New Jersey shatters its own sports betting record US$748 million bet in September

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This Sept. 9, 2018 photo shows football fans waiting for kickoff in the sports betting lounge at the Ocean Casino Resort in Atlantic City, N.J. Figures released on Thursday, Oct. 15, 2020 showed New Jersey broke its own recently set U.S. record for the most money bet on sports in a single month in September when gamblers plunked down more than $748 million on sports. (AP Photo/Wayne Parry)

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — New Jersey’s fast-growing sports betting market blew past its own national record in September, taking in more than US$748 million in bets from sports gamblers finally able to wager on football amid the coronavirus outbreak.

Figures released Thursday from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show Atlantic City’s nine casinos and the three horse racing tracks that offer sports betting handled over US$748 million in bets, easily surpassing the national monthly record they set just a month earlier, when US$668 million was wagered on sports in August.

Both figures easily eclipsed what had been the U.S. record of US$614 million set in Nevada in Nov. 2019.

So far this year, New Jersey casinos and tracks have taken in nearly US$3.3 billion in sports bets alone. That equals or surpasses what Atlantic City used to make in an entire year from casino gambling before sports betting was legalized.

New Jersey won a US Supreme Court case in 2018 allowing all 50 states to offer legal sports betting should they so choose. It quickly dominated the East Coast market and challenged Nevada for the national lead.

The US$748 million includes the total amount of bets accepted by the casinos and tracks; after paying off winning bets and expenses, they kept US$45 million of that total.

Including casino games, the gambling industry in New Jersey won $323.2 million in September, an increase of 6.5 per cent over last September, when there was no pandemic and casinos were operating at full capacity. Casinos are currently limited to 25 per cent occupancy as a precaution to prevent the spread of the coronavirus.

The Borgata won US$64 million in September, down 2.8 per cent from a year earlier. Golden Nugget won US$37.5 million, up 16.3 per cent; Hard Rock won US$35.8 million, up 12.5 per cent, and the Ocean Casino Resort won US$29.5 million, up nearly 22 per cent.

Internet gambling revenue was US$87.6 million in September, up 113 per cent from the $41.1 million it produced in September 2019.

The Meadowlands Racetrack in east Rutherford, near New York City, continued to dominate sports betting in the state, with US$28.1 million in revenue in September. Monmouth Park in Oceanport, about 18 miles (29 kilometres) east of Freehold near the Jersey Shore, made nearly US$3.5 million.

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