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June 28, 2019

New Jersey tops Nevada in monthly sports betting for first time ever

It took the Garden State less than a year to dethrone former undisputed champ Las Vegas

Gambling Casinos
Sports betting window Suchat Pederson/The News Journal via USA TODAY

Sports book workers are pictured here in Delaware, the second state to legalize sports betting. New Jersey, the third, topped Nevada for the most sports bets placed in May, less than a year after making sports betting legal.

New Jersey narrowly topped Nevada in total money bet at sports books last month, roughly a year after the U.S. Supreme Court opened up state-sponsored sports betting outside of the Las Vegas stronghold.

New Jersey saw a whopping $318.9 million in sports bets in May, according to ESPN, a razor-thin $1.5 million more than Nevada's sports books. The Supreme Court's decision came down last May, and New Jersey became the third state in the country with legalized sports betting on June 11, 2018.

The news might surprise even those who were the most bullish on the Garden State's future as a sports betting destination. In April, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy predicted that his state could surpass Nevada as the top sports betting market in the U.S. by 2020.

"Nevada is clearly in our sights," Murphy said at the time.

In its first full year of operation, New Jersey's sports betting market has seen a total of $3 billion in bets placed at sports books. Last year, Nevada set a record by breaking $5 billion in bets in one year.

Online sports betting has been a boon for New Jersey, as it is in all states with legalized sports betting and online gaming: online sports bets alone generated $39 million for New Jersey's casinos in March.

Pennsylvania is slowly trying to push its way into the sports betting conversation, as one of eight states in the country with full-scale legalized sports betting. Last month, Fishtown's SugarHouse Casino became the first casino in the state to launch legalized online sports betting.


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