History of Gambling in New Jersey

A brief timeline of New Jersey’s offline and online gambling history


It’s so easy to enjoy your favorite online slots and table games anywhere in New Jersey. No matter where you’re reading this post— on a Mac or PC, on your iPhone, iPad, or Android —you can click or tap a few buttons and double down at the Blackjack tables in a matter of seconds.


It wasn’t always this way, though. While online casino gaming in New Jersey is a relatively new development, that doesn’t mean New Jersey hasn’t had a rich history of betting fun. Today, we’re going to take a walk down memory lane and show you how we got here.


The 1800s: Say hello to lotteries

Back in the 1800s, you couldn’t gamble online (obviously). And you couldn’t gamble at a live casino. But that didn’t mean you couldn’t bet on something approved by the government. New Jersey was famous for frequently holding lotteries to raise money for local projects. For example, New Jersey’s most prestigious universities were constructed with the help of proceeds made from selling lottery tickets.


1844: Say goodbye to lotteries

Due to a major recession in the United States and a poor reputation among the public, lotteries were banned in all but two states—Louisiana and Delaware. That meant no lotteries for New Jersey residents.


1970: The New Jersey lottery is born

After a state-wide referendum in 1969, the Garden State passes a law creating a statewide lottery, making a form of betting legal in the state for the first time in over one hundred years.


May 26, 1978: The first bet in New Jersey is placed

After residents voted to legalize gambling in 1976, Atlantic City’s first casino officially opened for business just under two years later. And do you know where that first set of dice was rolled? You guessed it. Resorts Casino Hotel on the Atlantic City boardwalk.


1991: 24-hour casino gambling comes to New Jersey — sort of

No, we’re not talking about online casino gaming. Not quite yet. But for the first decade-plus of legal gambling in New Jersey, casinos were only allowed to operate 18 hours a day. That partially changed in 1991 when Governor James Florio allowed casinos in Atlantic City to give 24-hour gambling a try on the weekends.


1992: 24-hour casino gambling allowed—permanently

After a successful trial, a new law was enacted that permitted all Atlantic City casinos to remain open for gambling 24/7. That means whether it’s 3 in the morning or 3 in the afternoon, you can walk onto the Resorts casino floor and play your favorite casino games.


February 2013: New Jersey government passes online casino legislation

The New Jersey State Assembly passes bill 35-1 and a few hours later, Governor Chris Christie signs the bill into law. Internet gambling is now legal anywhere within the state of New Jersey and Atlantic City casinos like Resorts Casino are eligible to apply for a license.


November 21st, 2013: New Jersey casinos participate in soft launch

A soft launch period for online gambling starts, as required by the law. Several Atlantic City casinos bring their game online to offer players anywhere in New Jersey the chance to play their favorite poker and casino games from any Mac, PC, smartphone, or tablet.


November 26th, 2013: New Jersey casinos go online for good

The soft launch phase is complete and licensed casinos are now able to offer games 24/7 to players in New Jersey. Resorts Casino Hotel is not yet one of the properties to offer casino games on the Internet.


February 20th, 2015: Resorts Casino Hotel joins the game

Resorts Casino Hotel didn’t enter the online casino gaming market during the initial wave in November 2013. That’s because while other casinos wanted to be first to market, Resorts Casino wanted to focus on really getting it right. That meant making sure NJ online casino players had access to the best games — and more of them. And it meant assembling a team that understood what online casino players demand. On February 20th, 2015, ResortsCasino.com went live online to offer players in New Jersey casino games on PCs, Macs, and iOS and Android devices.


November 2015: ResortsCasino.com introduces Echelon rewards program

With an already lucrative Resorts Rewards loyalty program in place, ResortsCasino.com ups the ante again and introduces Echelon. It’s a groundbreaking online casino rewards program that awards New Jersey’s top players with free gifts, like a VIP cruise getaway, trips to Resorts Casino Hotel and Mohegan Sun properties, free playing devices, suite upgrades, and more.


Now that you know the history of casino gaming, come be a part of its future

Join us at ResortsCasino.com to experience the best online casino gaming New Jersey has to offer from your desktop or mobile device. You’ll qualify for a match bonus on your first three deposits, plus you’ll get three daily shots at winning up to $2 million. Join now. It takes just a minute or two to sign up.


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If you or someone you know has a gambling problem and wants help, call 1-800-GAMBLER.