‘Gold Mines’: Why New Jersey Is Suddenly Challenging Nevada As A Sports Betting Hub

East Rutherford, NJ — Sportsbooks in northern New Jersey seemed all set when sports betting was first legalized in the state. The tellers were scattered around the cavernous room.

The Meadowlands Racetrack facility operated by FanDuel has one thing that is not well explained.

On some Saturdays in September, there was a line outside the sports book for hours. Some people couldn’t even bet before game time, so the sportsbook expanded and moved upstairs and he occupied the second floor.

It turns out that New Jersey really enjoys sports betting.

“This is definitely the most incredible thing that has ever happened anywhere or against anything,” said FanDuel Sportsbook from his home in Staten Island on the opening night of the National Basketball Association’s season. said Mark Talan, 30, who drove to .

[Can sports betting do for Atlantic City’s casinos what Donald J. Trump could not?]

Democratic Governor Philip D. Murphy made the first ceremonial bet on Germany winning the World Cup since the state began allowing sports betting in June (he lost $20). ), the state’s sports betting industry has seen impressive growth. New Jersey bettors placed $184 million in sports bets in September. That’s almost double his $96 million in August. So far, $336.6 million has been wagered on sports, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

“This will always be a gold mine in New Jersey,” said Raymond Resniak, a former Democratic state legislator who led a campaign against a nationwide ban on sports betting that was eventually overturned by the Supreme Court. “I knew this from the beginning. The Northeast and New Jersey are hotbeds for sports.”

New Jersey’s rapid embrace of sports betting has taken some industry experts by surprise, recalibrating how quickly the state can become a national leader.

“New Jersey will outperform Vegas,” said Chris Grove, managing director of sports betting research firm Eilers & Krejcik Gaming. “It’s not a question of if, it’s a question of when.”

This rather bullish outlook for New Jersey may not be universally shared. Nevada hasn’t released her September sports betting tallies, but over the past three years, her September average is $460 million, well above New Jersey’s. increase. Also, New Jersey sports betting generates far less revenue than her nine casinos in Atlantic City.

Still, sports betting is rapidly overtaking the state’s much more established horse racing industry, albeit ailing. I was. Sports betting has already reached nearly 60% of that total in less than four months.

Much of the recent growth has been driven by two factors: the introduction of mobile and online sports betting apps by industry players such as FanDuel and DraftKings, and the start of the college and professional football season.

Football accounted for about $90 million in sports betting in New Jersey in September, according to the Gaming Division.

“Personally, when I saw the numbers, yeah, I was very surprised,” said David Leveque, director of the gaming division, referring to September’s numbers. He said he was impressed with the growth of both face-to-face betting.

Despite its burgeoning popularity, mobile betting in New Jersey is still in its infancy. The first app by DraftKings was introduced in early August. FanDuel, with his second largest share in mobile betting, started in early September, just in time for the football season. Others, such as SugarHouse, began operations in the fall.

Rebeck said he expects total sports betting on apps to continue to grow as more companies continue to move in that direction and incumbents expand their advertising. As for brick-and-mortar operations, he has six sportsbooks in Atlantic City casinos, bringing him to eight in the state.

To ensure that online gambling earnings return to New Jersey, state regulations require mobile operators to enter into agreements with state-based sportsbooks.

“Regulated sports betting in New Jersey is an airplane that is assembled in flight,” Grove said, adding that even though casinos, racetracks, and other businesses still engaged in sports betting, the state did not allow sports betting to continue. Alluded to how quickly they introduced gambling regulations. Operation in progress. “In September they had more parts for the plane.”

New Jersey also benefits from being located between New York City and Philadelphia, two of the nation’s largest media markets. Sports betting is not legal in New York or Pennsylvania.

“There are about 12 million people living within 20 miles of this place,” said Jeff Gural, who runs the Meadowlands Racecourse, noting that his venue is a relatively short drive or train ride from Manhattan. says. “I don’t even need many of them to come.”

He had plans to expand the sportsbook, expecting a significant increase in sports bettors at major events such as the Super Bowl in February and the NCAA basketball tournament in March. But an unexpected explosion of popularity on Saturday forced him to accelerate his plans.

“When we found out how busy we were, we went to the Gaming Commission,” asking for permission to expand.

New York officials, including Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, have expressed support for legalizing sports betting in the state, so it’s unclear how long Meadowlands can maintain its geographical advantage.

“After the November midterm elections, I think a significant number of states will begin to actively consider whether they want sports betting in their states,” Leveque said, adding that officials elsewhere “At least half a dozen states are interested and want to know how we do it.”

The rosy numbers produced by sports betting are one piece of positive news for the New Jersey gaming industry. Atlantic City casinos — a life support industry that closed five casinos a few years ago — are on pace to increase their revenues this year compared to last year.

On a recent weeknight at Meadowlands, sportsbooks were humming by trying to figure out how much bettors were willing to let go and what winnings a well-placed bet could win. rice field.

Last Sunday on the FanDuel Sportsbook, a bettor turned a $1,000 long shot bet on four professional football teams into a $13,771.90 prize.

Mr. Taran was after similar prey. He invested much less up front, $40, but would pay out $22,000 if all bets on multiple sports were successful.

“If I win this, I can buy a car,” he said. “can’t believe it.”

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