Sports Betting: What Does it Mean for New Jersey?
New Jersey won a Supreme Court case in May that would allow all forms of sports
betting throughout the state, overruling the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of
1992, which outlawed sports betting in the majority of U.S. states. The inaugural day of sports
betting in New Jersey commenced at Monmouth Park in June, as Governor Phil Murphy placed
the states’ first sports wager. Borgata Hotel and Casino became the first Atlantic City casino to
accept a sports bet., with Basketball Hall of Famer and former Philadelphia 76er Julius “Dr J.”
Erving laying the very first action. Shortly after the opening of the Borgata sportsbook several
other Atlantic City casinos have followed suit, including Tropicana Resort & Casino, Bally’s
Hotel & Casino, Golden Nugget Hotel and Casino, Ocean Resort and Casino, Harrah’s Casino
Resort and Resorts Casino Hotel.
Figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement in August showed that $96
million was wagered on sports in the month, and reports from September reveal a 15.5 percent
increase in revenue from the year prior, totaling $272.2 million. With a struggling economy and
over saturated casino industry, sports betting proved to be just the boost that the Atlantic City
casinos needed. “Sports betting has been the thing that this struggling city has needed. Being that
Atlantic City is in between New York City, Philadelphia, and Washington D.C, sports betting
has a real chance to flourish here,” said local small business owner and casino worker Lee
While the kickoff of sports betting yielded very favorable results for the state, those
numbers would pale in comparison to the current revenue coming in from the sports books in
New Jersey. Sports betting revenue has almost doubled from August to September. $184 million
in wagers were placed in September, the surge stemming predominantly from the start of the
NFL and NCAA football seasons.
Although the kickoff of the football season has created a spike in the sports betting
revenue, it’s quite possible the best has yet to come. Revenue will likely increase dramatically
with from the season opening of two of America’s four major sports-- the NBA and NHL. An
influx of tourists traveling to Atlantic City and staying in the casinos during the holiday season,
coupled with a slew of professional sports games to for the masses to bet should significantly
benefit an ongoing attempt at a city revival that has been sought for years.