NJ saw $16 million more in sports bets than Nevada sportsbooks
Legal Sports Report

New Jersey Is The Leader Of US Sports Betting, Beats Nevada Handle In July

NJ sports betting beats Nevada

New Jersey is the undisputed king of US sports betting. At least for now.

Nevada sports betting numbers revealed that New Jersey had the most money wagered in July, and by quite a wide margin.

Nevada sportsbooks took about $235 million in wagers for the month, while New Jersey generated $251 million in handle.

The difference between NJ and Nevada

This is the second time that NJ handle surpassed Nevada; the first time came in May. That difference, however, was razor-thin, and Nevada took back the lead in June.

The difference for NJ continues to be the more open access to online sports betting there. While there are both Nevada sports betting apps and NJ sports betting apps, signing up for the latter can be done remotely.

That has led to a higher percentage of betting taking place online in NJ, more than 80% of all handle in recent months. While there are no hard numbers of the breakdown between online and in-person betting in Nevada, it’s believed to be around 50% or 60% of all betting in the state.

Will NJ stay ahead in August, football season?

The question that looms is this: When will NJ’s ascension to No. 1 become permanent?

July is a slow month for sports betting; again, the easy access to sports betting apps means people can more easily fire off bets on Major League Baseball, or anything else bettors see available. August is much the same, except for the addition of NFL preseason games and the start of college football.

It’s feasible that New Jersey stays ahead in August, or Nevada takes back the lead based on the strength on a small amount of football betting, which is always brisk in the Silver State.

The big question is: What happens once football begins in earnest?

Each of the last four months of 2018 produced more than half a billion in handle in Nevada. New Jersey, to date, has never even surpassed $400 million; $385 million in January is the current high-water mark.

So to say that NJ staying ahead is a foregone conclusion is a bit premature.

But let’s remember this: NJ online sports betting was in its infancy in September of last year when operators were just getting their feet under them. This is the first football season that sportsbooks will have a full run-up.

New Jersey also suddenly has competition in the form of Pennsylvania sports betting apps that started rolling out this summer. Anyone on the NJ-PA border now has a choice of where to bet, and even if it’s not visible in the top-line numbers, it will have an impact.

A closer look at the Nevada sports betting numbers

Nevada sportsbooks held $10.5 million in revenue, a hold percentage of 4.5% on all wagers. It’s been a long time since Nevada has lost money on sports betting:

Most of the betting in Nevada, not shockingly, came on baseball.

Almost $175 million was wagered on MLB and other forms of baseball.

The “other” category, which includes things like golf, tennis and soccer, accounted for $43 million in handle.

Handle in the state was down from a record $245 million last year. It was the lowest amount of handle in any month since July 2017.

Dustin Gouker
- Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.
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