How New Jersey Changed the US Sports Betting Landscape

It may only be the 47th largest state by area, but New Jersey has had a huge impact on the sports betting landscape throughout the United States. It was a New Jersey case that was at the center of the US Supreme Court’s ruling to repeal the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (Paspa), and it is New Jersey that has become one of the leading facilitators of online sportsbooks.

New Jersey’s desire to legalize sports betting came as little surprise, given that the state had already approved online casino gambling in 2013. Only five states currently permit some form of online casino gaming or poker, so New Jersey forms part of a select group. However, of that quintet, it is the Garden State that has become the US leader in sports betting and online gambling. You can check out for any more information on this.

When people think of gambling in the US, they likely think of Nevada and the Las Vegas Strip. While the Atlantic City casinos of New Jersey would be people’s second thought, they are a distant second. Nevada also used to be similarly dominant when it came to sports betting. Paspa was introduced in 1992 to prohibit sports betting across the country, barring a handful of exceptions. The biggest exception was Nevada, with the state exempt from Paspa on account of its sports pools existing since 1949. 

That ensured Nevada would be the only place to legally allow single-game wagering on sporting events, but the repeal of Paspa has completely shattered that monopoly. New Jersey officials and citizens have long been vocal advocates for legalized sports betting, with voters backing a state constitutional amendment in 2011 that would permit the operation of sportsbooks. Further abolitions of state laws that prohibited sports gambling met opposition in the form of national sports leagues, who considered New Jersey to be in violation of Paspa.

In response, New Jersey officials explored their legal options and ultimately had their case heard by the US Supreme Court. The Supreme Court’s landmark decision gave states the freedom to devise their own sports betting legislation, something that is now happening across the country. Since New Jersey passed its legislation in 2018, Atlantic City casinos have worked in partnership with sportsbooks to provide a vast array of betting markets.

In the first year of legal sports betting, New Jersey handled over $2.9 billion of sports bets and generated nearly $200 million in revenue across its sportsbooks. Research cited by The New York Times reveals that approximately 80% of bets were placed on mobile devices. This may persuade the states that currently only permit physical sports betting, like Arkansas and Oregon, to expand into the online realm.

It took just eleven months for New Jersey’s monthly sportsbook betting handle to surpass Nevada’s equivalent, so it is clear which state is now the most influential in the American sports betting industry. New Jersey fought long and hard to give other states the right to introduce their own legislation, so it is no surprise that the Garden State remains the inspiration in how best to implement that legislation.