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In just over a year from the introduction of sports betting into the Garden State, New Jersey is poised to take the crown of sports betting capital of America from current champion Nevada.
With a large handle from online betting, New Jersey is pulling customers from a much larger base than Nevada, mainly due to nearby New York’s continuing inability to agree on how to introduce widespread betting in their state.
With the start of the NFL season, New Jersey with their strong betting infrastructure and dozens of options for customers appears to be ready to wrestle the championship belt away from Nevada.
The arrival of football cannot be understated in its importance when considering the handle that New Jersey is anticipating over the next five months of the year.
Last season, New Jersey brought in over $1.5 billion in bets from September through January. That handle was largely done via a traditional physical sportsbook.
But the state’s betting landscape has drastically changed in the last nine months as online betting has become the preferred way of wagering for New Jersey visitors and residents.
Around 80% of all bets in New Jersey are done via some type of mobile app. Last year, there were around 15 physical and online sportsbooks, but for the start of the NFL season, that number has grown to 25 total sportsbooks.
That number should grow in the coming weeks as several online sportsbooks are about to launch, giving customers even more options.
In comparison to Jersey’s $1.5 billion handle, Nevada was the clear winner last season bringing in over $2.7 billion during that same time frame.
So why should this season close the gap between the two states and push New Jersey over the finish line? Because of the consistent handle the sportsbooks have been taking during the quieter summer months.
The first month that New Jersey’s overall handle was greater than Nevada was back in May of 2019.
During that month, New Jersey, just nine months into legalization, brought in $318.9 million in bets to Nevada’s $318.3 million.
New Jersey clipped Nevada in total handle once more in July as the east coast state brought home $251 million compared to $235 million for the western state.
New Jersey sports betting is seeing those types of numbers because their neighboring states have been slow to legalize or bring in mobile apps to their betting market.
New York has legalized sports betting in four upstate casinos but those are too far away from New York City to take advantage of their millions of citizens.
Instead, New Yorkers who love to bet are driving inside the boundaries of New Jersey, placing their bet on an app and leaving their money in the Garden State.
Chris Krafcik, a managing director at industry research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, said it’s
“inevitable that the New Jersey sports betting market, in terms of handle generated, will surpass the Nevada market.”
“New Jersey, after all, has an appreciably larger local population — and a far more robust online marketplace — than Nevada does,” he concluded.
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