The pandemic is laying waste to businesses in New Jersey and across the country, but not to sports betting. And in what PlayNJ analysts call “a shocking achievement,” in October the state’s online and retail sportsbooks notched up their first-ever $800-million month; to be precise, combined they racked up $803.1 million in bets.
“New Jersey is now clearly the standard-bearer among legal sports jurisdictions, and the state seems to only be widening the gap,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst at PlayNJ.com. That followed a record take in September ($748.6 million). This was despite months of retail sportsbook closures and betting options on sports such as international table tennis as the headliners. New Jersey sportsbooks have generated $4.1 billion in bets so far in 2020, putting the state on pace to surpass the $5.3 billion reached by Nevada sportsbooks in 2019.
The betting analysts point to New Jersey’s primacy in online betting as the main reason why the state has strengthened its grip on the sports betting market. By contrast, nearly half of Nevada’s bets have historically come from retail sportsbooks.
“The pandemic has crystalized the difference between Nevada and New Jersey, where online betting is paramount,” said PlayNJ.com analyst Eric Ramsey. “New Jersey was almost certain to grow into the nation’s largest market. But with 90% of bets coming through online sportsbooks in New Jersey, it was simply better prepared for the events of 2020.”