New Jersey’s quick growth in sports gambling means it could surpass Nevada next year as the top sports betting market in the United States, its governor Phil Murphy said Wednesday, speaking at the Betting on Sports America conference.
In the 10 months that New Jersey has allowed legal sports betting, gamblers have wagered more than USD 2.3 billion, a pace that would put it in the same conversation as Nevada, which took in more than USD 5 billion in bets last year. “Nevada is clearly in our sights,” Democrat Phil Murphy said, as reported by The Associated Press. “We can overtake it as early as next year.”
Honored to keynote today’s Betting on Sports America Conference.— Governor Phil Murphy (@GovMurphy) 24 de abril de 2019
The sports wagering industry will create 6,000 new jobs in New Jersey by 2020. We’re the second largest sports betting market in the country, and my goal is to soon be number one. #bosamerica pic.twitter.com/8kuOhxELpB
New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case last year that cleared the way for any states to legalize sports betting if desired. Eight currently take wagers and many more are considering it. Gambling analyst Chris Grove of Eilers & Krejcik Gaming says it’s possible that New Jersey could become the top market next year due to a number of advantages, including its population advantage, drive-in traffic from New York, and superior mobile sports betting product.
New Jersey has nearly 9 million residents, about three times that of Nevada, where gambling is a tourist-driven industry. And the ability to place bets from a mobile device is one reason why New Jersey has not had the same challenges meeting projections as other states offering sports betting for the first time, like Rhode Island, West Virginia and Mississippi.
New Jersey could be passed by other states as markets develop throughout the country. Right now, the state benefits from a lack of legal sports betting in New York, and Pennsylvania’s market is still in its infancy. As they did with land-based casinos, those states could cut deeply into any market advantage New Jersey has if New York approves sports betting in the next few years.
Jim Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission, said the current trends put New Jersey in a good place. “It would mean bragging rights, not just for the country but for the whole world in terms of making this the place people in this industry want to be,” he stated.