Says the New York Times:
Since the state started allowing sports betting in June, the industry in the state has enjoyed remarkable growth. New Jersey bettors wagered $184 million on sports in September, nearly double the $96 million bet in August. So far, $336.6 million has been wagered on sports, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
“This was always going to be a gold mine for New Jersey,” said Raymond Lesniak, a former Democratic state legislator who led a campaign against a national ban on sports wagering that was ultimately set aside by the Supreme Court. “I knew this from the start. The northeast and New Jersey are a hotbed for sports.”
New Jersey’s rapid embrace of sports wagering has surprised some industry experts who are recalibrating how quickly the state could become a national leader — and even challenge Nevada, where such gambling has long been permitted.
“New Jersey will eclipse Vegas,” said Chris Grove, the managing director of Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, a sports wagering research firm. “It’s a matter of when, not if.”
That rather bullish outlook for New Jersey may not be universally shared. Nevada has not released its sports wagering tally for September, but during the previous three years its average for September, $460 million, has been much higher than New Jersey’s. And sports betting in New Jersey still generates far less revenue than Atlantic City’s nine casinos.
Still, sports wagering is quickly on its way to outpace the state’s far more established, though ailing, horse racing industry. In 2017, the racing industry took in about $570 million in bets, according to the Division of Gaming. Sports betting is already at almost 60 percent of that total in less than four months.
Much of the recent growth can be attributed to two factors: the introduction of mobile and online sports betting apps by major companies in the industry, like FanDuel and DraftKings, and the start of the college and professional football seasons.
Football accounted for nearly $90 million of the sports wagers in September in New Jersey, according to the gaming division.
“Personally, when I saw the number, yeah, I was very surprised,” said David Rebeck, the director of the gaming division, referring to the September figures. He also said he was impressed by the growth of both mobile and in-person betting.