Why online sports betting is taking over the industry


What a year it has been for the New Jersey sports betting market. After launching in May of 2018, the rise of online sports betting has been an incredible one. January saw a grand continuation of this trend, with a total of $540 million in wagers, slightly down by 3.2% from last December. Still, compared to January of last year, we saw a 40% increase. This marks the third straight month where the Keystone state has generated over half a billion in bets.

The primary source of this gross handle has been lying in the revenue stream coming from online bets. Nearly 90 percent of the total amount came through online sources, mostly using mobile devices. It’s a premise that predicts beautiful things for the future of sports betting, as New Jersey leads the front of the pack and is truly becoming the trendsetter for the rest of the United States.

What can we expect in the future from the New Jersey sports betting industry? And what does it mean for us? Find out more, right here at Betting Guide NJ!

Record after record

It all started in the last quarter of 2019 when New Jersey reported a sports betting handle of $562,6 million, the first time the state broke the half-billion mark. The month after, incredibly, this number was kept steady at an astonishing handle of $557.8 million.

Clearly, this meant a breakthrough in the ranking of states which currently allow sports betting. Nevada was still at the top, but it was looking like the top spot for 2020 was ripe for the taking by the Garden State.

January saw precisely that, with $540 million in wagers in one month, a feat that was never seen in January by Nevada, it seems as though New Jersey is the king of sports betting. The division of the revenue amongst online sportsbooks in the state is one that we usually see. The majority of the cash goes to the two largest online bookmakers, namely Meadowlands and Resort Digital.


Mainly, what has contributed to these impressive numbers is the rise in the number of online sportsbooks and their quality. Around this time last year, eight online sportsbooks were open for business; currently, that number has doubled, with 17 online bookmakers operational in the state.

Besides this outpour of availability, the online sportsbooks decided to tackle the mainstream media as a vessel for their marketing purposes. You might have noticed the dramatic increase in tv- and radio-commercials for online sportsbooks! 

What will happen next?

Clearly, the online betting market in New Jersey sees no signs of stopping yet. With the numbers for the Super Bowl coming soon and decisions around the country favoring the Garden State, it looks like an easy bet who will be on top at the end of the year. 

From an online perspective, Nevada is leaps and bounds behind, mainly relying on their offline betting handle to keep them up. The popularity of the Las Vegas casinos and their excellent reputation for providing a world-class service for sports bettors will be hard to beat. Still, New Jersey’s superior online platforms will prevail in the end. 


Pennsylvania, our neighboring state, has seen a similar growth in both their online casino and online sports betting market, but won’t top out New Jersey due to the nature of why Pennsylvania decided to allow online sports betting. The Keystone State decided to implement a much higher tax structure for online casinos and sports wagering than New Jersey.

Pennsylvania has a different philosophy toward its gaming industry, with a state official recently calling casino gaming “a means to an end” — with the end goal being property tax relief. The states share a border, but they are worlds apart on gaming.

Under different market conditions, Pennsylvania’s online gambling market could beat New Jersey’s, but that won’t be happening — at least not anytime soon.

In September, Pennsylvania, online casinos generated $4.1 mm in revenue, and the online/mobile sportsbooks generated $9.2 mm. People like Chris Christie scoff at those numbers.

To be fair, Pennsylvania’s online gambling market is much younger, with online/mobile sports betting beginning in May and iCasino kicking off in mid-July.

What does it mean for New Jersey’s sports betting future?

Well, with the increase in revenue comes a larger budget for the casinos and bookmakers to attract guests. Not only will in-state citizens be tempted to join some of the fun, but out-of-state bettors could be joining in as well, expanding the amount of tourism that our state will be getting.

Hopefully, this tourism will become sustainable, leading to a better economy and benefits for all kinds of tourist attractions and, eventually, the citizens of New Jersey.

But for the local bettor out there, this also means better promotions and odds popping up on your online sportsbook, seeing that there is a bigger budget to do these things. New Jersey made a great move by being the first state to legalize online gambling, and as we now see, it only gets better.