Foot­ball helps N.J. sports bets nearly dou­ble

Since it be­gan in June, sports bet­ting has at­tracted over $336 mil­lion

Tulsa World - - Front Page - By Wayne Parry re­cently just

AT­LANTIC CITY, N.J. — The start of the pro and col­lege foot­ball sea­sons led the vol­ume of sports bet­ting in New Jersey to nearly dou­ble in Septem­ber from its level a month ear­lier.

Fig­ures re­leased Fri­day by the state Di­vi­sion of Gam­ing En­force­ment show nearly $184 mil­lion was bet on sports in New Jersey last month, up from nearly $96 mil­lion in Au­gust.

Since it be­gan in mid-June, sports bet­ting has at­tracted over $336 mil­lion in bets in the state. The in­dus­try in New Jersey has been keep­ing just un­der 8 per­cent of the amount bet as earn­ings af­ter win­ning bets are paid out.

New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court de­ci­sion in May that cleared the way for all 50 states to of­fer sports bet­ting should they choose.

The ex­tra money from sports bet­ting helped lift At­lantic City's nine casi­nos to $272.2 mil­lion in rev­enue in Septem­ber, an in­crease of 15.5 per­cent from a year ago. And in­ter­net gam­bling, an­other growth in­dus­try in New Jersey, was up 26.3 per­cent to $25.7 mil­lion.

But it was the sports bet­ting num­bers that were most closely watched by in­dus­try ob­servers. With this lat­est in­crease, New Jersey is at least putting it­self in the same con­ver­sa­tion as Ne­vada, whose sports books were un­til re­cently the only place in the U.S. to legally bet on in­di­vid­ual games. Ne­vada booked $247 mil­lion worth of sports bets in Au­gust, the most re­cent month for which sta­tis­tics are avail­able.

“I just love this,” said Brian James of New York City, a re­peat pa­tron of the Wil­liam Hill Sports Book at At­lantic City's Ocean Re­sort Casino. “It's way bet­ter than hav­ing to find a bookie or a guy you know from the bar­ber shop.”

James said he missed on a 7-team par­lay bet in­volv­ing foot­ball; six of his teams won but the sev­enth lost, cost­ing him a pay­out of $51,000.

Since New Jersey won its Supreme Court case, it has been joined by Delaware, West Vir­ginia and Mis­sis­sippi, which are slowly get­ting their sports bet­ting op­er­a­tions un­der way. Mis­sis­sippi took $9.8 mil­lion in bets in Au­gust and the first three days of Septem­ber, while West Vir­ginia saw about $5 mil­lion in bets in Au­gust.

Ne­vada's sports books han­dled $286.5 mil­lion in June; $244.6 mil­lion in July and $247.6 mil­lion in Au­gust.

In New Jersey, foot­ball has ac­counted for more than $94 mil­lion in bets since June, with base­ball bring­ing in nearly $119 mil­lion. Par­lay bets, in which the out­comes of two or more con­tests must be won in or­der to re­ceive a pay­out, ac­counted for nearly $36 mil­lion.

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