March Madness May Push NJ Betting Ahead of Nevada

Summary: The 2019 March Madness tournament may see New Jersey edge ahead of Nevada when it comes to online sports betting.

For decades, Nevada and New Jersey have been in a competition of sorts, being two states that heavily provide gambling activity. After sports betting was allowed across the US and New Jersey began operations, the two states are now even bigger competitors. Analysts are predicting that this year’s March Madness tournament could push the East Coast state ahead of Nevada when it comes to online sports wagers.

Online Betting Mecca

In New Jersey, players opt for online wagering far more than land-based. In the state, Atlantic City is the main source of land-based betting. With online betting, players do not have to leave their homes to wager. So far this year, online wagering has accounted for $4 out of every $5 wagered in the state!

During the first two months of 2019, sportsbooks in New Jersey saw a handle of $142 million via betting operations at casinos and racetracks. That was the land-based total. For online gambling, the handle came in at a staggering $564 million.

The market continues to grow so it is expected that New Jersey will soon outpace Nevada by way of online sports betting. According to various sources, the consistency of the market will eventually help the state to surpass Nevada as the largest legal sports betting market in the United States.

Maintaining Integrity

While online gambling is legal in New Jersey, it is up to the Division of Gaming Enforcement to protect gamblers. The Casino Control Commission is in charge of upholding the integrity of the gaming industry, including online sports betting.

The state requires that all casino owners demonstrate integrity, honesty, financial stability and good character. Licensees must be able to provide verification that they have enough money available to safeguard the accounts of gamblers every month. This helps to ensure that players who take part in sports betting are protected.

Based on regulations, all casino license holders that offer iGaming must have a bank account in the state of New Jersey. The account must be separate from other business accounts to ensure the security of player funds.

In the past, players have been hit hard when online gaming operators had mixed accounts. An example of this can be found via Full Tilt from 2011. The site had mixed accounts, both player money and corporate accounts, and when the site was shut down during Black Friday, players funds were frozen for several years.

The goal of online gambling regulators today is to avoid such issues. iGaming in New Jersey has the above stipulations so that players are always protected, and the industry can operate successfully. The same regulations in place for online gaming were also applied to online sports betting. This way, the sports betting industry can start off on the right foot.

It will be some time before we can see the impact of March Madness with sports betting figures in New Jersey as well as Nevada. Games will carry into April, so it might be May before we see the full impact. It will certainly be interesting to see if New Jersey will be able to surpass Nevada when it comes to online sports betting totals!


Logan is based in Los Angeles and is an avid poker player having played in tournaments across the globe. He covers both poker & regulatory affairs.