New Jersey is poised to overtake Nevada as the number one gambling hub in the United States, an ambition many find farfetched.
However, the Director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE), David Rebuck, remains resolute about the possibility and aspires to make the Garden State the top sports betting market in the USA.
According to the President and chief analyst at DGS Media, Adam Small, New Jersey can support a bigger sports betting industry than California or New York but overtaking Nevada is something almost impossible.
Comparing recent gambling filings in New Jersey and Nevada, it is evident there is much is to be done if New Jersey wants to be the new gambling kings.
New Jersey generated $233.6 million in gambling revenue in June according to filings issued by the DGE on July 12, 2018. This is a 7.3% increase of the $217.7 million generated in the corresponding month in 2017.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board, on the other hand, revealed in January that casinos in the state generated $571.5 million in revenue in December, which is a 3.2% drop on previous years. The monthly revenue of the state of Nevada fell a combined 6% in October and November 2017.
The fall in Baccarat revenues attributed to the three-month decline in Las Vegas, while December was the worst month, with a 30% drop on the same period in 2016.
That aside, casino revenue from state-wide Nevada shows a total “gaming win” of $960.4 million in December, less than 1% higher than the year before.
Why Nevada is no.1 in sports betting
The first modern sportsbook on the Las Vegas Strip, Stardust Hotel-Casino opened in 1976 and has since inspired sports betting as a major draw for Las Vegas casinos. The state now has about 200 facilities that take bets compared to the few in other states.
“This is an advantage for Nevada well beyond simply being ‘first to market,’ as the vast majority of professionals in America that are needed to manage a successful sportsbook are based there,” Small said.
“As a result, companies like William Hill have chosen to set up their U.S. headquarters in Nevada” he added.
Comparing this to New Jersey, Mr Small said.
“In New Jersey, new sports books have to compete for talent with several other states that have launched or are launching sports betting this year, as well as other casinos and tracks housed in the Garden State.”
Advantages of New Jersey sports betting
Despite Las Vegas establishing itself as a tourist destination long enough, New Jersey is one of the populous states in the US with a lot of wealthy people.
With a population of 9 million, the per capita income of the state is $35,928 (2012) compared to Nevada’s per capita income of $21,989 (2000). Secondly, most of the heavy bettors, including the Chinese that visit Las Vegas casinos, are from outside the state.
These factors according to Mr Small have boosted the New Jersey online gambling industry into a quarter-billion-dollar a year industry.
“That is important because online will be the key to sports betting success as well,” he said.
“Online sports betting should produce a ton more revenue than brick and mortar and could be a major driver of growth.”
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