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On the eve of the opening of football season, New Jersey once again topped Nevada in monthly sports betting handle, taking in $293.5 million in bets over the month of August.
Nevada’s August handle jumped 16 percent from the previous year’s August total, but that was not good enough to beat New Jersey as the casino in the desert only brought in $288 million in sports wagers.
The win by New Jersey in total sports betting handle was their third in four months over Nevada, with the first coming in May as the Garden State squeaked by the home of Las Vegas by just over $1 million.
In May, one of the original champions of betting in New Jersey, retired state senator Raymond Lesniak, signaled that May win over Nevada was not the last one for the Garden State.
“I’m not surprised at all,” Lesniak told ESPN Chalk. “I’ve been saying all along that the northeast and New Jersey is a hotbed of sports activity. We love our sports. We are well on our way in overall gaming, to becoming the Las Vegas of the East Coast.”
Despite the news of their third loss in four months as the nation’s betting capital, Nevada continues on a pace that will set an annual record for the state.
Nevada crossed the $5 billion threshold in total sports betting handle in 2018 and with the handle numbers thus far in 2019, the state expects to reach beyond last year’s record setting mark.
Since wagering expanded in June of 2018, the United States has seen a handle of roughly $11 billion in total wagering.
In August, with limited time to bet on only college football, bettors in Nevada wagered $72.3 million on football with the sportsbooks clearing $12.66 of those wagers.
But football did not lead the month for Nevada as bettors wagered $178.9 million on baseball in August. Third on the list was basketball as action from the FIBA World Cup and NBA future bets accounted for $5.607 million.
Other betting for events such as horse racing brought in $30.2 million to Nevada sportsbooks.
The casinos in Nevada were glad for the bump in sports betting as the state’s revenue win figures settled around $952.4 million.
“This was the result of strong non-baccarat game and table play which benefited from increased volumes and significant increases to hold percentages,” said Michael Lawton, an analyst for the state’s Gaming Board.
“For the month, [blackjack] was up 29.2 percent, craps was up 67.3 percent, roulette was up 43.3 percent and sports were up 111 percent.”
The casinos on the Las Vegas Strip brought home the lion’s share of the revenue as the gaming establishments brought in $520.7 million.
Both New Jersey and Nevada expect a huge revenue increase for September as the lucrative NFL season begins and the sportsbooks see an influx of regular and seasonal bettors.
New Jersey’s numbers continue to show growth as neighboring Pennsylvania has launched online betting and New York continues to drag their feet to legalizing betting in the state.
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