New Jersey

The state of New Jersey was among the first in the US to allow in-state online gambling. The decision to allow online gambling in 2013 was the most groundbreaking move in the industry since the opening of land based casinos in Atlantic City in the 1970s. Similarly to the 70s, the decision to “go online” ignited the whole country, setting off a furious race among states to legalize online gambling. It is likely that New Jersey will continue driving adoption of new technology to bring the gambling industry forward into the future.

New Jersey is the most progressive state

Today, online gambling in New Jersey is one of the least restrictive in the country, offering everything from online casinos to sports wagering. There are dozens of businesses active in the state, making New Jersey’s online gambling market the most progressive in the US. Throughout the country, NJ is recognized as a trailblazer. In 2018, they legalized online sports wagering, effectively tombstoning the old PASPA law from 1992 which outlawed all sports betting except for the state of Nevada. During that process, the DGE (Division of Gaming Enforcement) and the New Jersey Racing Commission (NJRC) have developed a legal framework and enforcing compliance in a fair, transparent, and growing market for sports wagering. Since then, Arkansas, Colorado, Illinois, Iowa, Indiana, Montana, Michigan, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Mexico, New York, North Carolina, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, Washington DC, and West Virginia have all legalized online gambling to some extent. Several other states are expected to follow suit, with increasingly less restrictive laws coming into effect.

Blockchain and crypto is the next frontier

Leading into this decade, the New Jersey State Senate introduced a new bill named “Virtual Currency and Blockchain Regulation Act” (Senate Bill No. 4163 – NJ S4163). The bill aim to establish a regulatory framework for cryptocurrencies and the use of blockchain technology with business entities. The idea behind the business incentives around crypto, would be that an entity can create their own virtual currency to facilitate payments. The bill targets technological companies and startups in particular. It’s unclear if this bill would lend itself to the online gambling industry. If it does, New Jersey will likely work towards a framework that is compatible with the existing DGE license.

When it comes to existing cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin and Ethereum, neither New Jersey nor any other state allow online gambling with crypto. The best shot for crypto becoming legal is through the aforementioned state bill. In the short-term, it is unlikely that the bill would come to pass. While New Jersey and the online gambling industry is booming, the crypto industry had a tough year in 2022, with a continuous grim outlook for 2023. The collapse of Luna early in the year set of a chain of bankruptcies culminating with FTX in late 2022. Until the crypto space itself is stable, it is improbable that any new laws favoring crypto will come to pass. However, most experts on the subject of crypto believe that the industry will bounce back at some point, especially together with better macroeconomic circumstances. Once that time comes, the state of New Jersey is once again way ahead of the curve in driving the online gambling industry forward in an innovative way.

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