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Did New Jersey Fumble Sports Betting In September? by David G. Schwartz

After years of lobbying and legal maneuvering, the Supreme Court in May rescinded the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, which had kept most forms of sports betting confined to Nevada. States from Mississippi to New Jersey have since legalized sports betting. New Jersey is under particular scrutiny because it has a large casino industry and is the state that launched the legal challenge which overturned PASPA. And while casinos in Atlantic City have, over the past forty years, had their high points, the state has dropped the ball on more than one occasion. Preliminary results, though, show that New Jersey’s foray into sports betting has been a success, and a look at the numbers provides some clues into how the new offering will evolve.

This September is the first month with regular season NFL games. To give you an idea of how important football is to sports betting, consider Nevada numbers for 2017. In May, a month with exciting NHL and NBA playoff action and Major League Baseball, the state’s sports books made under $3 million. Interesting note: that total was about half of its usual number because of locals betting—and winning—big during the Golden Knights historic playoff run, but even without the Knights it probably would have been a $5-6 million month. By contrast, September, with both college and professional football, saw a total sports betting win of over $44 million. What Christmas is to retailers, football is to sports books.

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