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Move Over, Nevada: New Jersey Is Now the Sports-Betting King

Eben Novy-Williams

(Bloomberg) -- New Jersey legalized sports betting a year ago, and last month the state’s operators passed a major milestone.

For the first time, sports bettors wagered more in New Jersey than in Nevada, which for decades was the lone, dominant state in the sports-betting landscape.

Gamblers wagered $318.9 million in May at New Jersey casinos and racetracks, and via mobile apps, according to the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement. On Thursday, the Nevada Gaming Control Board said the state’s total for the month was $317.5 million.

The milestone continues a trend expected in the industry for a few months now. Not only does New Jersey have a lot more people than Nevada, but it benefits from customers coming from New York and Pennsylvania to wager remotely. The mobile options in New Jersey also feature better technology, which helps drive betting.

Though the numbers will likely ebb and flow, the milestone shows just how big an industry sports betting can become across the U.S.

New Jersey politicians spent years making multiple legal attempts to offer taxed, regulated sports betting. When the U.S. Supreme Court struck down the federal ban last May, the state was among the first to start taking bets.

The two states report their handles a little differently. New Jersey’s numbers include futures bets -- such as a wager for the Los Angeles Dodgers to win the World Series. The Nevada numbers don’t count those bets until they’re paid out.

To contact the reporter on this story: Eben Novy-Williams in New York at enovywilliam@bloomberg.net

To contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at nturner7@bloomberg.net, Rob Golum

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