What Are the Main Types of Illegal Gambling?

man sitting in front of laptop at poker table holding stack of cash

While gambling was once illegal in many corners of the United States, it has since been legalized throughout numerous parts of the country. However, not every form of gambling is deemed acceptable. What is considered illegal gambling varies greatly by a state’s local laws, which are subjected to change over time, meaning there are many different types of illegal gambling.

Compared to other parts of the country, New Jersey has many freedoms when it comes to gambling. But with that said, there are still plenty of restrictions, as illegal gambling can provide funding for other illicit activities. As a result, certain types of gambling are considered illegal, while others are accepted, even if they aren’t in other states. For more information, here are five examples of illegal gambling in New Jersey.

Unlicensed Gambling Centers

Common gambling pursuits like slot machines, card games, and poker may be legal in some New Jersey settings, but not all. Some examples of illegal gambling pertain to unauthorized casinos and gambling rings that operate without receiving permission from the government. All casinos must obtain sufficient documentation and licenses to run games. In other words, if it is not a state controlled-environment, then it is not permitted to offer gambling services.

Unauthorized Online Gambling

Although gambling with online casinos is legal in New Jersey, that does not mean that every single site is authorized to do so. Just like with casinos, gaming sites must be officially licensed by the state to be legalized. Otherwise, they aren’t allowed to offer services to New Jersey residents, and if they do without permission, they are another example of illegal gambling in the state.

Sports and Horse Betting with Bookmakers

Even though horse and sports betting is illegal in many areas of the United States, it is regulated in New Jersey and available to its citizens. However, that does not necessarily mean that bookmakers are legal. Bookmaking is the process of making and receiving bets with odds that are agreed upon in advance in order to maximize profits when gambling. 

Those who participate in this activity are known as bookmakers or bookies, and their profession is an example of illegal gambling in many states. While New Jersey is not one of those states, a bookmaker still must register with the government beforehand.

Gambling That Promotes Animal Cruelty

As mentioned previously, betting on horse racing is not one of the examples of illegal gambling. However, any gambling involving animal brutality will always be unlawful. If unsafe and cruel endeavors such as dogfighting were acceptable, it would normalize dangerous and immoral behavior deemed unlawful by law enforcement and the government.

Underage Gambling

More often than not, the state of New Jersey targets the people who operate illegal and unlicensed gambling more than the players. But that doesn’t mean that every resident is allowed to participate in it. Gambling is an age-restricted activity in New Jersey, with lottery and bingo unavailable to those under the age of 18 and casino-styled games prohibited until 21 years of age.

Want to learn more about what is considered illegal gambling or online gambling scams to be aware of? Call 1-800-GAMBLER to get connected to Gamblers Anonymous meetings and other useful resources.


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