NJ Numbers Proving It’s Time To Push For Online & Mobile Sports Betting

Written By Martin Derbyshire on December 17, 2018 - Last Updated on January 4, 2019
New Jersey sports betting numbers are proving now is the time for online and mobile sportsbooks.

There are lessons states considering launching legal sports betting markets can learn from New Jersey‘s latest sports betting revenue numbers.

Firstly, they’d better make online and mobile sportsbooks part of the equation fast, because that’s where the money is right now.

According to figures released by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, NJ sports betting operators generated $21.2 million in revenue last month. This, off of a record $330 million in handle.

To no one’s surprise, almost three-quarters of that money was bet through mobile sportsbook apps and online sports betting sites.

$238 million through online and mobile

In fact, better than $238 million, or more than 72 percent of the total money bet on sports in NJ in November, came via online and mobile platforms. The DraftKings Sportsbook mobile app has become the top-grossing sports betting operation in the state, be it retail, online or mobile.

New Jersey made retail sportsbook license holders wait a month after launch before they could offer online wagering. Now, the online and mobile side of things is absolutely dominating the market.

It took a couple of months before online and mobile sports betting revenue first surpassed retail numbers in NJ. Now, online and mobile is running away with things.

The state’s piece of the pie amounted to some $2.45 million in tax revenue in November. As you can imagine, that number would have been significantly smaller without online and mobile sports betting. Sure, a decent amount of the money bet online would have also been wagered at retail sportsbooks if that was the only option. But certainly not all of it. Mobile is bringing people to the market.

For that matter, in Nevada, the only other state that has it, mobile sportsbook apps are traditionally responsible for as much as half the market.

This is exactly the reason why states considering launching legal sports betting need to consider launching online and mobile sports betting from the word “go.” Because not doing so would amount to giving away a huge tax revenue opportunity. It’s one that clearly will not last forever.

New Jersey passes the mobile sports betting test

There’s really no point in making sportsbooks jump through hoops to get to the online and mobile side of things, particularly if that’s really where the market is headed anyway.

Regulators are forcing operators in Pennsylvania and Mississippi to start online and mobile wagering with on-site-only mobile operations. At least in PA, this is an effort to test the operations before permission to go state-wide is granted. It’s an unnecessary step, especially considering the NJ market should be enough of a test for the entire country. And NJ has already passed with flying colors.

The idea that retail sportsbooks can do a better job of protecting against corruption or underage gambling than online and mobile operations has already proved false. There have been zero issues with this kind of thing online in NJ so far and other states need only follow its lead.

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Get it while the getting is good

Finally, it’s important to remember that legal sports betting isn’t going to be new forever. It’s spreading fast. That means the next group of early adopting states may be among the last that can count on attracting bets from slower moving neighbors. And NJ has proven there’s no better way to do that than with online and mobile sportsbooks.

These new states need to launch the business fast and get online and mobile up and running just as quickly. It’s the only way to really take advantage of this specific moment in time from a tax revenue perspective.

It’s time to get it while the getting is good.  And New Jersey is certainly proving online and mobile sports betting is an increasingly large part of doing that.

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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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