While it wasn’t exactly slow in embracing the new betting landscape in the United States, New Jersey was lagging behind a significant rival. On May 14th 2018, the US Supreme Court overturned an earlier PASPA ruling that had effectively outlawed sports betting across the country.
The US was slow to react as a whole but there was one clear exception. The state of New Jersey was ready to go, and a number of betting halls were opened almost immediately.
First out of the Blocks
It took New Jersey less than a month to welcome the Supreme Court’s new legislation. On June 11th, 2018, NJ Governor Phil Murphy signed the agreement which would allow sports betting facilities to open up at racetracks and casinos around the state.
They may have been marginally slower out of the blocks for other aspects of gambling, but New Jersey has certainly made up for lost time.
In September 2021, the state of New Jersey recorded an overall revenue figure of $1 billion USD. It’s a colossal sum and, needless to say, it’s a record for any single state within the US.
The revenue figures across the country make for interesting reading as a whole: In Nevada, figures are approaching $800 million while Colorado, a sports-mad region, just touches $400 million.
Where to Play
The presence of sports betting halls has allowed Jersey residents to place their bets but there are other options. Online operators have responded to the 2018 legislation, and many have opened their doors to US customers.
It’s easy to find those operators too with affiliated sites providing open and transparent reviews. According to Online Betting Guide there are now 17 licensed online sportsbooks operating in New Jersey, with a maximum capacity of 27 at this current time.
That choice of offline and online providers is another reason why New Jersey is returning some incredible industry revenue figures.
Why the Interest?
In terms of comparative populations, New Jersey recorded 8.882 million citizens residing in the state as of 2019. Over in Nevada, the figures were much lower at some 3.08 million. That’s one clear reason why Jersey scores over its most obvious rival, but it doesn’t necessarily explain why it’s creating more revenue than other, more populous states.
In Atlantic City, there has been a ready audience for the region’s casinos for many years. The establishments here are more than a match for any others in the nation but, for most outside tourists, Vegas is the only destination that matters.
That’s an obstacle that New Jersey had to overcome when setting up its betting business but, in terms of sport, the state may have a clear edge.
The Teams to Follow
It could certainly be argued that New Jersey has a far richer sporting tradition than the state of Nevada. Las Vegas may be the go-to destination for casino play but, as far as traditional sports are concerned, NJ wins hands down.
The stars of the show are the New Jersey Devils who play in the National Hockey League. Formed in 1974, the Devils have won the prestigious Stanley Cup on no fewer than three occasions.
Jersey also hosts a wider set of sporting fixtures and, while it could be argued that the New York Jets and the New York Giants don’t belong in this section, both of these NFL teams play their home matches at East Rutherford’s MetLife Stadium.
Horse Racing’s Breeders’ Cup has also made a detour to Jersey so, there is a definite interest in major sports here.
Over in Nevada, it’s interesting to note that the major teams based in the area all arrived after 2017. That includes NFL nomads the Las Vegas Raiders who were originally formed in 1960 but had previously been based in Oakland and Los Angeles.
The Perfect Storm?
Along with the increase in revenue, the rise in sports betting has the capacity to bring other benefits into New Jersey. The industry creates jobs, and every betting hall needs staff to man it and to ensure that the operation runs smoothly.
By legalizing sports betting, it also takes the practice away from the underground and the kind of criminal activity that is generally associated with it.
Perhaps New Jersey provides something of a perfect storm in terms of the gambling sector. There is already a thriving casino scene while the interest in sport as a whole has driven that revenue over the $1 billion dollar mark for the first time. As the months and years develop, it will be fascinating to see if those numbers can be sustained.