The betting sector in the US state of New Jersey is continuing to flourish despite the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic and August saw the state set a new national record for single sports betting.
According to figures from the Division of Gaming Enforcement the state produced a legal sports betting handle of $668 million during the month. This figure is over twice the $315 million that was placed in bets in the state during July 2020, and surpasses the previous single-state record that stood at $614 million, set by Nevada during November 2019. Gross revenue from sports wagering in August reached $39.5 million, representing the third best total ever.
The record figure appears to be the result of a busy month of sports, that including a full Major League Baseball schedule, and a packed calendar of events in the NBA and NHL. All three professional leagues had previously seen their fixture lists disrupted by the pandemic.
As well as being at the forefront of the sports betting revolution in the US, New Jersey was also a leading force in the push for legal mobile sports betting, and this platform has come into its own at a time when many customers are reluctant to visit physical betting locations.
The figures show that over 90% of the state’s sports wagering handle came from mobile betting during August. Another factor in New Jersey’s favour is the relatively slow progress of neighbouring New York state, where sports betting is currently limited to land based casinos in the north of the state, making it more convenient for sports betting fans in the New York City area to bet with New Jersey betting firms.
And the signs are that September could rival August when it comes to sports betting take, thanks to the start of the new NFL season, as the NFL remains a key betting medium for punters. September will also see a number of days in which all four of the major US leagues have games on the same day, which has historically been a rare event. While the pandemic and associated lockdown has proven to be a challenge for the US betting sector, New Jersey, which was one of the first states to legalise and introduce regulated sports wagering, back in the summer of 2018, has been in a stronger position than most other regions.
In fact, the good results from August are the latest stage in an ongoing battle between Nevada and New Jersey, in which the eastern state, which benefits from its proximity to New York and high population density, is increasingly dominant. The leading betting companies in New Jersey, including well known firms DraftKings and FanDuel, have been advertising heavily throughout the state, and the return of sports action has led to an increasingly intense competition for business, which is good news for punters