New Jersey has been increasingly referred to as the nation’s capital or “Mecca” of sports betting, and with the anticipated exploding market, the state wants to gauge just how it can begin training its workforce to staff relevant jobs.
“Sports wagering is a high-wage, high-growth sector that has already benefited New Jersey’s economy,” Tim Sullivan, who heads the New Jersey Economic Development Authority, said in a statement. “Creating good-paying jobs and cultivating a talent pipeline to support this burgeoning industry is critical.”
On Tuesday, the EDA and Division of Gaming Enforcement – which oversees the state’s gambling market – said they want to hear from the private sector on how more state residents can find employment in the growing industry, and the kind of training that would be required.
“Sports wagering platform providers, casinos, suppliers within the sports-betting supply chain, post-secondary educational institutions, relevant industry or trade groups, and municipal or county governments” are all asked to submit information, according to the Tuesday statement.
The responses being sought by the EDA and DGE are purely for information, according to the request for information (RFI) form. They are due at midnight on Jan. 31.
Those submissions should include the kinds of skill sets needed in would-be employees, which “may not be currently prevalent” in the state, and the types of labor training programs the state could introduce as a remedy.
One notably lacking skill in the state is “odds-setting” or “bookmaking”—a profession within the gambling sector that deals with the mathematically complicated process of making odds and bets in order to ensure that the house comes out ahead, and that winning payouts stay below the amount of casino revenue. With a shortage of workers with this skill, many New Jersey companies opt instead to bring in workers from overseas and Europe, the RFI statement adds, or train workers as part of the onboarding process.
Since the state rolled out sports betting in June 2018, patrons have bet a combined $5.2 billion at online and in-person sportsbooks – with the vast majority done online and via mobile – according to the most recent DGE data. That trickled down to $364 million of revenue for the sportsbooks, most of it in 2019.
The state has seven online and mobile sports betting apps, and nine in-person establishments, which includes seven Atlantic City casinos and the Monmouth Park and Meadowlands racetracks.
“My vision is for New Jersey to continue to lead the way, and to be both the intellectual and technical capital of online sports wagering in the United States – the place where new technologies are built and proven, and the place that other states emulate in creating a regulatory structure that enables the marketplace to thrive,” Gov. Phil Murphy said at a Betting on Sports America Conference in Secaucus in April.