share players, an arrangement that would create interstate poker options for their players. For example, has the most popular site in Nevada, and sharing players between that site and the in New Jersey would drastically improve the number of games available at any given time.

The biggest hope that New Jersey has for online poker is to make interstate pacts with other states (only Delaware and Nevada at the time of this writing, who coincidentally do have an interstate pact between themselves to share poker players). This would make for a better player pool, and it would create a situation where players wouldn't have to avoid playing because there aren't any games already running.