Online sports betting in New Jersey has quite literally, never been better. Is New Jersey the future of US sports betting, or is the tourist attracting gambling hotspot, Las Vegas, Nevada, underperforming in 2020? Possibly both.
Nevada set an all-time betting record in 2019 with $5.4 billion worth of bets. However, with COVID-19 worries and casinos having to temporarily close their doors, Nevada’s system that only allows in-person registration struggled. Without tourists coming to Vegas with their wallets packed to the brim with gamble-ready money to boost those betting numbers, New Jersey easily surpassed Nevada, setting a new record.
$6 billion dollars worth of bets in 2020 was made in New Jersey, well surpassing Nevada’s record. How did a book only nine years old beat one over 90 years old? Well, despite a significant geographic size difference, New Jersey has five million more residents. Does five million more residents equal $600 million dollar more dollars worth of wagers? Of course not. The ability to sign up with more than fifteen mobile sportsbooks regardless of an individual’s location does. Not to mention New Jersey’s friendly neighbors to the east in New York have yet to legalize online sports betting, forcing interested gamblers across state lines and into New Jersey’s books. A fifth of New Jersey’s sports betting revenue came from New York residents crossing state lines to gamble legally. That’s $837 million dollars worth of wagers. An influx in sports betting customers in New Jersey and a lack thereof in Nevada let New Jersey rise to the top of the US online sports betting market.
It’s not just a yearly all-time record that was set by New Jersey in 2020. They now have the top five highest bet months in U.S. History, which all came right at the end of 2020. August saw $668 million in bets; September had $748.6 million; October had $803.1 million; November had $931.6 million, and December raked in $996.3 million. With the NBA and NHL just starting up and five straight months of revenue increase, January 2021 could beat December’s numbers. Remember that most major US sports were completely shut down from March to July because of the pandemic and New Jersey’s record setting year is made all the more impressive.
There’s no doubt this industry is getting red hot in New Jersey. The question is can New Jersey keep this up once Nevada’s casinos open up again and New Yorkers have their own legal in-state online sportsbooks?