With Live Wagering, New Jersey Tops Nevada as Sports Betting Capital

Gambler making bets at a William Hill kiosk inside the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. Photo Credit: Wayne Parry/AP/Shutterstock
July 2, 2019

After New Jersey bet on online gambling, there are signs it bet right.

About a year after New Jersey successfully argued a Supreme Court case that paved the way for legal sports gambling, bettors in the Garden State wagered more money in May on sports than in any other state.

The state facilitated roughly $319 million in sports bets in May, nearly $2 million more than Nevada, which has long dominated the sector, the Associated Press reported citing state regulators.

“New Jersey really did it right,” Jamie Shea, the head of DraftKings’ sports betting app Sportsbook, told Cheddar, adding that the state’s decision to allow for mobile betting was crucial in the success

“Mobile sports betting is so important,” Shea said. “It enables you to do live wagering, which people love.”

Sports betting became legal in New Jersey in June 2018, just weeks after the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government’s ban on sports gambling imposed on state’s lawmaking rights.

The case, Murphy v. National Collegiate Athletic Association, was spearheaded by former New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie and continued by his successor, Gov. Phil Murphy. The court decision overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, opening the door for state-sanctioned betting.

”A more direct affront to state sovereignty is not easy to imagine,” Justice Samuel Alito Jr. wrote of the federal ban in the court’s decision.

Since the ruling, several states, including New York, Illinois, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and Delaware, have legalized, state-sponsored sports betting markets. Dozens more have legislation pending.

Yet the states that did not allow for mobile, live wagering “didn't have nearly the amount of revenue that New Jersey had,” Shea said.

DraftKing, which facilitates over 20,000 sports bets a day and has paid out over $7 billion, recently introduced Flash Bet, a new live betting platform that pays out instant winnings.

“It is for everybody who wants to have some action in the game,” Shea said. Flash Bet was rolled out to coincide with the Wimbledon tennis tournament and will allow users to place live bets as matches progress.

“Live wagering is already widely popular today, but also represents a crucial part of the customer experience and engagement tomorrow,” Jordan Mendell, DraftKings’ senior vice president of product research and development, said in a statement. “Short of playing on the court themselves, we are wholly invested in bringing our customers as close as possible to Wimbledon this year, while also giving them a taste of the lightning-quick innovations to come.”