Las Vegas, in sports betting
Sports betting in New Jersey is booming. Getty Images

Move over Vegas. A new sports-betting player is throwing rocks at your throne.

 

Well, that’s at least what one New Jersey senior gambling regulator believes.

 

In a phone interview with Bloomberg, David Rebuck, the director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Entertainment, predicted that The Garden State’s sports-gambling industry will surpass that of Nevada’s by 2020.

 

“The numbers are going to continue to grow and we’re going to continue to build momentum as the football season continues,” Rebuck told Bloomberg.

 

Rebuck added that seven companies are already authorized to tender online sports gambling, with an eighth expected this week. Talk about a booming market!

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That being said, Jersey still has a long way and a short time to close the gap between it and Nevada if it’s going to live up to Rebuck’s ambitious prediction. According to Bloomberg, Jersey’s sports betting industry earned $3.8 million in July, which was the first full month of legalized gambling after it went live in June.

Now, to put that number into further perspective, Nevada’s sports-gambling industry did a whopping $249 million last year, spelling that Jersey needs to do a whole lot of catching up. Bloomberg tabbed Chris Grove, an Eilers & Krejcik Gaming analyst, who predicted Jersey will surpass Nevada as the No. 1 player in sports betting in 2021, when he forecasts The Garden State reaching revenue of $442 million against Nevada’s $410 million. That’s just a year off from Rebuck’s projection.

“We’re like a little brother,” Rebuck additionally told Bloomberg, “biting at their heels.”

Helping Jersey to reach that fruition will certainly be the fact that the state’s population of nine million people is three times the amount of the three million that Nevada counts. But that’s not accounting for the millions more tourists who pound the gambling scene in Las Vegas. New Jersey can’t compete with that, can it?

Still, Jersey is off to a hot start with sports betting since it was legalized via a landmark Supreme Court decision in May. Jersey’s sports-gambling market should see significant growth this fall. Bloomberg reported that numbers for Jersey’s casino industry for the month of August should be released Wednesday. But expect fall numbers to be greater, considering September will account for the first month of the NFL season and part of October will have the NFL and NBA in full swing simultaneously.