Will Football Season Push New Jersey Ahead of Nevada via Sports Betting?

NCAA and NFL football is upon us and many experts feel that this season will mark the beginning of New Jersey becoming the top sports betting state in the nation. The Garden State has already done quite well when it comes to sports betting operations and with more operations now than ever before, the state is expected to do quite well this football season.

What’s To Come?

Sports betting is booming in New Jersey, especially after the successful launch of both sportsbooks at local casinos and racinos as well as online options. During the first year of operation, the state saw over $3 billion in wagers placed.

Analysts and experts in the sports betting industry now feel that New Jersey will take over the crown as the sports betting king in the US. According to AmericanGambler.com founder Alex Kostin, they are predicting based on forecasts of industry experts that New Jersey will surpass Nevada when it comes to sports betting handle during the upcoming NFL season.

The football season is perhaps the most lucrative time for sports betting operators as players come out in droves to support their favorite teams. New Jersey has already shown they can overtake Nevada, having beat out the state in May with just over $318 million in handle for the month compared to Nevada’s $317 million.

What Puts New Jersey Ahead?

So what makes it possible for New Jersey to jump ahead of Nevada? For starters, the population. The Garden State is home to 9 million people. Nevada is much smaller at just 2.5 million. Then you have to consider the neighboring states or city areas. New Jersey is also close to big metro areas like Philadelphia as well as New York City. Players can easily travel to the state in order to take part in sports betting.

New York is void of sports betting options at the moment, which has led to more profits for New Jersey. Players from the state are coming in and it has been estimated that as much as 20% of the handle in New Jersey is due to players from New York.

In 2018, the sports betting market in New Jersey saw just over $500 million wagered on football. This was lower than the close to $1.8 billion wagered in Nevada. But that was with less sportsbooks in operation.

So, as more land-based venues and online sites emerge, it will provide more opportunity for the state to earn more via sports betting. However, while some analysts feel New Jersey will take over, others feel it will be a back and forth.

NFL betting is big in Nevada, with players traveling to the region just to take part in betting weekends involving big games. It is unclear as to whether the commercial drive is in New Jersey to see the numbers climb on a regular basis.

New Jersey does have a leg up based on their online sports betting market. They do not require players to visit a venue in order to create an account. However, in Nevada, players must sign up at a retail sportsbook. This could be the advantage the Garden State needs to tackle the top spot.

We shall see in the coming weeks what both states are able to produce by way of handle as well as revenues. Who will come out on top? Or will both trade the lead back and forth month after month?


Our in-house expert for all things regulation, Jackson covers all major recent developments across US states relating to gambling laws & legislation.