One would think that Las Vegas bookmakers are quivering in their boots these days with so many states across the country legalizing sports betting. Instead, it seems like sports betting going mainstream is having a “rising tide lifts all boats” scenario in this country.
Nevada boasts 191 sportsbooks and the state hauled in a record $301 million from a record $5 billion wagering handle in 2018, according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal.
“The expansion hasn’t hurt us,” Caesars Entertainment sportsbook director Bill Sattler told the Review-Journal. “There’s more buzz about sports betting here in Nevada. Most of it has to do with mobile [apps] and in-game play. In-game play has become much more popular. Everybody’s got on board with that.”
Sattler added that he believes all of the parity in the NFL helped the books in Vegas this past season.
Still, New Jersey Division of Gaming Entertainment David Rebuck told Bloomberg last year that he predicts that the Garden State will surpass Nevada in sports betting handle by 2020. That statement was a bit aggressive, but Rebuck might not be too far off.
In January New Jersey sportsbooks posted a $385 million handle. That was a record month for the state.
January is typically the healthiest month of the year when it comes to sports betting as there is the college football National Championship game and three rounds of the NFL playoffs. But New Jersey’s numbers are still mighty impressive. In January of 2018, Nevada posted a $419 million handle – just $34 million less than infant sports betting state New Jersey did in January of this year.
The main reason New Jersey has been able to post these gaudy numbers so quickly is that the state is on the cutting edge of the mobile sports betting game. Fantasy sports companies turned sports betting behemoths DraftKings and FanDuel are dominating in New Jersey while the brunt of wagering in Vegas is still done at the physical casino.
This is certainly something for Pennsylvania to monitor as things get off the ground.