New Jersey

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Major events in New Jersey gaming history


The Monmouth County Agriculture Society begins racing in Freehold


The original Monmouth Park opens


The legislature bans wagering on horse races and the tracks close


The new Freehold Trotting Association opens in the modern era


Freehold is the first track in the state to offer pari-mutuel wagering


Garden State Park opens


Monmouth Park opens with a new facility in June
Atlantic City Race Course opens


Voters approve a state lottery


The Lottery begins ticket sales in December


In May, the Lottery introduces Pick-It, the country’s first computerized numbers game
The Lottery begins selling instant tickets in June


The Meadowlands opens
Voters approve a constitutional amendment legalizing casinos in Atlantic City


Garden State Park is destroyed by fire
The Casino Control Act is signed into law in June


Resorts International is the first casino to open on May 26


Caesars opens in June
Bally’s Park Place opens in December


The Sands, Harrah’s and Golden Nugget open in August, November and December, respectively
The Lottery introduces its first Pick 6 lotto game


The Playboy Casino, Claridge and Tropicana open in April, July and November, respectively


The racetracks begin inter-track wagering


The Playboy is renamed the Atlantis under new ownership
Trump Plaza opens in May


A new $178 million Garden State Park opens in April
Trump Castle opens in June
The state Supreme Court rules that inter-track wagering is unconstitutional; voters approve an amendment in November and ITW resumes in December


Showboat opens in April
Golden Nugget is sold and reopens as Bally’s Grand


The Atlantis closes in May


Trump Taj Mahal opens in April


In September, the Lottery introduces Jersey Cash 5
The casinos begin simulcasting horse races


Trump World’s Fair Casino opens in the former Atlantis property
Bally’s Grand is sold and reopens as the Atlantic City Hilton


Bally’s Park Place opens the city’s first themed casino, the Wild Wild West
Trump Castle is renamed Trump Marina


New Jersey joins the Big Game multi-state lottery
Trump World’s Fair Casino closes in October


Last year of racing at Garden State Park
Off-track wagering is legalized


Mega Millions replaces the Big Game


The Claridge merges with Bally’s Atlantic City effective January 1
The Borgata opens in July, the first new resort to open since 1990


The Lottery introduces Cyber Slingo, its first instant game with an Internet play component


The Sands Hotel and Casino closes its doors in November


The first racetrack-owned OTB facility opens in March


Powerball tickets go on sale January 31


Legislation authorizing smaller “boutique” casinos in Atlantic City takes effect in January
Trump Marina is sold and is renamed Golden Nugget
The Atlantic City Hilton is renamed ACH Casino Resort


In March, ACH Casino Resort is renamed Atlantic Club Casino Hotel
Revel opens in April, the first new resort to open since 2003


Online casino gaming is legalized in February
Online casino gaming begins in November


The Atlantic Club Casino closes its doors on January 13
The Lottery launches Cash4Life in June, a multi-state game together with New York
Showboat closes on August 31
Revel closes September 2
Trump Plaza closes September 16
In October, legislation is signed into law allowing sports betting at the state's casinos and racetracks
The Lottery launches MONOPOLY Millionaires' Club with 22 other lotteries on October 19; the game was discontinued in December


Trump Taj Mahal closes its doors on October 10

Online gaming

Legislation authorizing Atlantic City's casinos to offer online casino gaming was signed in February 2013. The casinos began a limited test on November 21, 2013, and a full rollout began November 26.


Casinos and casino-style gaming

Voters approved casinos in 1976 and the Casino Control Act became law in 1977. The first casino, Resorts, opened in May 1978. Seven casino resorts are currently open; 2011 legislation authorizes the development of smaller boutique casinos. The newest casino, the $2.4 billion Revel, opened April 2, 2012, and after lackluster performance, closed September 2, 2014.

Bally’s Atlantic City – 1,841 slots, 129 tables, 42 poker tables
Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa – 3,026 slots, 186 tables, 128 poker tables
Caesars Atlantic City – 1,854 slots, 138 tables
Golden Nugget – 1,445 slots, 84 tables, 10 poker tables
Harrah’s Resort – 2,192 slots, 135 tables, 40 poker tables
Resorts Casino Hotel – 1,555 slots, 74 tables
Tropicana Casino and Resort – 2,275 slots, 114 tables, 22 poker tables

Division of Gaming Enforcement
140 East Front Street
P.O. Box 047
Trenton, NJ 08625
Phone (609) 984-0909


The New Jersey Lottery began operations on December 16, 1970, with a weekly draw. The current game offerings include instant tickets, Powerball, Mega Millions, Pick 6 Lotto, Cash4Life, 5 Card Cash, Jersey Cash 5, Pick 3, Pick 4 and Fast Play (instant play style games generated through the lottery’s terminal system). The lottery also offers limited-run raffle games.

Lottery proceeds benefit educational programs and state-sponsored institutions, including psychiatric hospitals and homes for the developmentally disabled, veterans homes, community colleges, independent colleges and universities, school construction and renovation projects, the Marie Katzenbach School for the Deaf, non-public schools and higher education scholarship and grant programs.

New Jersey Lottery
P.O. Box 041
Trenton, NJ 08625-0041
Phone (609) 599-5800


Pari-mutuel facilities

There are currently four racetracks in New Jersey. Off-track wagering at track-owned facilities was legalized in 2001 but the first OTB location didn’t open until 2007. There are six OTB facilities operating – in Bayonne, Gloucester, Toms River, Vineland and Woodbridge. The Atlantic City casinos have been simulcasting horse racing since 1992.

Atlantic City Race Course
4501 Black Horse Pike
Mays Landing, New Jersey 08830

Freehold Raceway
130 Park Avenue
Freehold, New Jersey 07728

Meadowlands Racetrack
50 State Route 120
East Rutherford, New Jersey 07073

Monmouth Park
175 Oceanport Avenue
Oceanport, New Jersey 07757

New Jersey Racing Commission
140 East Front Street,  4th Floor
Trenton, NJ 08625
Phone (609) 292-0613

Charitable gaming

Games of chance, such as bingo and raffles, are available to charitable, educational, religious, patriotic and public-spirited organizations, along with senior citizen associations and clubs. Under the raffle law, casino nights with Texas Hold’em tournaments are also allowed but must be played for merchandise or raffle ticket prizes; no cash may be awarded.

Legalized Games of Chance Control Commission
P.O. Box 46000
Newark, NJ 07101
Phone (973) 273-8000


Last updated on October 16, 2016