Online Poker Report

A Poker Player’s Review of New Jersey’s Online Poker Sites

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.

Last updated: November 27th, 2014.

Online poker NJ: Site grades

RoomTrafficPromosSoftwareSupportOverall
Party NJ C+CDD-C
BorgataC+BDD-C
WSOP NJC+CBB-B-
888 NJDBBDC

NJ online poker room reviews / fact sheets

PartyPokerNJAfter a seven-year hiatus, the former market leader for online poker is back in the United States. Sharing a network with Borgata Poker, PartyPoker NJ has already jumped to the top of New Jersey’s online poker traffic charts.

Read our complete Party NJ review >>>

BorgataPoker.com: The leading brand for live poker in New Jersey teamed up with PartyPoker to offer NJ online poker, and the result is what has quickly become the leading network in the New Jersey Internet gambling market.

Read our complete Borgata Online Poker review >>>

WSOP.com: The biggest national name in live poker now offers online poker for real money in both Nevada and New Jersey – and it’s the only site where you can qualify for a WSOP seat online.

Read our full WSOP.com NJ review >>>

888 Poker NJ: While providing the software for WSOP.com, 888 is also operating their own brand in New Jersey. And that 888 Poker NJ brand operates on a totally separate network – The All American Poker Network – with separate player pools.

Read the complete 888 NJ review >>>

Online poker in NJ: How many people are playing?

What are the busiest sites? What games can I play?
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.

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:

  1. PartyPoker NJ / Borgata (Shared network) – 44% market share .
  2. WSOP NJ40% market share .
  3. 888 Poker NJ16% 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. For reference, the largest site in New Jersey (Party / Borgata) is generally ranked 30th-40th in terms of global online poker traffic.

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. As traffic levels increase and rooms work out the kinks, expect to see more games rolled out.

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.

[- Hide]

Will PokerStars / Full Tilt Poker be available in NJ?

Answers to questions about PokerStars in NJ
Now that Amaya has completed their purchase of PokerStars, there appears to be a good chance that PokerStars and Full Tilt Poker will be available in New Jersey.

In short: The purchase of PokerStars by Amaya will likely assuage the concerns New Jersey regulators had about licensing PokerStars.

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.

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.

[- Hide]

List of mobile options for NJ online poker players

Phone / tablet choices for NJ poker sites
In terms of dedicated apps, players have the following choices:

iOS apps for online poker in New Jersey

Click on any link below to be taken to the iTunes page for the app mentioned.

Android apps for online poker in New Jersey

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 NJ Android app. Read review hereVisit PartyPoker NJ using your Android device to download.
  • Borgata Poker NJ Android app. Read review here. Same under the hood as Party’s app, but with Borgata branding and promotions.
  • 888 Poker NJ Android app. Read review here. Visit 888 NJ using your Android device in order to download and install.
  • WSOP NJ Android app. Read review here. Again, same under the hood as 888 but with WSOP branding and a different player pool. Visit WSOP.com on your Android device in order to install.

Other mobile-compatible alternatives

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.

[- Hide]

The basics of New Jersey online poker

How does it work?

Can I play for real money?

Yes. If you are located within New Jersey, you can play real-money poker and casino games at a variety of regulated sites.

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.

What sites are offering poker right now?

As of the last update to this FAQ, there were three networks offering online poker in New Jersey:

You can read reviews of all three networks by clicking on the links above.

Note: Betfair (in partnership with Trump Plaza) technically has a live poker site, but traffic at said site is non-existent. Ultimate Poker was active in NJ but closed in September of 2014.

Are other rooms going to be available in the future?

Yes. But the how many rooms there will ultimately be in NJ remains something of an open question:

  • Resorts has a partnership with PokerStars that is still awaiting regulatory approval.
  • Golden Nugget / Bally Technologies are expected to launch a poker product at some point, but have experienced several delays on the poker front and currently have no firm timeline for launch.
  • Tropicana / Gamesys (Virgin)  have indicated that they do not have an active plan to pursue online poker in NJ and will be focusing on their casino product.
  • Showboat (now closed) and Ballys and Harrahs are owned by Caesars and are not expected to have separate poker brands apart from the WSOP.
  • Revel is closed.

How many poker sites can New Jersey realistically support?

That’s a good question. The performance of the state to date suggests that New Jersey is capable of supporting two distinct online poker networks over the long run.

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.

Once PokerStars launches in NJ, we may see some consolidation among the state’s existing poker networks.

How do the partnerships between casinos and sites like PartyPoker work?

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:

  • BorgataPoker.com
  • BorgataCasino.com
  • Nj.PartyPoker.com

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.

What happens to an online poker site if its land-based casino closes?

This question has, unfortunately, already been somewhat answered by the DGE.

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.

What happened to Ultimate Poker?

Ultimate Poker closed 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.

[- Hide]

Why these sites are legal

Why are these sites legal? What are the laws?
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.

Why is this legal? I thought online gambling was illegal.

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.

Who can offer regulated online poker in New Jersey?

Sites approved by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement. The official list is here.

What are the regulations governing online gambling in NJ?

You can review NJ’s online gambling regulations in full here.

[- Hide]

Who can play online poker in New Jersey?

How to make accounts and play

What is the minimum age to play online poker in NJ?

Same as the land-based casino age: You must be 21 to play at NJ’s regulated online poker sites and casinos.

Who is allowed to play at NJ online poker sites?

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.

Am I playing just against other people in NJ?

Yes. Right now the player pools are made up only of people in New Jersey.

Do I have to go to the casino to set up an online poker account?

No, you can just visit one of the websites approved by the DGE.

I heard Nevada and Delaware have online poker too. Are all the states connected?

No. Delaware players are only playing against other people in Delaware, and the same goes for online poker players in Nevada and New Jersey.

Will New Jersey eventually share player pools with other jurisdictions?

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.

[- Hide]

Depositing and withdrawing at NJ online poker sites

How do I deposit? What works the best?

Read an in-depth, method-by-method breakdown of depositing at Party / Borgata here and one for 888 / WSOP here.

A quick overview of ways to deposit and cashout at NJ online poker sites follows below.

What methods are available for deposits and withdrawals?

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).

I heard VISA deposits are being declined?

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.

Can I use Mastercard to deposit?

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.

Can I use American Express to deposit at NJ’s online poker rooms?

No. American Express generally doesn’t allow gambling-related transactions regardless of legality, and the NJ online poker market is no exception.

Can I use PayPal to deposit?

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 later this year.

If these sites are legal, why is it so hard to to deposit?

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.

Read an in-depth, method-by-method breakdown of depositing at Party / Borgata here and one for 888 / WSOP here.

[- Hide]

What’s the best online poker site in New Jersey?

Ranking NJ online poker sites
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:

RoomTrafficPromosSoftwareSupportOverall
Party NJ C+CDD-C
BorgataC+BDD-C
WSOP NJC+CBB-B-
888 NJDBBDC

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.

[- Hide]

Online poker NJ: Bonuses for new players

Breaking down new players bonuses at NJ sites
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:

[- Hide]

Online poker NJ: Security questions

What information do sites want? Why are these sites safe?

Are these sites secure?

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.

How do I know I’m not being cheated?

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.

Why does the site ask for my social security number?

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.

The site is asking for a utility bill / my ID / etc. Should I provide it?

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).

[- Hide]

Sign Up For OPR's Quick Take, Get Critical iGaming Conversations Delivered To Your Inbox:
Robert DellaFave
Robert DellaFave - Robert DellaFave is a game designer and avid poker player. He writes for several online poker publications and dreams of one day programming a poker simulation clever enough to beat the pros. Read more by following @DivergentGames on Twitter.