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With the number of New Jersey casinos operating under government supervision on the rise, we thought it prudent to take a closer look at what they offer in terms of bonus value, rewards, and game selection.
A no deposit offer is one where players receive bonus cash in exchange for registering a free casino account.
No deposit bonuses for New Jersey casinos range from $10 to $30, with $20 as the dominant offer. Closer to the bottom end of that range is Harrah’s casino, while Caesars and playMGM both offer $25.
The highest $30 offer is available from Betfair, however, this bonus cannot be withdrawn. Players are free to keep any winnings generated from turning it over.
Most bonuses carry a wagering requirement, which is how many times a bonus must be played through before it can be withdrawn. For instance, if a $20 bonus carries a 10x wagering requirement, it means a total of $200 must be wagered before this bonus becomes eligible for withdrawal.
No deposit bonus wagering requirements for New Jersey casinos range from 1x to 30x. SugarHouse and Tropicana/Virgin lead the pack with a one-time requirement. 888 Casino offers the most stringent at 30x.
Wagers made at different games will contribute differently towards clearing a no deposit bonus.
For instance, every dollar wagered at slots may contribute a full dollar towards the requirement (100% contribution). Meanwhile, a dollar wagered at blackjack may only contribute $0.20 (20% contribution).
At New Jersey online casinos, wagering requirements per game range from 10% to 100%. Slots contribute 100% in every single case, while blackjack, roulette, and video poker usually contribute 20 percent.
Among the best performers here are Virgin Casino and Tropicana, where all games contribute 100%. For some casinos, only slots and video poker contribute towards clearing a bonus. Examples include SugarHouse and Caesars.
No deposit bonuses usually expire if wagering requirements are not met within a certain timeframe.
This timeframe for New Jersey casinos is usually between seven and 90 days from the day the bonus is awarded, with the majority of casinos sitting at 30 days.
If a bonus expires, all winnings from that bonus and whatever remains from the bonus itself are forfeit. 888 Casino is near the bottom of the barrel in terms of expiration, while SugarHouse’s bonus never expires.
The cost of clearing a no deposit bonus for withdrawal depends on two things:
For the majority of New Jersey casinos, the expected value of a no deposit bonus is positive for most games. In other words, the theoretical losses one would incur while clearing a bonus are less than the dollar value of the no deposit bonus.
Among the best-faring casinos in this department is Caesars, where clearing the $25 no deposit bonus costs $1.75 for slots with a 93% RTP, and as little as $0.23 for Jacks or Better video poker. This means the theoretical net value of this bonus is as high as $24.77.
On the flip side, Pala Casino heavily underperforms due to its 20x bonus wager requirement. The only way to achieve positive expected value is to stick to slots with an RTP of over 95%. Even then players should not expect to withdraw more than half the $20 bonus.
As the name implies, a first deposit bonus is awarded when you make your first deposit with a casino.
First deposit bonuses for New Jersey casinos range from $100 in the case of Virgin and Tropicana, all the way to a massive $2,000 bonus courtesy of playMGM. The majority are 100% deposit matches. That means the value of your first deposit is matched up to the offer cap.
Most casinos offer a first deposit bonus capped at between $300 and $1,000. For smaller deposits, the best offer is available at PokerStars Casino, where players receive a bonus equal to 200% of their deposit, up to $400.
The typical wagering requirements for New Jersey first deposit bonuses fall in the 10x to 20x range. SugarHouse is a noteworthy exception, where the bonus must be played through only once before a withdrawal can be made. The downside is a low cap of $100.
Among bonuses with the best size-to-wagering-requirement ratios is Golden Nugget, where the 100% first deposit match is capped at a respectable $1,000 and carries a 10x play-through requirement.
Slots wagers contribute 100% towards clearing a first deposit bonus at all New Jersey casinos. Blackjack and roulette contributions can be as low as 0% for SugarHouse or as high as 100% for Borgata. However, for most casinos, this figure will fall in the 10% to 20% range.
As a general rule, the lower the return-to-player and the higher the house edge for a given game, the lower that game’s contribution towards bonus wagering requirements.
Most NJ first deposit bonuses expire 30 days after issuance. Some noteworthy exceptions include Caesars, where players only get seven days to clear their bonus before it is forfeit.
Conversely, Betfair Casino offers a very generous 100% up to $1,500 first deposit bonus that does not expire for three long months.
We list bonus expiration times in our casino reviews, so make sure to read those before making your first deposit.
The cashback value of most first deposit bonuses ranges from 30% to 80%, depending on the RTP of games played to clear the bonus.
The worst performer is 888 Casino, where it’s theoretically impossible to turn a profit on the bonus by playing anything except for slots with an RTP of 96.67% or higher.
Players who value a good return on investment should not even contemplate clearing 888’s bonus by playing blackjack or video poker, since they may end up losing as much as four times the bonus size in order to clear it. In other words, they may have to pay the casino $4 to release $1 in non-restricted cash.
Gamblers concerned about their return on investment will benefit from taking a closer look at the first deposit match bonus at Borgata of up to $600.
Not only is it positive expected value on all games spread by the casino, it also offers the highest possible theoretical cashback of 96%. That can be achieved by clearing the bonus playing their SP Vegas Blackjack game. Players will have to pay four cents to withdraw one dollar in bonus funds. That’s an exceptional deal if there ever was one.
All New Jersey casinos feature a VIP program, designed to reward players for their loyalty. Rewards for active participation include invitations to special events, discounts on hotel stays, free dining and bonus cash.
Above all, VIP programs allow players to accumulate loyalty points, which in almost all cases can be exchanged for cash.
VIP program cashback value ranges from a negligible 0.03% at Virgin and Tropicana, all the way to the highly lucrative 0.86% available at Pala Casino and Scores.
For the majority of New Jersey casinos, expected cashback is between 0.05% and 0.30%. However, please note that the maximum possible cashback alone is a poor indicator of VIP program value.
This figure needs to be put in the context of the total wagers required to achieve this level of cashback, which brings us to…
Some NJ casinos offer very poor default cashback rates through their VIP program, only to have them skyrocket once a certain threshold of monthly or annual wagers is reached.
So while Caesars’ VIP program only offers 0.10% cashback on slots wagers — which may not sound like much compared to the likes of Pala — this cashback value is available by default to all players, regardless of their activity.
On the other hand, while Pala’s loyalty cashback can go as high as 0.86%, such an offer is only available to players who wager between $58,140 and $250,000 per month, depending on games played.
Gamblers who wager no more than a few thousand dollars per month can, at the very best, count on 0.34% cashback, and that’s only for the lowest-RTP games.
As a general rule, the lower the house edge on a casino game, the fewer loyalty points you will receive for playing it and, as a result, the lower your expected cashback value.
In some cases, such as with Pala and Scores, this difference can be as big as 400%. While players can expect a default 0.08% cashback for playing slots with the smallest house edge, they’ll get 0.34% for playing slots with the highest house edge.
A similar situation occurs at Golden Nugget, where all slots wagers award 0.05% cashback, but only 0.01% can be expected for all other game.
Most New Jersey casinos award cashback as unrestricted cash that can be withdrawn or wagered at a players’ convenience.
An exception is Virgin casino, which awards funds as a restricted bonus that carries a one-time wager requirement.
Betfair casino goes a step further by making it impossible to withdraw any cash generated from their loyalty program. Instead, this cash can only be used as casino free-play. Players only get to withdraw winnings generated from wagering the bonus.
Points earned from a loyalty program must be exchanged for cash within a certain time frame, which for most NJ casinos is 180 days.
2M is an exception. Its iReward points expire one to two years after they are accrued, depending on player account tier.
Some VIP programs offer much more than just cashback.
For example, Caesars’ Total Rewards VIP program offers up to 20% discounts at casino gift shops, access to the VIP reservations hotline and VIP lounges, and free celebratory dinners. High-status individuals can also count on invitations to signature events, early or late hotel check-ins and check-outs, and even a Norwegian Cruise Line cruise.
Golden Nugget has some interesting perks as well, including faster withdrawals, a dedicated concierge, additional random cashback bonuses, and access to multiple special events.
Some New Jersey casinos, such as Pala, Scores, and playMGM do not offer any perks and instead come with higher-than-average cashback.
As a general rule, the more perks included in a VIP program, the less cashback you can expect. The opposite holds true as well.
Other than no deposit and first deposit bonuses, NJ casinos offer multiple recurring and seasonal promotions.
The best promotion variety can be found at Virgin and Tropicana, where new short-term offers are added multiple times a week. However, these offers typically do not offer good value. Many of them are prize draws with poor odds.
On the flip side, bonus cash offers feature a one-time wager requirement, with all casino games contributing equally towards it.
For a good selection of recurring deposit bonuses, playMGM is a great place to be. The casino has daily deposit bonuses for most games of the week, offering a $25 bonus on $100 deposits every Saturday, and a $10 bonus on $50 deposits every Sunday, to name some.
Another great alternative in this department is Harrah’s, with hundreds of dollars worth of deposit bonuses available each week.
For fun and entertaining promotions, try 888 Casino. There you will find multiple free-spin offers on weekly featured games, free blackjack play and exciting monthly specials.
Make sure to consult our casino reviews, where we list all long-term and ongoing short-term promotions, even daily specials.
Players can expect between 70 and 500 games to be available at an NJ casino.
The vast majority of these are penny slots, which typically comprise around 90% of a casino’s total offering. Near the bottom of that range are Harrah’s and 888 Casino, both of which offer ~60 games.
For one of the largest selections, players should sign-up at Golden Nugget, where over 460 games are sure to keep them busy.
The most popular slot games from the biggest game studios, such as IGT, NextGen, NetEnt and NYX Gaming Group, are all adequately represented across New Jersey casinos. For the largest variety of software developers, players should try SugarHouse and Golden Nugget.
As far as blackjack goes, most casinos offer around five to seven games. Here, again, Golden Nugget tops the charts, with 12 blackjack tables. Popular New Jersey games include classic blackjack, multi-hand blackjack, single deck, and Vegas blackjack.
Video poker enthusiasts should try Golden Nugget and Caesars, both of which spread over 20 titles ranging from those with a low RTP, such as Jester Poker, to games like Jacks or Better with an RTP in excess of 99.5%.
Casino banking has seen some positive changes in recent years, with the introduction of multiple e-wallet and cash deposit payment solutions.
Visa and Mastercard payments are available at every single New Jersey casino. The main issue with credit card payments is that they are prone to frequent rejections, as US banks remain wary of online gambling transactions.
E-wallets, such as PayPal and Skrill, are becoming increasingly popular across the board. These allow for instant transactions as long funds are available in the wallet. Some casinos, such as Betfair and Borgata, are yet to offer PayPal deposits.
E-check and online banking deposits are ubiquitous and an excellent, instant alternative for all gamblers with the ability to use them.
Finally, cash deposits have also become the norm with the introduction of PayNearMe and casino cage transactions. The first of the two allows for instant deposits at any 7-Eleven store in New Jersey. The latter involves making a direct cash deposit at a land-based New Jersey casino partner.
All deposit methods above are instant and usually incur no additional fees.
All New Jersey casinos will issue withdrawals via e-Check and a land-based partner casino cage.
Where Neteller and PayPal are available as deposit methods they can also be used to receive payments from the casino. Finally, players can request payment by check, which is dispatched by regular mail and, as a result, usually, takes up to 14 business days to arrive.