When the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was repealed in May 2018 and states began to legalize sports betting, there was a lot of gaming industry talk that the state of Nevada as a whole would lose many customers, its sports betting influence, and that the very essence of sports betting would alter as a result have options to wager on sports grew elsewhere.
That industry talk has now begun to turn into a deafening roar grew as New Jersey — the first state after Nevada to legalize sports betting – has begun to report revenue and profits beyond its wildest dreams and even most adventurous projections.
Recently, for the first time ever, New Jersey’s sports books were more profitable than Nevada’s.
January 2019’s Record Breaking Month
After many years leading the legal battle to end the Federal Government ban on sports betting, New Jersey’s now legal sports books are showing that all the hard work in the U.S. Supreme Court has proved worthwhile.
Since opening their doors to the public both online and land-based to the New Jersey public and its many visitors in June 2018, the Garden State’s sportsbooks have been showing better than expected results every month. Much of the success of sports betting in New Jersey has had to do with offering both online and offline sports betting, and the state’s close geographic location to New York City in particular, with many New Yorkers coming across the George Washington Bridge or through the Lincoln Tunnel across state lines to place their sports bets.
It’s been a revolution many years in the making as the leader of the sports betting space in the USA has long been the Silver State of Nevada. Las Vegas and other centers in Nevada have been able to offer legal sports betting for years already. Steadily growing each month since June 2018, New Jersey’s sports betting profit numbers have been impressive until the shock numbers of January 2019 reported the almost unthinkable.
In January 2019, the sportsbook operators in New Jersey made a profit of $18.8 million and for the first time ever, it was higher than that of Nevada for a month-long period. New Jersey’s record-breaking profit month saw the Garden State handle a total $385 million worth of sports bets.
The New Jersey numbers compare favorably with the $497 million in Nevada’s total sports betting handle in January 2019, from which Nevada’s sportsbook operators had profits of just $14.6m. Some sports betting industry experts explain that an overall decline in the total gambling revenues in Nevada in January 2019 as a reason for the Nevada drop in sports betting profits. However, looking at the numbers more positively, it appears to have more to do with the rapid rate of growth in the sports betting sector in New Jersey.
New Jersey’s Strength in Online Sports Betting
The interesting trend is that more than 80% of the $385 million in New Jersey sports bets were made online. Particularly in the ‘big freeze’ across the north east of January 2019, people preferred to place bets from the comfort of their own homes rather than battle the blizzards to travel to physical sports betting locations. The weather may have played its part, but as New Jersey’s residents have become accustomed to online sports betting, their preferences for how they place their sports betting are unlikely to change. As the Millennial generation who turn first to technology for most needs slowly become the majority of the population, other states will sit up and take notice as they also turn to legal online sports betting.