Nevada Takes Back Sports Betting Handle Top Spot From New Jersey

In the past, sports betting was only offered in Nevada. The state had a monopoly in the industry for decades. However, last year, sports betting was made available to any state that chose to legalize the industry. Several states have launched services since, including New Jersey. The Garden State quickly gained ground on Nevada and even surpassed the state in May, taking the top spot regarding sports betting handle in the US. However, Nevada was not to be outdone and they regained their stronghold in June.

June Numbers

The June revenue and handle numbers are in with Nevada reclaiming the top spot in both categories. Sportsbooks in the state were able to earn a handle of $322.5 million in wagers for the month. In New Jersey, the number was significantly lower at $273 million. In May, New Jersey barely squeaked past Nevada with $318.9 million handle to Nevada’s $317.3 million.

In Nevada, there are 190 licensed sportsbooks in operation. These books were able to win over $16.5 million from betters in June. This was almost double the $9.7 million earned by New Jersey operators. Despite the higher numbers, Nevada was still down over 18% when comparing revenues from June 2018.

For the month, Major League Baseball was responsible for the majority of the win in Nevada, around $11.6 million. The handle from that sector came in at $208 million. The NBA Finals was also a factor, providing over $51 million in wagers.

In New Jersey, growth has been seen due to the online sportsbook sites and mobile applications. Over 80% of the handle for May was produced in some form or fashion online. DraftKings and FanDuel are the top performing sports betting operations in the state.

Along with a quality sports betting report, Nevada also saw a good turnaround for their casino operations. Statewide revenues for the fiscal year have come in at $11.9 billion. The total gaming win for the state by June came in at just over $1 billion. This is over 11% more than what was earned by June of last year.

Continual Competition

As sports betting continues to grow in New Jersey, the state is setting themselves up to continue to remain in competition with Nevada. Several other states offer or will be offering sports betting in the future, but New Jersey has proven that they have what it takes, the know-how, experience and quality brands, to create an industry that only continues to thrive.

Over the next few months, it will be interesting to see how well New Jersey does in the sports betting sector compared to Nevada as well as Pennsylvania. The state of Pennsylvania has only been offering land-based sports betting for a few months and just got started with their online options. It could be that the neighboring state to New Jersey gives them a run for their money via sports betting handle and earnings.

By next year, even more states will have launched sports betting services and we should have a better idea as to who the big players are. For now though, it will be Nevada and New Jersey who reign supreme. It will not be surprising to see the two go back and forth, trading the number one and number two spot as the coming months fluctuate with earnings and sports betting handle.


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.