The launch of legal sports betting has proven to be a game changer for the state of New Jersey as its retail and online sportsbooks have generated nearly $3 billion in bets, and nearly $200 million in revenue in the 12 months since legal sports betting officially began in June 2018.
New Jersey’s handle in May was up 1.7 percent from $313.7 million in April, according to official reporting released Wednesday by the Division of Gaming Enforcement. New Jersey’s online and retail sportsbooks have now accepted $2.9 billion in bets in the 12 months since launch.
By collecting $318.9 million in May 2019 bets, New Jersey appears poised to surpass Nevada in the monthly handle for the first time, according to analysts for PlayNJ.com. In May 2018, Nevada generated a $315.5 million handle. The state is expected to release May 2019 data later this month.
New Jersey could surpass Nevada – home to Las Vegas – as the sports-betting capital of the country, Gov. Phil Murphy said earlier Thursday in Atlantic City.
“The emergence of sports betting has played a tremendous role in this rejuvenation of our gaming industry,” Murphy said at the East Coast Gaming Conference in Atlantic City. “Today, we’re staring straight at the possibility of something that would have been unthinkable just 18 months ago – that New Jersey – yes, New Jersey – can very soon dethrone Nevada as the sports-gaming capital of America.”
“If this is indeed the month that New Jersey overtakes Nevada for the first time, it will be a momentous occasion for the Garden State,” said Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com. “New Jersey sports bettors appear to have a stronger preference for basketball and baseball than Nevada, so it makes sense that May would be a likely month for it to happen. But clearly the state is on its way to becoming the largest legal sports jurisdiction in the country.”
The May handle generated $15.5 million in revenue, down from $21.2 million in April.
“We want to be the home where the next generation of games, and the technological advances that open up the industry, will be made,” Murphy added. “This is the regulatory environment we have encouraged, and which we will continue to grow.”
New Jersey sportsbooks have now generated a win of $94.1 million and $16.5 million in tax revenue for the state since launch. Online sports betting accounted for $263.6 million, or 82.6 percent, of May’s handle.
FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet generated $7.9 million in online gross revenue, down from $8.8 million in May, to lead the online market. FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands continues to lead the retail market, too, posting $796,469 in May gross revenue, down from $3.3 million in April.
New Jersey’s online casino and poker industry generated $38.3 million in gross revenue, up 36.5 percent from $24.3 million gained in May 2018.
Revenue for the first five months of 2019 has grown 34.9 percent, to $179.4 million, compared with $116.9 million generated during the first five months of 2018.
New Jersey’s online gambling market was also among the beneficiaries of New Hampshire’s winning lawsuit to block a strict interpretation of the Wire Act by the Trump administration.
“The federal ruling that the Wire Act does not apply to legal online gambling was a huge win for New Jersey,” said Steve Ruddock, lead online gambling analyst for PlayNJ.com. “The ruling ensures that strong growth should continue for the industry, which has already received a significant boost by the launch of legal online sports betting.”