Ft. Lee, the new gambling mecca?
There was an interesting story on a site called Basketball News that says Fort Lee has become a gambling hotspot, and a lot of the action is coming from parking lots. It seems that New Yorkers, who can’t bet legally in their state yet, drive over the George Washington Bridge, take the first New Jersey exit, pull into a parking lot (the article says Starbucks is a popular one), and use their phones to place a wager legally.
According to Basketball News: Sports gambling industry insiders explained that smartphone technology allows them to ‘ping’ with high levels of precision to discover where wagers are coming from, and a small strip mall in Fort Lee with an H-Mart, a pizzeria and a teeny-tiny Starbucks is lighting up the geo-locator boards at the books.
Believe or not, according to the story, Northern New Jersey is now taking more sports bets than the entire state of Nevada as the sports betting boom continues. Other hot spots include stops on the PATH train like Hoboken and Jersey City. A spokesman for Fanduel, one of the largest gambling operations, says that 50% of their handle comes from their location in the Meadowlands and that 25% of their customers are from New York. They say that East Rutherford is home to the largest sportsbook on the East Coast. The gambling operators won’t say exactly how much they’re making off New Yorkers, or anyone else, for that matter.
New York has also legalized sports gambling, but their program is not up and running yet.
The post above reflects the thoughts and observations of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Bill Doyle. Any opinions expressed are Bill Doyle's own.