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New Jersey On Track To Be Vegas Of The East

The sports betting business is booming in New Jersey – nearly $1 billion wagered since June – with the amount of money bet increasing for the fifth consecutive month, according to state officials.

With that pace the Garden State is on track to out wager Las Vegas, becoming the sports betting epicenter of the US, as per Darren Rovell, senior executive producer at The Action Network. Rovell reported this to Cheddar, an online and broadcast business news network. With fewer than 7 months of sports betting on its books, New Jersey is expected to hit $1.2 billion to $1.3 billion in bets by the end of the year, Rovell said.

"As a comparison, Nevada is $4.7 billion," he added. "I think New Jersey and Pennsylvania will pass Nevada by 2022."

Nearly $331 million was wagered at racetrack sportsbooks and casinos in November, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported last week. That is a 21 percent bump over the almost $261 million bet in October. Specifically, $928.1 million has been wagered in the last five-and-a-half months, which translates to $73.2 million in revenue for the state.

"I'm personally thrilled," said Assemblyman Ralph Caputo, chairman of the assembly’s Gaming and Tourism Committee told WCBS NewsRadio. "We need revenue. The state needs revenue, obviously, regardless of how people feel, how it's been spent over the past, the pension funds, etcetera. There are so many things,” Caputo said.

Mobile betting is driving the growth, according to Rovell. Since June, 58 percent of money bet was wagered digitally generating approximately $14.5 million in revenues in November, up from $8.8 million in October.

Upping the ante in mobile wagering is the state giving a preliminary OK to “soft-play” rollout at Meadowlands to Pointsbet, a Australian sportsbook provider that offers “Points Betting.” This high-risk, high-rewards wager is contingent on how close the bettor’s prediction is to the final game outcome.

For example, from the PointBet website, if you bet $10 on “OVER 200 total points scored” in a Knicks/Bulls game and the result is 220 points (a 20-point win) the win/loss is $200.

Basically, “the more you’re right, the more you win” vs. “the more you’re wrong the more you lose.”

In other New Jersey sports betting news:

  • The Prudential Center in Newark, N.J. officially opened its William Hill Betting Lounge inside the arena, which includes big screen TVs and comfortable seating. Bettors will have to download the William Hill app in order to bet, there are no cashiers onsite to take wagers. There are, however, staffers available to walk newbies through the odds and betting process. The lounge is open during events, year-round, including concerts.
  • Freehold Raceway in western Monmouth County has a state sports betting license and is now seeking a sportsbook vendor. Once implemented, Freehold would be the third horse-racing track to offer sports betting in the state. The Meadowlands (East Rutherford) and Monmouth Park (Oceanport) already offer sports betting. Freehold is expected to begin taking bets by mid-2019.