Oddball Laws in New Jersey

In the wake of the recent landmark ruling by the Supreme Court of the United States, overturning the decades old Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 (PASPA), New Jersey gambling is once again in the public eye. New Jersey gambling stretches back to the 1800’s, making it one of the oldest gambling states in the US.

Atlantic City is an icon of American gambling, from its dark early days, often shrouded in organized crime, to its modern bright and shiny sea front casino strip. In fact, aside from the obvious destinations in Las Vegas, Atlantic City is still the place to gamble on the eastern seaboard of the United States. For those that can’t make it to one of the many glamorous gambling establishments along the Atlantic City boardwalk, NJ online casino action can still be had on the web. Internet savvy gamblers can log online from a number of device options, including right on their smartphones and play wherever the mood to gamble hits them.

How About Odd Gambling Laws in NJ?

Now, before we dive right into the oddest and weirdest laws that are still on the books in New Jersey, let’s take a quick look at some of the NJ laws governing gambling in that state. Are any of those weird and unusual?

New Jersey is one of only three states that offer regulated online gambling, the other two are Nevada and Delaware. Interestingly in the case of Atlantic City (New Jersey), the state constitution confines casino gambling to Atlantic City, which essentially means that all servers supplying gambling online must be physically located in licensed Atlantic City casinos.

But that’s not really weird per se, nor are any of the state laws regarding other forms of gambling in New Jersey, including casino gambling and now sports betting, thanks to the recent SCOTUS ruling on PASPA. Of course there are the usual legislative stipulations such as all gamblers must be over the age of 21 to gamble online (most online casinos only require players to be over 18). Another slightly odd feature of the NJ online gambling legislation is that online casinos pay more in revenue tax than their land-based counterparts, a whopping 15% compared to 8% for the land-based establishments.

Those Wacky New Jersey Laws

So, thankfully gambling laws in New Jersey seem to be more or less oddball-free but the same can’t be said for a few other laws on the states books. However, New Jersey is not alone in their weirdness and there are a few other states that can be just as wacky and odd. For now the attention is on New Jersey and we’ve picked a few of our favourite wacky New Jersey laws for your perusal and entertainment.

No Dancing in Caldwell

Remember the movie Footlose where a skinny Kevin Bacon went on a crusade to liberate small town teens from the evil town laws outlawing dancing? Well it seems that Kevin should have visited Caldwell in Essex County instead. Okay, to be fair, you can dance in Caldwell – just not on Main Street. Adding a bit more weirdness to the law, you also can’t wear shorts on Main Street either.

No Frowning in Bernards Township

Bernards Township is located in Somerset County and, if you ever decide to visit this little township, you better double dose on your Prozac pills. Yip, in Bernards Township it is actually illegal to frown, ever since it was declared a “Frown-free Town Zone”.

Don’t Annoy Your Partner in Haddon Township

The divorce rate in Haddon Township must be the lowest in the nation since it is actually illegal to annoy your partner in public. Well, technically the law states that it is illegal to annoy anyone of the opposite sex in public which, as most of us know only too well, is dang near impossible to do. To add even more weirdness to this town’s laws, it is also illegal to cross dress in Haddon Township. It’s a wonder that this town has managed to stay under the SJW radar for so long.

There are plenty of other oddball and downright weird laws on the books in the state of New Jersey, and many of them stretch back to the birth of the state. From a no cursing law in Raritan Borough, to a no pickle tossing law in Trenton, New Jersey has to be near to top of the pile when it comes to weird and wacky laws.