Nevada had traditionally been the sports betting capital of the United States, but things started to change in 2018. When the United States Supreme Court lifted the federal ban on sports betting, it allowed other states to legalize and launch the industry.
Two states in the Eastern portion of the US, New Jersey and Pennsylvania, have quickly emerged as viable threats to Nevada. According to one industry analyst, New Jersey is now the clear leader in the industry and Pennsylvania is not too far behind.
Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania set new state records for total sports betting handle in September, with New Jersey shattering its own industry record. Sports betting handle in New Jersey totaled $748.6 million for September, flying past the previous record of $668 million set in August 2020.
Entering 2020, Nevada had the previous record for largest betting handle with just over $600 million, set in November 2019. The sports betting industry in the state is slowly starting to recover as well, but not as quickly as it is in other parts of the country.
Pennsylvania announced a sports betting handle total of $462.8 million during September, which was almost $100 million more than the previous record. It that state continues the current trend, it will likely catapult past Nevada as well.
September is traditionally a huge month for the sports betting industry, as college and professional football are both starting their seasons. In 2020, a number of other sports were in action as well, as the COVID-19 pandemic forced leagues to readjust their traditional schedules.
Remote Registration Key For Other States
Nevada has not released its sports betting handle numbers for September, but the August total was $474 million. This was an August record for the state of Nevada for online gambing, but its still not likely that the September numbers will be able to rival those of New Jersey.
Blake Weishaar of Fantini Research believes that New Jersey has permanently surpassed Nevada as leaders in the industry, and other states are set to do the same. Weishaar believes that until Nevada makes a change in registration requirements, it will continue to fall behind.
Both New Jersey and Pennsylvania allow customers to create an account using a mobile app or online, and that allows sportsbooks to see a large number of off-site traffic. Nevada requires customers to travel to a retail sportsbook to complete the application process.
These two states are also able to attract sports betting customers that are simply traveling through on either business or leisure trips. Nevada is only getting business from those that either live in the state, or travel there to specifically bet on sports.
Weishaar also notes that both New Jersey and Pennsylvania are surrounded by more affluent states, specifically New York and Massachusetts, and that leads to more business.
Barstool Sports Help Driving Betting in PA
The new Barstool Sportsbook app launched in Pensnylvania in September, and it has already become extremely popular. The app shattered previous betting app download records, and the younger generation of sports wagerers tend to prefer this sportsbook over the competition.
Pennsylvania had more than 90 percent of their bets placed online, but it was retail that actually brought in the most revenue. That’s because mobile apps offer promotional codes, while the retail locations do not.
Online sportsbooks posted a gross revenue of just $1.1 million for the month of September, while the retail sportsbooks had a gross revenue of $1.7 million. Barstool had a gross deficit of almost $2.8 million last month, but it was still considered a huge month for the newest operator.