$1 Billion in Sports Bets in One Month — How Did NJ Become the First?
New Jersey became the first state to record $1 billion in sports bets in a single month, and it's possible the Garden State will shatter its own record over and over again in the months ahead.
While gamblers in New Jersey have a decent number of locations where they can go to make these wagers legally — nine casinos in Atlantic City and three racetracks — industry experts say New Jersey's success is mostly being driven by the prevalence and variety of online options.
"The regulators got it completely right," Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine, told us. "They opened the state to competition."
According to PlayUSA, only bettors in Colorado have more sports wagering apps available than New Jersey gamblers.
Sports betting is legal in more than two dozen states — not every state allows remote gambling.
"I think a billion dollars is going to be the floor, at least until the Super Bowl," Gros said.
In September, which held the launch of the latest NFL season, $1.01 billion worth of sports wagers were accepted throughout New Jersey. New Jersey had already held the single-month record of $996 million, recorded in December 2020.
About 91% of that $1 billion came from online wagers, noted Eric Ramsey, market analyst for the PlayUSA network.
In New Jersey, betting apps, such as DraftKings and PointsBet, need to be aligned with a land-based gaming operation. Players can sign up remotely and, partly due to favorable tax rates in New Jersey, apps have the ability to offer attractive signup bonuses.
One must gamble from within the boundaries of a state where their app is legal.
"Proximity to New York City ends up being a really big thing, of course," Ramsey said of New Jersey's success with sports betting, which launched in June 2018. "Having a mobile sports book in your pocket makes for a quick turnaround from crossing the border on a train to placing a bet on an app," Ramsey said.
Ramsey said that up to a third of New Jersey's mobile sports betting may be coming from New Yorkers. Online sports wagering, though, should launch for New York sometime in 2022.
"That's certainly going to make a noticeable dent in New Jersey's bottom line; how much remains to be seen," he said.