Bettors in New Jersey wagered $996.3 million in December, an all-time record for a single state in a single month, according to data released by the state’s Department of Gaming Enforcement on Wednesday, and just north of $6 billion in total in 2020, which crushes the $5.4 billion U.S. record set by Nevada in 2019.
December’s betting handle, which came within $3.7 million of the $1 billion dollar mark, was the fifth consecutive record-setting month for New Jersey.
Each of these past five months represents the top five highest-grossing months in U.S. sports gambling history.
The amount wagered with New Jersey sportsbooks in 2020 was 33% higher than the state’s 2019 total, despite the Covid-19 pandemic forcing casinos to shut down.
The game-changer for New Jersey has been incorporating online betting and giving the state’s residents the ability to register for more mobile sportsbooks from anywhere in the state. Of the $996 million wagered in December, $929.3 million (or 93.2%) was bet online. According to ESPN, football was the sport most commonly bet on, with $1.4 billion wagered in New Jersey in 2020. Basketball, with a total of $1.1 billion, ranked second. As of the end of 2020, legal sportsbooks were operating in 19 states and the District of Columbia.
What To Watch For:
In his State of the State address earlier this week, New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced legislation to authorize mobile sports wagering in New York. “At a time when New York faces a historic budget deficit due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the current online sports wagering structure incentivizes a large segment of New York residents to travel out of state to make online sports wagers or continue to patronize black markets,” Cuomo said. According to a recent study cited by Cuomo, nearly 20% of New Jersey’s sports wagering revenue comes from New York residents.
“A unique set of circumstances, most notably a once-a-century pandemic, sent online sports betting to these previously unfathomable highs,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com, adding “the growth of online betting was crucial in making up for at least some of the losses in revenue at Atlantic City casinos and certainly continue to steady the entire gaming industry.”
$393.2 million. That’s the amount of money New Jersey bettors lost in 2020, the highest such number recorded by any state in a single year.
Gov. Cuomo Says He Will Push For Mobile Sports Betting In New York (Forbes)
Record $6 billion bet with New Jersey sportsbooks in 2020 (ESPN)
Governor Cuomo Announces Proposal to Enable Online Sports Wagering as Part of the 2021 State of the State (NYS.gov)