New Jersey edged its way past Nevada in May, taking more in sports bets than any other state in the US following the strike down of PASPA last year. Having narrowed the gap in recent months, the Garden State took $318.9m in wagers compared to Nevada’s $317.4m, making it the nation’s sports betting leader.
A further breakdown of the official figures published by the states’ regulators shows that New Jersey’s casinos and racetracks generated revenue of $15.5m, while Nevada’s sportsbooks earned $11.6m. Looking specifically at New Jersey, sports wagers made on site were worth $55,388,358, with online bets totaling $263,552,319.
Speaking in the Associated Press, Jay Kornegay, head of the Westgate SuperBook in Las Vegas, conceded it was only a matter of time before New Jersey took the lead. “States with higher population numbers will continue to surpass Nevada, and New Jersey has a population of 9 million, not counting (people from) surrounding states, versus Nevada’s 2.5 million,” he was quoted as saying.
He added, however, that comparatively fewer NBA basketball playoff games could have been an influencing factor in Nevada’s slip.
Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie appeared to have little doubt that New Jersey was destined to take a lead, albeit sooner than he anticipated. Quoted in the New York Times he said: “It happened a little quicker than we imagined. But I had no doubt that we would, just based on demographics and how we structured the thing, that we would do extraordinary.”