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At the annual Betting on Sports America conference, keynote speaker Governor Phil Murphy of New Jersey told the audience that he fully expected the state to overtake Nevada in betting revenue by 2020.
Gov. Murphy became a huge figure in the sports betting world when he took the torch from former Governor Chris Christie in the lawsuit against the federal act known as PASPA.
Overturning the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act by the Supreme Court enabled all 50 states to pass their own legislation to legalize sports gambling within their territory.
Gov. Murphy told the crowd that he was very “proud to be the Murphy in Murphy vs. NCAA”.
Murphy vs. NCAA was the monumental court case the Supreme Court heard that led to the judgment that later struck down Nevada’s monopoly on sports betting.
Roughly a month after the Supreme Court’s decision, Murphy signed into law a measure that legalized sports gambling in New Jersey.
During the address, Murphy told the story of his first bet at Monmouth Park that opened betting in the state.
Murphy joked with the crowd that he lost his first bets, but he didn’t regret the lawsuit or bringing gambling to New Jersey.
“I don’t regret for one second the leadership that New Jersey provided during the legal challenge, nor the leadership we are providing today in the growth of the U.S. legal sports betting industry,” Gov. Murphy said.
In less than a year, New Jersey has generated more than $2 billion in wagers, giving life to the state’s struggling casinos and racetracks.
Although Nevada still outpaces the Garden State, Murphy has set his sights on becoming the biggest market for sports betting in the nation.
“We are in the early days of what’s expected to be a multi-billion-dollar market, and that’s just the operators’ (profits) from hundreds of millions of dollars of bets,” Murphy said.
“We brought what was an underground, illegal industry into the light, where it can create and protect jobs in our racetracks, casinos, and tech sector.”
Murphy noted in his speech that despite Nevada’s head start, New Jersey can “overtake” the crown as the gambling capital of America.
Some betting experts agreed with Murphy’s optimism of New Jersey’s chances to grow into the country’s leader.
“New Jersey’s population advantage, drive-in traffic from New York, and superior mobile sports betting product are the primary forces driving New Jersey ahead of Nevada,” Chris Grove, gambling analyst said.
“It’s not a guarantee, but it’s certainly plausible.”
For New Jersey to overtake Nevada, it will need to generate more than the $5 billion that the western state generated last year.
Even though New Jersey is at a slight disadvantage heading into next year, “Nevada is clearly in our sights,” declared Murphy.
New Jersey has stayed competitive by being at the forefront of mobile gambling and gaming innovations, something that Murphy believes will continue to give New Jersey the edge on other states.
“We’re going to leverage our built-in advantages to dominate the marketplace,” Gov. Murphy said. “New Jersey is the place you want to be.”
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