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: May 14, 2015
|WSOP NJ||B||B-||B-||B-||B||Play now|
|888 NJ||B-||B+||B||D+||B-||Play now|
|Party NJ||C+||C+||D-||D+||C-||Play now|
Since, both upstart Ultimate Poker and hapless Betfair have gone the way of the dinosaur. Online casino powerhouses the Golden Nugget and Tropicana have seemingly abandoned their poker plans and newcomer Pala Interactive appears resigned to using its upcoming NJ online poker room as a testing ground for a possible launch in California.
And now that WSOP.com and 888 have pooled players at low stakes cash games and select tournaments, today’s market is smaller and more focused than the one that launched 14 months ago.
But the question remains – “Is it a better market?”
In some capacities, yes. But for the most part, NJ operators have failed to address their most critical maladies. And of the business decisions that have been put into practice, most are received with mixed reactions by the community.
In turn, the remaining operations have failed to exhibit much in the way of growth, despite a consolidation of the market and this being a season when online poker activity is historically at its highest.
WSOP.com: While I’m of the mind that high-volume, low-stakes grinders are best served playing on WSOP’s sister site, most other players, especially recreational players and MTT grinders, will feel comfortable on WSOP.
It’s not that the site is doing anything particularly mind-blowing at the moment, but more what the competition, namely Party/Borgata, isn’t doing. That being said, I do believe the site has to step up its game in preparation for PokerStars. Whether this be via reexamination of its player loyalty program, even more ambitious promotions, bigger VIP freerolls or something else, is up to the team.
But for now, WSOP’s stable client, creative promotional offers, increased traffic and stellar SNG playing environment are reason enough to allocate the site an above-average … Read our full WSOP.com NJ review >>>
PartyPokerNJ: Party has the potential to be NJ’s, and possibly the United States’, premier online poker operation. But for whatever reason, be it communication breakdowns, budgetary restrictions or because Party allocates its A+ team to its ROW operation, the network’s efforts have fallen way short.
Which is too bad, because with regards to value, traffic and payment processing Party/Borgata is performing reasonably well. But its frequent technical failings and wishy-washy approach to problem solving are impossible to ignore.
Unfortunately for Party, exemplary customer service and a stable platform are the cornerstones of any successful online poker operation, and it has … Read our complete Party NJ review >>>
BorgataPoker.com: With the leading live poker brand in New Jersey, the Borgata online poker room is the natrural destination for many NJ online poker players.
And, like network partner Party Poker, there’s a lot to like about the Borgata’s online poker site. Big-ticket tournament series that cross over with major live events at the Borgata and a solid promotional schedule are just two of the selling points for players at Borgata online.
But there’s a fair amount on the other side of the scale as well, including … Read our complete Borgata Online Poker review >>>
888 Poker NJ: 888’s ROW poker room has been outperforming global industry averages for years, and today resides as the second most heavily trafficked site in the world.
I expect a similar trend to emerge in the United States, where PokerStars becomes top dog and a unified All American Poker Network positions itself right behind the online poker behemoth. Who knows, if enough states disallow PokerStars, 888/WSOP may become the face of U.S. regulated poker.
The operator has already taken the first few steps, via its planned poker room and pending liquidity sharing agreement with WSOP in Nevada, and now a partial liquidity sharing arrangement. The next steps will entail merging fully with WSOP in the Garden State, and emerging as the face of Nevada and Delaware’s interstate compact.
However, in order to truly thrive, 888 must turn up the aggression. Rote promotions, poor customer service, and a bare-bones client diminish what is otherwise …. Read the complete 888 NJ 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 the 7-day average was 295 simultaneous players.
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.
Once Amaya completed their purchase of PokerStars, there appeared to be a good chance that PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker would be available in New Jersey. The thinking was that the purchase would remove the executives and associations that had caused concern for NJ regulators.
New Jersey law does not contain a so-called “bad actors” clause, so the decision about whether to allow PokerStars in is left completely up to regulators. And regulators initially appeared to be bullish on PokerStars’ chances post-Amaya purchase.
With that said, PokerStars’ approval to offer online poker in NJ is taking longer than anticipated. Here’s an article covering the various theories behind that delay.
Read a comprehensive list of answers to questions about PokerStars in New Jersey here, a preview of PokerStars NJ and a preview of Full Tilt Poker NJ.
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:
Here’s a quick comparison of the Android apps of Party / Borgata and WSOP / 888:
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|Party / Borgata Android||B||B-||B||B||B|
Click on any link below to be taken to the iTunes page for the app mentioned.
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 news section.
Yes. If you are located within 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. You only need to be located 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 must be located 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 three 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 confusion, description of the number of networks in NJ online poker would be 2.5 rather than 3.
You can read reviews of all three networks by clicking on the links above.
PokerStars is expected to operate as a standalone network upon launch, bringing the number of networks to 4.
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.
Yes. But how many rooms there will ultimately be in NJ remains something of an open question:
The performance of the state to date suggests that New Jersey is capable of supporting one or 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 is down to (effectively) two networks.
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 be used to 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 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 new land-based partner, but is given 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 has a partnership with Betfair that allows 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 was made legal by 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, 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 / firstname.lastname@example.org.
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 recently 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.
A quick overview of ways to deposit and cashout at NJ online poker sites follows below.
Methods vary by site. Credit cards, 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 have decided to hold off on accepting such transactions for now.
One alternative is to use your VISA to fund an ewallet such as Neteller, and then to fund your player account using Neteller.
VISA acceptance rates are expected to improve in 2015 when the company rolls out new merchant category codes designed specifically for regulated online gambling.
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.
Not at this point. PayPal stopped accepting US gambling transactions several years ago and has yet to update their policies to reflect the new reality of regulated online gambling in the United States.
With that said, PayPal is reportedly set to return to the NJ market sometime in 2015.
For a number of reasons, but the short answer is that many banks and companies like PayPal 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 should improve the situation, 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:
|WSOP NJ||B||B-||B-||B-||B||Play now|
|888 NJ||B-||B+||B||D+||B-||Play now|
|Party NJ||C+||C+||D-||D+||C-||Play now|
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 four unique online poker rooms.
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.
We’ve broken down the bonuses available for online poker NJ players:
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 between $2mm – $3mm in revenue a month. 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% of revenue, with an additional 3% re-investment tax applied for operators.
Online gambling as a whole has generated nearly $30mm in tax revenue for NJ since being launched in November 2013. Poker has accounted for something around 20% of the total revenue in New Jersey, and therefore roughly 20% 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 recvenue (or profit) came from online poker as opposed to online casino.New Jersey's Online Poker Sites: A Poker Player's Review Robert DellaFave