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Is gambling legal in New Jersey?

New jersey has a long and varied history when it comes to gambling. Up until 1844 lotteries were common in the state. IN fact, it was funds from lotteries which helped to pay for military aid during the French and Indian war. The funds also helped support the American Revolution.

Several universities such as Queens College (now Rutgers University) and the College of New Jersey (now Princetown University) were also recipients of lottery funds.

The oldest racetrack in the US is the Freehold Raceway which has been there since 1830, while the Monmouth Park Raceway started in 1870. In 1894 New Jersey Legislature banned horse racing and in 1897 all gambling of any kind was banned in the state of New Jersey. 

In 2013 the state started to allow in-state online gambling and five years later they won a lawsuit permitting legal sports betting.  

So, what types of gambling are now legal in New Jersey?

The gambling industry in the state of New Jersey has grown to include not only ‘brick and mortar’ gambling places but also now includes sports betting, fantasy sports, online gambling, horse racing and more.

These days you can find all the major forms of gambling legally in the state and several of them are also legally online.

Legal gaming includes:

  • Horse racing betting Bingo
  • Casinos
  • Poker
  • Games of skill
  • Lottery
  • Fantasy sports

All of these are legal to be played online and in person at various casinos and other locations.

Casinos in New Jersey

After the legalisation of gambling in New Jersey came into force in February 2013 a law stated that each of the casinos was permitted to partner with a software provider to offer gambling choices to players within the state lines.

This encouraged casinos to launch gambling sites, giving players a multitude of gaming choices these days. Casinos also started to offer top casino bonuses as a way to attract clientele to new casinos.

This means that every ‘brick and mortar casino in the state will likely have its own online casino offering a variety of games for players.

Resorts International on Atlantic City Boardwalk was the first legal casino to open in the US outside the city of Nevada.

Right now, New Jersey is home to ten land-based casinos, all of them located in Atlantic City.

Here are the casinos in Atlantic City

  • Golden Nugget
  • Caesars Atlantic City
  • Hard Rock Hotel and Casino
  • Ocean Resort Casino
  • Resorts Casino
  • Bally’s AC
  • Bally’s Wild West Casino
  • Harrah’s AC
  • Tropicana
  • Borgata

Horse racing and betting in NJ

All horse racing betting is now regulated by the New Jersey Racing Commission. They are responsible for issuing licenses and overseeing the racing industry.

Betting on horse racing is legal at racetracks, licensed betting sites and authorised off-track betting places.

There are two betting operators permitted to offer mobile and online horse racing betting in the state, namely and Betfair Exchange NJ.

The following racetracks are authorised for in-person betting:

  • Monmouth Park
  • Favourites at Egg harbour
  • Meadowlands Racetrack
  • Freehold Raceway
  • Favourites at Gloucester
  • Favourites at Hillsborough
  • Favourites at Tom’s River
  • Favourites at Woodbridge
  • Winners Bayonne
  • The Borgata

Sports betting in NJ

New Jersey was one of the first states to offer ports betting in 2018. Mobile sports betting sites are also regulated in the same way online gambling and land-based casinos are, so need to hold sporting licenses and be partnered with legal software providers to operate.

Poker is now also permitted and is widely available at most land-based casinos. Online poker is only allowed on sites which are licensed by the NJDGE. Any land-based casino can offer poker to their customers.

You can find legal in-person poker rooms at several Atlantic City casinos, one of the major ones being the Borgata Casino which has dozens of tables and high-stake cash games. The Borgata also hosts several major tournaments through the year. 

It is unfortunate that if you live outside Atlantic City, poker is not available as there are no other licensed poker rooms in the state.

Bingo in NJ

Bingo is legal in the state of New Jersey where land-based casinos and gaming sites run bingo games as a normal part of their business. It is also accepted where non-profit organisations host the game to raise money for their charities.

There are several casinos which offer bingo on their online sites:


There is a slight difference in the New Jersey method of Bingo where they play 90-ball bingo instead of the traditional 75-ball game. The format and rules are the same.

New Jersey Lotteries

The NJ lottery was first approved and made legal in 1969 and the first drawing was held in 1971.

The NJ lottery offers a mixture of scratch tickets and draw games and the revenue is used to help educational services, centres for the disabled, homes for disabled soldiers and psychiatric hospitals.

An important thing to note is that online lottery ticket sales are not permitted in the state of New Jersey. You must purchase your lottery tickets from an authorised retailer in person.

There is a good selection of lottery games to play, with prizes ranging from $200 to upwards of $100,000. Some are drawn daily, others weekly. Prizes vary with several of the higher paid lottery games.

To sum up

While you may need to head to Atlantic City if you want a land-based casino to visit, you will find plenty of online casinos which you can legally enjoy from the comfort of your own home, at any time you like!

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New Jersey’s Best Poker Rooms

Ask any casual observer where you’ll find the best poker rooms in the U.S., and nine out of 10 will tell you that they’ll be in Vegas. But those of you who live closer to the East Coast will know that Atlantic City offers as much poker than its more famous counterpart. New Jersey is fast becoming a well-known destination for poker lovers, and aside from the air quality, it’s easy to see why.

Not only are there tons of great casinos in the city, but the entire state of New Jersey has embraced the gaming culture for what it is. And that’s a chance to play cards and have fun. With legislation even allowing for nonresidents to play online poker in the state, there’s now more than one reason to visit our great state.

Interestingly enough, the success of New Jersey’s foray into online poker has seemingly brought even more attention to the state, with poker tourism now believed to be at record highs. Industry heavyweights such as 888poker, who run their online operations from New Jersey, have undoubtedly helped up the ante, so to speak. As we said, there are now plenty of reasons for poker players to come here, but when it comes to live poker venues, they’re probably here to play at one of the poker rooms we’ve listed below.

WSOP Poker Room at the Wild Wild West Casino

With 42 tables in a bustling poker room, there’s no shortage of live action in the World Series of Poker (WSOP) room at the Wild Wild West Casino. Buy-ins start from $50 while there are regular tournaments with prize funds of up to $5K on offer. Regulars at the WSOP room have mentioned that while the staff is quite professional, it lacks that friendly atmosphere that you’ll find at one of our other poker rooms on this list.

Open 24/7, the poker room has a nice, modern feel and is extremely well-maintained, as it should provided it’s only been open for about five years. For a decent choice of games and a clean environment, this is a great option.

Harrah’s Poker Room

Coming in a little smaller than the WSOP room at the Wild Wild West Casino, Harrah’s poker room boasts 40 tables open 24/7. The room runs a bad beat jackpot and a Hand of the Hour prize of $350 from 12 p.m. right through to 10 p.m. It’s a nice touch that makes guest players feel welcome and part of the local crowd.

Harrah’s is clean, and the tables are well-looked after, with highly skilled staff throughout the room. The daily tournaments set this poker room apart, making it a great choice for players looking for something a little more challenging than a regular game. It’s not quite as popular with the last poker room on our list, and at times, some of the tables are quiet but don’t let that fool you. This one is still a great poker room.

Golden Nugget Poker Room

As one of the smaller poker rooms on this list, the action at the Golden Nugget is somewhat limited. There are only nine tables, so that means you may need to wait for a seat to get a game. However, the smaller venue makes for a real cozy atmosphere and a friendlier vibe from both staff and regulars at the tables. We like the smaller venues, but for some, smaller can mean poorer quality tables and less professional staff. Thankfully, that’s not the case here.

Yes, we’re here for the poker, but we have to mention that for four hours of cash play on Friday and Saturday, you can take advantage of a free buffet. And it’s not your usual not-very-tasty, free food buffet. It’s delicious, and there are plenty of options available. Yep, that’s great poker in a friendly environment with free food to go with it. It doesn’t get much better than that! Well, it does.

Borgata Poker Room

Set in the luxurious Borgata Casino Resort & Spa, the Borgata poker room has over 80 tables. That means that no matter when you arrive, you’re likely to find a seat at a table for some Texas Hold ‘em. The poker room is quite modern and is one of the most hi-tech and cleanest in the city. It’s also home to two stops on the World Poker Tour, and as such, has some of the most professional staff you’ll come across.

With so many tables open 24 hours a day, there’s always a great buzz about the room. This atmosphere tops off by the fact that there are some great bonuses and comps to be had for people that sign up as members. You might even get an invite to a regulars-only party. By all accounts, this is the best poker room in the city, and we have to say, we agree. For the sheer volume of games going on at any one time, this place tops the list as the best room in the state. But add to that the fact that it’s a well-managed venue with great promotions and wonderful staff, and you could have one of the best poker rooms in the country.

So, where are you having your weekend home game this time around? Are you sticking to the same old home game playing for chips and pennies? Or are you thinking that it’s time to get out there and see where the real action is? Grab your buddies, get your gaming clothes on (sunglasses are a must!) and get over to one of the poker rooms on our list. As far as we’re concerned, you won’t find better rooms in the city than the ones listed above. But remember, if you win big, it was us that sent you there!

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“Safe Summer” 2018 Boardwalk Inspections are Underway


photo by ArtChick

July 18,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Seaside Hight’s NJ,  Amid the crowds on the Seaside Heights boardwalk today, Attorney General Gurbir S. Grewal and the Division of Consumer Affairs announced that the annual “Safe Summer” boardwalk compliance efforts are underway along the Jersey Shore and initial inspections have found 12 establishments in two seaside towns that have allegedly violated state consumer protection laws and regulations.

The Safe Summer initiative, designed to promote a family-friendly environment in New Jersey’s coastal communities, is a Division enforcement effort to check boardwalk games for fairness of play, and to ensure they haven’t been modified to the disadvantage of players. Investigators also check stores for compliance with pricing and refund policies.

For many families, a trip to the Jersey Shore isn’t complete without a visit to the boardwalk to enjoy rides and games, and perhaps purchase a souvenir,” said Attorney General Grewal. “We don’t want anyone walking away from what should be an enjoyable trip feeling like they, or worse, their children, were taken advantage of by rigged games or deceptive sales practices.”
“Our investigators comb the boardwalk to ensure a fair and safe experience for the thousands of individuals and families who flock to the Jersey Shore each summer,” said Paul R. Rodríguez, Acting Director of the Division of Consumer Affairs. “Through their efforts, we are making sure that the few stores and amusement game operators who aren’t playing by the rules are held accountable so they don’t spoil the fun for everyone.”
Since Safe Summer 2018 got underway last month, investigators from the Division’s Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission (LGCCC) unit and its Office of Consumer Protection (OCP) have visited boardwalks in Seaside Heights and Atlantic City.

LGCCC investigators inspected a total of 8 arcades and 27 individual amusement games and found 5 locations with alleged violations, including crane machines with prizes too heavy or packed too tightly to be picked up, and a boardwalk game where it was impossible to win the top prize in the number of allotted chances. Investigators wrote up a total of 11 violations that will be presented to the Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission for possible action.

OCP investigators inspected a total of 25 stores and found 7 with alleged violations, including hundreds of items from children’s clothing to shot glasses without clearly marked prices and a shop without a prominently posted refund policy. Citations will be written up and sent out to the alleged violators.
The Safe Summer initiative is a coordinated effort by the Division to blanket a handful of boardwalks with investigators each summer. In addition to inspecting for consumer protection violations, investigators also check for sales of prohibited items, such as novelty lighters, and test toys and prizes for excessive levels of lead. The Division also hands out educational materials to consumers to empower them as their own best advocates against fraud and deceit in the marketplace.

In addition to the Safe Summer sweeps, investigators with LGCCC conduct boardwalk inspections all season long; visiting every one of the state’s 266 amusement game licensees at least once. There are 16 shore resort municipalities in New Jersey with licensed amusement games: Keansburg, Long Branch, Pt. Pleasant, Manasquan, Seaside Park, Seaside Heights, Sea Isle City, Wildwood, North Wildwood, Stone Harbor, Beach Haven, Atlantic City, Brigantine, Beachwood, Toms River, and Cape May.

Since the Safe Summer initiative began in 2014, LGCCC has issued183 citations alleging one or more violations against amusement games licensees. Violations are subject to fines of up to $250.00 for the first offense and up to $500.00 for the second and each subsequent offense. The Commission also has the power to revoke licenses.

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New Jersey is one of the most unappreciated states in the whole United States


photo by ArtChick

June 17,2018

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, New Jersey is one of the most unappreciated states in the whole United States. People who live in New Jersey are proud of their state. What makes New Jersey ,is truly a riddle. Everything bad that is usually said about New Jersey can be blamed on New York City in the north and Philadelphia in the South .

New York city one of the world’s greatest and biggest cities full of energy and drive and a huge international destination for business and tourism . Philadelphia is a city of great historical importance ,central to the founding the United States.

New Jersey with its sprawling suburbs is often viewed as a bed room community for New York City and Philadelphia . Where many commuters head to the cities for work and retire to the quite low crime suburbs at night.

New Jersey is officially called the garden state. New Jersey’s biggest city is Newark. The capital city is Trenton. There are many attractions to see in New Jersey. The Paterson Falls and historic district, the Ironbound Section of Newark ,the Jersey Shore , gambling in Atlantic City, Historic Cape May, Six Flags Great Adventure ,Met Life Stadium , Thoroughbred Racing at Monmouth Park , the Pine Barons and there are also many far more rural and farm like settings to visit .

There is easy access to both New York and Philadelphia via Mass Transit . You can even visit the statue of Liberty and Ellis Island via ferry from Jersey City. There can be heavy traffic for drivers but you never have to pump your own gas.

Another reason to visit New Jersey is its beautiful and plentiful beaches . In New Jersey the beach is called “the shore” . People from New York and Philadelphia come to New Jersey for a swim , enjoy and sunbath.

Coastal Living magazine ranks the best small waterfront communities for its annual “Happiest Seaside Town in America” issue, and for 2018, the happiest of them all is Ocean City, N.J. In the report Coastal Living calls out the classic Jersey Shore town for its “Residential Historic District full of Victorian bungalows and beach cottages making year-round life feel like an old-fashioned vacation.”

The biggest museum in New Jersey is the Newark Museum. It has a large collection of American and, surprisingly, Tibetan art. The Newark museum is a cultural cornerstone of New Jersey. It has different sections devoted to history, natural sciences, art, music, etc. It doesn’t have so many rarities like the museums in New York but it definitely has its own heart.

In New Jersey they debate “Taylor Ham” vs “Pork Roll “, the pizza is excellent and good food is plentiful . The State is filled with shopping malls and an American classic , “Diners” stand at every cross road.

Don’t hesitate to visit New Jersey with your girlfriend(which you can find on . There are many benefits waiting for you that you can enjoy visiting the garden state as well as easy access to both Philadelphia and New York City.

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Bold New School Voucher Referendum in Atlantic City

Jesse Kurtz

Atlantic City NJ, Atlantic City Councilman Jesse Kurtz proposed a school voucher referendum. The city council approved it unanimously. Now Atlantic City voters will decide on the future of K-12 education in their city. If they approve the referendum, all Atlantic City children will receive a $10,000 scholarship to attend the school of their parents’ choice at the same time that taxes will be reduced for the Atlantic City taxpayer.

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Atlantic City Gambles on School Choice

August 28,2016

the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Atlantic City NJ, with a state takeover in the air Atlantic City has had its share of bad fortunes lately and this November, when voters in A.C. head to the polls, they’ll not only decide whether to gamble on the state-wide casino gaming referendum but also vote on a pair of city-specific school choice ballot questions.

The City Council of Atlantic City is empowered with the authority to submit nonbinding referendum questions to the public in order to ascertain the sentiment of legal voters; and NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Atlantic City hereby submits the following questions to be printed upon the official ballots to be used at the next ensuing General Election as follows: “Shall the State of New Jersey designate the City to begin offering vouchers to families with children ages 6-16 so they can select the school they want their children to attend?” “Shall the State of New Jersey designate the City of Atlantic City to begin offering property tax credits to families with children ages 6-16 who choose to home school?”

The non binding Atlantic City school resolution was passed unanimously by the Democrat controlled governing body . The resolution is the creation of home schooled freshman GOP Councilman Jesse Kurtz, who is also a teachers union (NJEA) member .

Amazingly if the proposal is enacted, Atlantic City would become the first municipality in New Jersey to provide school vouchers. There is currently no law in New Jersey that would allow the city to give out vouchers to parents.

Kutz told the Atlantic City Impact a local paper ,”The vouchers would be redeemable at both private and public schools, pending space, and could save the city money if more students choose to attend private schools, Kurtz said. Students leaving the Atlantic City School District for private schools would reduce the district’s budget, therefore lowering the city’s budget as council tries to stave off a state takeover”

According to their website the Atlantic City teachers union the Atlantic City Education Association
(ACEA) clearly sees school choice as a threat ,and assures its members it “is vigorously fighting against these proposals.”

The Urban Institute a Washington DC think tank takes a different tact , “Evidence indicates that school choice programs can improve the educational and life outcomes of low-income students, but not all programs are equally effective. Charter schools such as KIPP and the Harlem Children’s Zone Promise Academy have large positive effects on the academic achievement of their (mostly disadvantaged) students.”

The Institute goes on to say , “School choice policy, like most education policy, is largely made at the state and local levels. But the federal government could allow states to enact funding systems where federal, state, and local dollars follow students to the public schools of their choice”.

Atlantic City’s gamble on the future of educational opportunities now rests on residents taking the first step and showing up on election day and making the choice for choice . Success of Atlantic City’s school choice and voucher initiative will be determined by parents , students and local administrators who can then craft educational policy that works best for the students of Atlantic City.
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Governor Christie The Fairness Formula will Lower Property Taxes and Force Education Reform

School Choice by ArtChick

file photo by ArtChick

August 25,2016
the staff of the Ridgewood blog

Ridgewood NJ, Earlier this summer, Governor Christie proposed a solution to New Jersey’s two most pressing issues; the failure of urban education and high property taxes.

In 1985 Abbott Districts were created as a result of the first ruling of Abbott v. Burke, a case filed by the Education Law Center. The ruling asserted that public primary and secondary education in poor communities throughout the state was unconstitutionally substandard.

The Abbott II ruling in 1990 had the most far-reaching effects, ordering the state to fund the (then) 28 Abbott districts at the average level of the state’s wealthiest districts.

The low-income districts began to receive the extra aid .The Abbott ruling led to the current school funding formula crisis allowing failing school districts to spend as much as $33,699 per pupil in tax dollars, while high‐performing school districts spend less than half of that per student.

In what could be one of the largest failures in social engineering ,leading to excessive spending by a select few and chronically failing school districts,who have received billions more in state taxpayer dollars over the past three decades than hundreds of successful school districts.

According to the Mercatus Center at George Mason University,”While it is difficult to compare academic achievement across time periods, evidence indicates that Abbott money has had little effect on improving student performance. ”

Mercatus Center went on , “The lackluster performance of these schools is also related to the fractured relationship between beneficiaries and providers. Abbott districts receive the majority of their funding from state aid rather than local tax revenues. The incentive to make optimal use of this funding and to monitor school performance is minimal. In addition, taxpayers in districts receiving state aid may not be benefiting from lower property taxes, because officials in local government prefer to work the increased revenue into their budgets, rather than returning it to taxpayers via a municipal tax cut.”

That’s where Governor Christie steps in with his Fairness Formula. The Fairness Formula will provide equal education funding for every pupil throughout the state, valuing every child equally. Under the Fairness Formula, all public school districts would receive $6,599 for every enrolled student, plus continued funding for special education. This will give every child an equal chance at success.

With this new formula, 75% of all New Jersey districts would get more state aid than they do today. The biggest driver of New Jersey’s nation‐high property taxes is the ineffective and unfair state school funding formula. The Fairness Formula will not only be equal for students it may also provide hundreds or even thousands of dollars in annual property tax savings for New Jerseyans in most communities.   The potential property tax savings that would be realized under the Fairness Formula is a strong benefit to New Jersey’s economy as a whole. Business owners are burdened by New Jersey’s highest in the nation property taxes and chased to more affordable states due to New Jersey’s many other non‐competitive taxes that have been enacted by Democrats.

A byproduct of the Fairness Formula is a renewed interest in alternative options for educational choice.

Recently Atlantic City passed a resolution unanimously by the Democrat-dominated body for a non-binding referendum in time for the November ballot : REGARDING SCHOOL VOUCHERS AND TAX CREDITS.

WHEREAS, The City Council of Atlantic City is empowered with the authority to submit nonbinding referendum questions to the public in order to ascertain the sentiment of legal voters; and NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT RESOLVED that the Council of the City of Atlantic City hereby submits the following questions to be printed upon the official ballots to be used at the next ensuing General Election as follows: “Shall the State of New Jersey designate the City to begin offering vouchers to families with children ages 6-16 so they can select the school they want their children to attend?” “Shall the State of New Jersey designate the City of Atlantic City to begin offering property tax credits to families with children ages 6-16 who choose to homeschool?

The revolutionary resolution was created by freshman GOP Councilman Jesse Kurtz, who is himself an NJEA member, New Jersey’s largest teachers union.

According to Matthew Chingos of the Urban Institute ,”School choice policies aim to break the link between where children live and where they go to school. They seek to interrupt the cycle of poverty by providing low-income children with access to high-quality educational options that will boost their chances of long-term success. Choice programs come in several flavors, including charter schools, which are publicly funded but independently operated; private school vouchers, which cover all or part of private school tuition; and open enrollment plans (sometimes called public school vouchers) that allow parents to send their child to any public school in the district. When done right, school choice programs can be powerful tools in the fight against poverty.”