Below you’ll find comprehensive reviews of the major NJ online poker rooms along with answers to frequently asked questions about legal online poker in New Jersey. Learn more about NJ’s online casinos here.
Last updated: April 23, 2017
The NJ online poker industry of 2017 is quite a bit different than the one from early 2016, but only marginally for the better.
On one hand, today’s operators boast better event schedules, promotions, and thanks to PokerStars, games, than they did. Not to mention, NJ online poker revenue was up for 2016, as was cash game liquidity.
On the other, neither revenue nor liquidity are up by significant margins. And although PokerStars quickly rose to market share leader, it cannibalized the overwhelming majority of its revenue from existing operators.
To illustrate, in February 2017, PokerStars had a 41 percent share of the market. But year-over-year revenue was up a scant 8.8 percent.
Same story for cash game liquidity, which was up just 10.9 percent from the day PokerStars unofficially launched (March 16, 2016) to the same day in 2017. This, despite PokerStars controlling nearly 44 percent of cash game liquidity as of mid-March.
That being said, the entry of PokerStars has been a net positive for the industry, and online poker in general, in less measurable ways:
Turning to operators not named PokerStars, the future looks mixed. Second place network WSOP NJ/888 has maintained a creative promotional schedule. Together with its strong branding, this has allowed it to remain a somewhat close second.
Third place Party/Borgata is stuck in the mud. The running of the GSSS V in October was an attempt to reverse course. Unfortunately, the series was marred by mass overlays and cancellations. The ensuing ire of its player base looked to be the first nail in the coffin for the network.
Since, the network has scaled back its efforts. Last March’s GSSS Spring ’17 was a shadow of its former self, all but solidifying PokerStars’ stance as the go-to site for tournament events.
With cash game averages on Party/Borgata hovering around just 70 during the seasonal uptick, one has to wonder how long it’ll be before the bottom falls out.
WSOP.com: When PokerStars NJ first set up shop, cash game traffic on then market share leading WSOP/888 took a substantial hit. Since, liquidity has rebounded somewhat, but it looks as though WSOP will have to content itself … Read our full WSOP.com NJ review >>>
PokerStars NJ: When we last saw PokerStars in the U.S. back in April 2011, it was embroiled in a heated battle with then competitor Full Tilt for online poker supremacy. My, how times have … Read our complete PokerStars NJ review >>>
888 Poker NJ: The WSOP/888 network absorbed the launch of PokerStars NJ about as well as expected, losing just under 25 percent of its cash game liquidity. The duo continue to share liquidity across lower stakes no limit hold’em cash games and … Read the complete 888 NJ review >>>
PartyPokerNJ: Since the entry of PokerStars, liquidity on Party/Borgata has fallen to nearly unsustainable levels. However, its recent performance on the tournament front has been … Read our complete Party NJ / Borgata review >>>
While sites certainly have points in the day where they are more or less busy, and while a certain promotion or tournament may cause traffic at a particular room to spike temporarily, it’s best to look at rolling averages to understand which poker rooms are most consistently busy.
At most recent check (April 2017) the 7-day average was 296 simultaneous players and trending up due to a favorable climate on WSOP/888.
As it currently stands, here are the active online poker sites in New Jersey from most active to least active, with a general estimate of market share:
Click on the link of any room above for an in-depth analysis of the site’s traffic for cash games and tournaments.
In terms of the overall market size: You can track traffic at New Jersey online poker sites over at PokerScout.com.
Suffice it to say, traffic is substantial enough to guarantee a variety of low-to-mid-stakes games and a variety of MTTs and SNGs (also at the lower end of the buyin spectrum).
Right now the game of choice at most rooms is no limit holdem.
Remember, most of the software powering online poker sites in New Jersey is not new. In some cases, it’s been around for over a decade (888 and PartyPoker, for example). So these rooms all have the capability to add new games. It’s more a matter of whether or not there’s sufficient player interest to justify adding new games, especially when you start talking about more niche variants like HORSE or Badugi.
Yes, PokerStars has launched Spin & Go tournaments for New Jersey players.
In terms of dedicated apps, players have the following choices:
Google does not allow any real-money gambling apps in the Google Play Store.
Therefore, you’ll need to visit the site for a given poker room using your Android phone or tablet in order to download the app.
Available Android apps for NJ online poker:
PartyPoker and Borgata also offer a Java-based browser version of their software that may work on some devices.
For regular updates on new mobile apps and other developments in New Jersey, bookmark our NJ online poker news section.
Yes. If you are in the state of New Jersey, you can play real-money poker and casino games at a variety of regulated sites. The official list of legal NJ online casinos and poker rooms is located here.
You do not need to be a resident of New Jersey to play at the state’s regulated online poker sites. The only requirement is that you have to be within the state to play for real money.
You can access your account from anywhere in the United States. You can also deposit and cash out from anywhere. But you have to be within the borders of New Jersey (as verified by the site’s geolocation software) in order to play for real money.
As of the last update to this FAQ, there were four networks offering online poker in New Jersey:
As of January 12, 2015, WSOP and 888 share some – but not all – of their respective player pools. So a more accurate, albeit more confusing, description of the number of networks in NJ online poker would be 3.5 rather than 4.
You can read reviews of all three networks by clicking on the links above.
PokerStars operates as a standalone network, and brought the number of networks to between 3 and 4, depending on how you consider 888 and WSOP.
Note: Ultimate Poker was active in NJ but closed in September of 2014. Betfair (in partnership with Trump Plaza) technically had a poker site, but traffic at said site was non-existent and the room was formally shuttered in November of 2014.
Beyond PokerStars, it seems unlikely that you’ll see many additional rooms open in NJ until shared liquidity with other jurisdictions becomes a reality.
The performance of the state to date suggests that New Jersey is capable of supporting up to two distinct online poker networks over the long run.
Remember, when NJ started offering legal online poker, there were five distinct networks: Party / Borgata, WSOP, 888, Ultimate and Betfair.
A year later that number was down to (effectively) two networks, becoming three when PokerStars entered the equation.
Here’s an older, but still relevant, piece from OPR that looks at state population levels and what those levels suggest for said state’s ability to support online poker rooms.
In New Jersey, only land-based casinos qualify for online gambling permits (called Internet Gaming Permits by NJ regulators). But regulations also allow those casinos to partner with technology providers, who must also be vetted and licensed (albeit at a lower level of licensing) to take part in New Jersey’s regulated online gambling market.
Each Internet Gaming Permit – the license received by a land-based casino like The Borgata – can operate up to five websites. And each website can be a distinct brand.
So, in the case of the Borgata, their IGP is being used to power the following sites:
And each site (sans the two Pala entities) is powered by the bwin.party poker and casino software. In addition, the PartyPoker online poker site and the Borgata online poker site both feed into the same central player pool.
This question has, unfortunately, already been somewhat answered by the DGE. The online casino must find a new land-based partner, but has a grace period within which to do so.
When Trump Plaza announced plans to close, it was the first Atlantic City casino with an Internet Gaming Permit to shut down. Trump Plaza had a partnership with Betfair that allowed Betfair to operate an online casino in NJ.
The NJ DGE subsequently announced that Betfair could continue to operate online in NJ after the Plaza closes, contingent upon a few basic requirements. And Betfair then successfully located a new partner with the Golden Nugget Casino. But in the absence of a new partner, it seems that Betfair would have had to eventually close up shop in New Jersey.
Ultimate Poker closed in September 2014 after its business relationship with Trump Taj Mahal reportedly went south. Get more details on the closing of Ultimate Poker / UCasino. Ultimate subsequently ceased operations in Nevada in early November.
There’s been a lot of ambiguity surrounding the legality of online gambling in the United States. NJ sites are the first of a wave of legal, regulated online gambling options.
Regulated online gambling became legal through a bill that Gov. Chris Christie signed into law back in February of 2013.
In order to offer online poker or online casino games in New Jersey (more info on licensed NJ online casinos here), sites must have the approval of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Any other site that offers such games for real money to residents of New Jersey is in violation of state law.
Sites approved by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement. The official list is here.
You can review NJ’s online gambling regulations in full here.
New Jersey regulators have a simple process for handling customer-operator disputes arising from regulated online gambling:
The DGE will help you to properly file a dispute form if you have any questions. Contact them (609) 984-0909 / [email protected]
But remember, you must attempt to resolve the issue with the operator first.
You can self-exclude from NJ’s online poker rooms and casinos via a simple online form. A few important notes about self-exclusion from online gambling sites in New Jersey:
People choose to self-exclude from gambling sites for a number of reasons, many of which have nothing to do with problem gambling.
However, if you think you have an issue with gambling addiction, we encourage you to visit the National Council on Problem Gambling for additional information and resources.
Same as the land-based casino age: You must be 21 to play at NJ’s regulated online poker sites and casinos.
Anyone of age who can be confirmed by a given site as being located within the state can play online poker in New Jersey. You do not need to be a resident of New Jersey.
Yes. Right now the player pools are made up only of people in New Jersey.
No, you can just visit one of the websites approved by the DGE.
No. Delaware and Nevada are connected, but players in NJ are playing against other players in NJ only.
It is expected that some US states will at some point combine their player pools for online poker and casino gaming, much in the same way that several states pool lottery prize pools across a coalition of states (Powerball, for example).
But compacts are a complex affair and there are any number of factors slowing their development. So there’s no firm timeline or blueprint for how states like New Jersey will come to share player pools with other states offering regulated online gambling.
With that said, there are reason to be hopeful about New Jersey’s long-term chances for entering into liquidity-sharing agreements with other jurisdictions.
First, NJ DGE Director David Rebuck has mentioned on several occasions that his office has engaged in advanced conversations with regulators from the UK over the issue of sharing player pools.
Second, New Jersey has aspirations to serve as a regulatory hub for other states that are looking to regulate online gambling. In fact, Director Rebuck aggressively promoted those aspirations at the East Coast Gaming Congress in May 2015, saying “If you partner with New Jersey, I can guarantee you, you can be up and operating in anywhere from 90 to 120 days, and you can set whatever tax rate you want.”
Third, NJ gubernatorial candidate Sen. Raymond Lesniak is a strong proponent of online gambling, and would likely push for international compacts.
A quick overview of ways to deposit and cashout at NJ online poker sites follows below.
Methods vary by site. Credit cards, PayPal, echecks, ACH deposits prepaid cards and deposits at the casino cage are options offered by various NJ online poker sites.
The most reliable method, and also one of the fastest, is ACH (bank transfer).
Yes, VISA deposits currently have what are generally regarded as the lowest acceptance rates for online poker deposits in New Jersey. Even though these deposits are perfectly legal, several of VISA’s issuing banks initially decided to hold off on accepting such transactions for now.
The situation improved in 2015, when PartMasterCard and VISA issued new credit card codes for regulated online gambling, but difficulties persist.
One alternative is to use your VISA to fund an ewallet such as Neteller, and then to fund your player account using Neteller.
Yes. MasterCard acceptance rates are much higher than VISA and are easily the highest of any credit card. American Express does not allow gambling-related transactions.
No. American Express generally doesn’t allow gambling-related transactions regardless of legality, and the NJ online poker market is no exception.
Following almost a year of speculation regarding PayPal’s return to New Jersey, news that the company was once again handling online gambling payments arrived in September 2015.
For a number of reasons, but the short answer is that many banks and companies are waiting to see how regulated online gambling works out before jumping in. They’re concerned about possible unanticipated liabilities and weighing those against the revenue potential of regulated online gambling.
Once the amount of money involved grows and the uncertainty recedes, depositing at one of NJ’s online poker rooms will become an easier thing to do.
The introduction of new MCCs for processing regulated online gambling transactions in April 2015 brightened the outlook, but only to an incremental degree in the short term.
The answer to that question will vary by player. For a starting point for determining the best NJ online poker site, refer to our grades for NJ’s active rooms below:
The number of online poker sites in New Jersey is small enough that the question of which site is the “best” site becomes somewhat moot. Unlike the international market, where there are dozens of sites, NJ is home to only three entirely unique online poker networks.
That means players can realistically give all of NJ’s online poker rooms a fair trial and determine for themselves which is superior.
In most cases, players will derive the greatest benefit from playing at multiple (if not all of) NJ’s online poker rooms in order to maximize promotional and bonus value.
The bulk of the promotional value available to online poker players in New Jersey comes via the opening bonuses offered by all rooms in the state’s market.
New player bonuses come in two forums: no deposit bonuses, where players are given some amount of free money to try out the room, and deposit bonuses, where the poker site matches an amount deposited by the player with some sort of bonus funds the player can then convert into real money via further play.
Sites are required by regulations to demonstrate both that they can provide a secure gameplay environment and that they can securely store your personal information.
New Jersey’s regulated online poker rooms are subject to strict and regular oversight. If you have any suspicions, you can file a complaint with New Jersey regulators directly.
Sites are required to verify player identity by regulations, both to ensure you’re eligible to create an account and also for tax reporting purposes.
If you are playing at one of the approved, licensed sites in New Jersey then you should feel comfortable providing this information.
Sites need it in order to verify your identity, ensuring that accounts are only being created and used by those of legal age to gamble online (21).
Legal online poker in New Jersey currently generates somewhere along the lines of just over $2 mm in revenue a month, and up to $2.5 mm when special tournament events are running. Generally, the industry generates $500k more in the dead of winter versus the summer.
Read a more complete breakdown (including casino revenue) at our NJ online gambling revenue tracker.
The tax rate for legal online gambling in NJ is 15 percent of revenue, with an additional 3 percent re-investment tax applied for operators.
Online gambling as a whole has generated over $80 mm in tax revenue for NJ since being launched in November 2013. Poker has accounted for something around 17 percent of the total revenue in New Jersey, and therefore roughly 17 percent of all taxes generated by legal internet gambling to date.
NJ’s online operators don’t break out poker and casino in terms of profitability – only in terms of revenue. And no companies that I’m aware of have been willing to provide a detailed breakdown of their profit and loss so far in the regulated market for online gambling in NJ.
Borgata did indicate that they were realizing a profit from their online arm during a November 2014 earnings call and reiterated that position in their call covering the 1st quarter of 2015, although it is unclear how much of that revenue (or profit) came from online poker as opposed to online casino.
Every indication from land-based casino operators in New Jersey has been that online gambling supports their land-based products. Representatives from Caesars and the Borgata have said that the vast majority of online customers were new to their respective brands, suggesting that online is bringing a new kind of customer to Atlantic City’s casino operators.
These anecdotal reports provide support for recent research from UNLV that concludes the regulation of online gambling represents a net positive for land-based casinos and the companies that run them.
Generally speaking, anyone who promotes New Jersey’s regulated online gambling sites must be registered with the Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Sites that promote online poker or gambling are generally referred to as affiliate sites. Here’s one example of a site we operate with reviews of NJ online casino sites; here’s another of a site that we don’t operate that lets you earn online casino rewards.
Affiliates interested in the NJ online gambling market will need to make a choice between promoting regulated sites and promoting offshore US-facing sites. Recent updates to the regulations governing NJ online gambling require affiliates to cease promoting unregulated US-facing poker sites and casinos as part of the requirement for approval to promote NJ’s regulated sites like WSOP and Golden Nugget online casino.