NJ expected to lose its spot as top dog for sports betting, thanks to New York
New Jersey is expected to lose its short-lived reign as the top state for sports betting, now that mobile sportsbooks are up and running across the Hudson River.
For three straight months starting in September, New Jersey sports bettors wagered more than $1 billion at three racetracks and nine Atlantic City casinos (December's figures will be released on Friday). But experts anticipate that a big chunk of New Jersey's handle will disappear when reports start taking into account activity that's occurring this month.
Four companies were given the green light to accept mobile bets in New York on Jan. 8, and more companies are expected to get the same approval over the next month.
"A lot of the New Yorkers were crossing over to New Jersey just to place their sports bets, and now they don't have to," said Roger Gros, publisher of Global Gaming Business magazine.
One must gamble from within the boundaries of a state where their app is legal.
Early reports suggest betting volume was heavy during the first few days of mobile sports betting in New York, Gros added.
"That doesn't bode well for New Jersey at this point," he said, suggesting that New Jersey's handle could fall by as much as 20%.
Due to its population, New York is expected to vault to the top in terms of sports-betting volume. New Jersey has been recording the largest volume of sports betting in the country in recent months.
It's estimated that between 20% and 40% of New Jersey's sports-betting handle in 2021 came from New York residents, according to industry analyst Anthony Marino in Atlantic County. Most of those bets were made through the racetracks in Freehold, Oceanport, and East Rutherford.
"There will be an immediate impact on New Jersey sports wagering revenues," Marino said. "And it will be the first concrete message to the policymakers here in the state of New Jersey that they're going to start losing a lot of revenue that they have been just assuming would continue forever."
The Empire State taxes sports betting at a much higher rate than New Jersey, but at this point, there's no evidence to suggest that New York bettors are getting worse odds than New Jersey gamblers.
Gros suggested that apps may be more aggressive — through incentives, for example — with New Jersey gamblers because they'd make more money off of their bets compared to the bets of people playing in New York.
Contact reporter Dino Flammia at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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