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New Jersey January Sports Betting Handle Tops $1 Billion, Despite New Competition

New of the death of New Jersey’s red-hot sports betting market due to competition from nearby New York, turned out to be very premature. Thanks to some quirks in the calendar, NJ operators had their best month ever in January, collecting a record $1.35 billion worth of sports bets for the month.

Gaming industry observers had suggested that the launch of regulated sports betting on January 8 would syphon business from Garden State operators. After all, NY took in just over $2 billion in wagers during its first month. But, as it turns out, there weren’t as many New Yorkers doing the reverse bridge-and-tunnel to drive to New Jersey to place legal sports bets than was initially thought.

New Jersey operators were aided by some calendar quirks during the month, but hampered by bad weather, as Joe Lupo, president of Atlantic City’s Hard Rock casino described in an interview with the Associated Press saying, “With an additional Saturday and New Year’s falling so favorable in January, it is evident the record snowfall negatively impacted many properties, as the city land-based casino revenue fell behind pre-COVID 2020 level. Our team did a spectacular job during the blizzard keeping our property energized and restaurants open, and I am extremely proud Hard Rock Atlantic City continues to lead the market in year-over-year casino revenue increases.”

Anyone worried that New York’s impressive handle would syphon off players from New Jersey should consider just how many people are in each state. New Jersey is the 11th largest US State by population with around 9.2 million residents. New York State is the fourth most populated US State with just over 20 million residents. In short, it looks like there’s room enough on the Eastern Seaboard for successful sports betting markets in New York and New Jersey.