The state of New Jersey has seen a lot of turmoil over the years while fighting to legalize gambling. Although nowadays, NJ is largely famous for its gambling oasis, Atlantic City, it has a long and interesting history to back it up.
The most pro-gambling oriented state in the US began its battle with a ban instead of a regulation. Namely, lottery games, soon followed by remaining gambling games, were all restricted before the turn of the XXth century. However, this did almost nothing for the frequent players who simply moved their location underground.
A few decades later, casinos were no longer a taboo topic, and certain supporters prompted certain novelties. Hence, in 1939, the first legally regulated betting occurred on horse races. This was soon followed by the introduction of the charity games – raffles and bingo. An official vote determined the need to introduce the State Lottery in 1970, which flourished quickly afterward.
As for casinos, an official referendum held in 1976 proclaimed this entertainment as legal in the state of NJ. Just two years later, the NJ casino player’s dream came to life – Resorts International.
With casinos opening at every corner, the state had to create a specific legal body which would later handle this multi-billionaire industry. In this line of thought, the Casino Control Commission was established in 1977. Primarily situated in the Inn of Trenton, booking only two rooms of the total capacity, this legislative power came to establish Atlantic City and NJ in general, as fertile casino grounds.
And just when they thought things were slowing down, there came the Internet. This worldwide connection became too tempting for the casinos’ regulars who often had to travel significant distances just to play a couple of hands. Thus, in 2013, the Commission granted permission to online gambling sites, but with strings attached. Thus, all legal sites listed on PlayNJ.com and similar such portals had to be owned by the owners of the live casinos, or their partners.
All this has placed Atlantic City on the radar of many entertainment industry branches, turning it into a top traveling destination. Today, New Jersey is one of three states in the USA which has a legal right to provide gambling services. And it has certainly paid off, both for the government and the locals. The state funds have greatly increased since the implementation of the casino tax, while their reinvestment obligations managed to realize many development projects for urbanization, sheltering, as well as economic and social improvements.
Nonetheless, some work is still left to be done, especially regarding sports betting. This gambling type remains illegal up till today in the state of New Jersey due to many reasons. Basically, the state wanted to legalize sports betting just like Nevada did, but the sports leagues are opposing due to fear of corruption. Once the case reached the US Supreme Court, legal challenges have pressed both sides to the walls, leaving them to defend their case.