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Busy Sports Betting News Week Dominated by New Jersey Supremacy and New York’s Potential

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Jake Sindberg of Wisconsin makes bets during a viewing party for the NCAA Men's College Basketball Tournament inside the 25,000-square-foot Race & Sports SuperBook at the Westgate Las Vegas Resort & Casino in Las Vegas, Nevada. (Photo by Ethan Miller, Getty Images via AFP)

Two neighboring states dominated the U.S. legal sports betting headlines this past week. New Jersey posted their December sports betting numbers, while New York released the figures from their first weekend of an expanded platform, which recently added mobile to their underwhelming retail wagering options.

It begs the question – will New York’s success affect New Jersey’s sky-high handles in the future?

Let’s take a peek into some of the week’s most pertinent legal sports betting topics as we head into the NFL Divisional Round weekend, along with some interesting wagering stories that made the SBR “Bettor Best” Awards.

New Jersey’s Eye-Popping Sports Betting Figures

New Jersey continued its reign as the “King of the Bet-Friendly States” with yet another $1 billion handle for the state’s sportsbooks in December. It was the fourth straight such month that the Garden State registered over $1 billion in sports bets.

$1.23 billion in bets were taken in by New Jersey sportsbooks in December, a slight 2.38% dip however from November’s $1.26 billion.

New Jersey ended the year by far the biggest producer in the U.S. legal sports betting scene. The state’s sports wagering scene was responsible for an astounding $10.93 billion in bets in 2021 and reported $815.7 million in revenue for the year. Their yearly handle destroyed what was thought of as a benchmark $6 billion in 2020.

New York’s Mobile Success

What was expected to be a successful expansion of New York’s legal sports betting platform has already started to bear fruit.

According to GeoComply, a company tasked with tracking wagering activity across the U.S., the first 10 days of mobile sports betting in the Empire State was white-hot.

GeoComply reported 1.2 million sports betting accounts being created in New York between the January 8 launch date and January 17. Four of the nine already-licensed sportsbooks in the state took in $150 million in bets during opening weekend alone thanks to 650,000 unique new players and 17 million geolocation transactions.

BetMGM launched Monday and four more are expected to roll out over the next month or so, only adding to the optimism that New York will soon be a top-tier jurisdiction operating in the broad U.S. scene.

Three other participating legal sports betting states revealed their December handles this past week. Michigan hit a record high (the fourth straight month they have done so), while Indiana fell just short of setting a new record for their legal sports betting scene and Connecticut’s industry continued to show growth.

  • Michigan reported $514.7 million in bets during December, up 2.86% from the $500.5 million previous record from November. For 2021, Michigan’s sports betting handle ended up at an impressive $3.9 billion.
  • Indiana’s sportsbooks took in $463 million during December, just slightly lower than the record $463.7 million reported in November. December’s numbers took the state’s year-long handle to $3.8 billion which doubled the 2020 year-long sports betting take of $1.8 billion.
  • Connecticut’s relatively new legal sports betting industry continues to grow. December’s sportsbook haul was reported to be $150.1 million, up 13.9% from November’s $131.7 million.

Somehow, Florida, despite an attempt earlier this year, still doesn’t offer legal sports betting. That may change with sportsbook operators aligning to pressure the state to finally act.

Late last week, Barstool Sports founder Dave Portnoy joined DraftKings and FanDuel to campaign for legal sports betting to finally officially launch in one of the country’s top-3 population centers.

On the line is the imperative question of legal sports betting on the 2022 Election Ballot. A deadline of the end of the month is looming for hopeful operators to gain 900,000 signatures needed to push the motion forward.

As always in Florida, we are forced to just stay tuned to see just what will happen next.

Caesars strengthens New York Presence with Buffalo Bills Partnership

Caesars Sportsbook upped their game in the exploding New York market this past week thanks to a multi-year partnership with the Buffalo Bills to make Caesars an official mobile sports betting partner of the NFL team.

Typical mutually beneficial, co-marketing perks will result. The Bills will benefit from enhanced fan engagement and high-end sponsorship opportunities for the team. Caesars gains immediate and valuable exposure in the New York market and the right to official Buffalo Bills logos and marks.

Sports Betting Action for the Weekend Ahead

NFL Divisional Round Action is on tap for this weekend with two games Saturday and two games Sunday. Oddsmakers and bettors have some obvious feelings about what is about to transpire. For a breakdown of the betting action for each contest, click the links below:

Bengals @ Titans
Picks and Predictions
Saturday, January 22
4:30 PM EST

49ers @ Packers
Picks and Predictions
Saturday, January 22
8:15 PM EST

Rams @ Bucs
Picks and Predictions
Sunday, January 23
3:00 PM EST

Bills @ Chiefs
Picks and Predictions
Sunday, January 23
6:30 PM EST

UFC 270: Ngannou vs Gane also comes our way this weekend – the first UFC pay-per-view of the year. Two belts will be on the line and betting activity is expected to be heavy. Betting lines and a breakdown can be viewed here:
Picks and Predictions
Saturday, January 22
10 PM EST

Bettor Best Awards of the Week

It’s time to close out the week with the “Bettor Best” Award section – a selection of good and not-so-good stories provided by you, the wagering public, with links to their incredible stories.

  • Basketball is Obviously My Jam Award - from --OM3G—on Reddit. He/She showed off his/her basketball betting chops with by hitting on a 25-leg same game parlay on FanDuel.  That’s the good news. The bad news is that his measly $1 wager paid out just $373. Let’s hope --OM3G—didn’t use up his betting karma on a $1 wager!
  • Throwing Something Against the Wall Pays Off Award - Our second comes with a bettor who turned a $0.32 bet into $14,432.62 thanks to an incredible 6-leg first basket parlay on FanDuel. Truly amazing and proof that even the most obscure and improbable wager can pay off!
  • You’ve Got To Be Kidding Me Award - Our third is a celebration of the “beauty” of sports betting. u/Barnold54 on Reddit found out just how cruel the pastime can be. He bet the Under on last week's Magic/Hornets game. The total was set at 223 and with one second left, it stood at 222. Then the unthinkable happened – an absolute-prayer, no-care 3-pointer was thrown up from half and the rest is history!

Make sure to keep an eye on our Live Odds page throughout the week to get the best lines possible and connect with others in the SBR community on our popular sports betting forum.