bars and restaurants) are allocated at a ratio of one license for 3,000 residents.
Distribution licenses are available at a ratio of one license per 7,500 residents.
The intense competition can benefit a town by generating several hundred thousand dollars of revenue from the highest bidder.
A 2006 license auction in Cherry Hill, New Jersey set the state record at $1.5 million.
Casinos in Atlantic City and federal enclaves (e.g.
military bases, national parks) are not under the jurisdiction of either the Division of Alcoholic Beverage Control or municipal alcoholic beverage control boards.
The state laws governing alcoholic beverages in New Jersey are among the most complex in the United States, with many peculiarities not found in other states' laws.
They provide for 29 distinct liquor licenses granted to manufacturers, wholesalers, retailers, and for the public warehousing and transport of alcoholic beverages.
A small percentage of municipalities in the state are "dry towns" that do not allow alcoholic beverages to be sold, and do not issue retail licenses for bars or restaurants to serve alcohol to patrons. Retail licenses tend to be difficult to obtain, and when available are subject to exorbitant prices and fervent competition.
In addition to granting local governments wide latitude over liquor sales, New Jersey law has some other unusual features.
As a result, the price for a retail license is often prohibitively expensive.