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The start of the NFL season marked what was likely a huge boost for the nascent New Jersey sports betting market.
Now, it’s going to get even more wagering and revenue thanks to the start of the NHL and NBA seasons, with the former kicking off tonight.
We only have Nevada to estimate the sports betting markets in states as they launch. But it should give us a pretty good comp for what we will see in New Jersey and elsewhere.
That data there tells us that football betting creates a big uptick in wagering activity starting up, but October and November are often the busiest months for sportsbooks. In recent years, total handle (or amount wagered) has often eclipsed half a billion dollars in September, October and November.
Why is that? It marks the convergence of all four major US sports at the same time. The Major League Baseball postseason and World Series coincides with hockey, basketball and football, a recipe that is good for the sports betting industry, and the NJ sports betting market in particular.
While hockey didn’t usually move the needle in Nevada, that changed with the advent of the expansion Vegas Golden Knights.
Sportsbook operators there have seen way more betting interest in hockey when the Knights came to town. It’s likely NHL betting in New Jersey will also move the needle, given that there are four teams in the region:
The presence of all those teams should increase interest in hockey betting in the state.
The NHL season officially kicks off tonight. The Devils play their first game Saturday against Edmonton in Sweden. So if you want to bet on the Devils, you’ll need to get your bets in early, as the game starts at 1 pm Eastern.
The NBA season is just around the corner, as well, starting Oct. 16. With three area teams — the Philadelphia 76ers, the Brooklyn Nets and the New York Knicks — betting on the Association should be just as hot.
Just how much money will we see bet in New Jersey once all the sports are rolling? Well, in August, there was $100 million wagered, and that’s with a pretty limited launch of both retail and online sportsbooks. And we won’t know the September numbers until later this month.
Clearly, we’re talking a lot of money being wagered, clearly more than $200 million and perhaps quite a bit more, if as much is wagered on NFL in New Jersey as we think.
That provides a glimpse of what’s to come for New Jersey — and for other states that legalize wagering.