(AP) — New Jersey’s sports betting market is closing in on the $1 billion dollar mark after less than six months of operation.
Figures released Wednesday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement show New Jersey’s casino and racetrack-based sports books took in over $330 million worth of bets in November.
Since sports betting began in mid-June, gamblers in the state have plunked down $928 million on sports events.
Jeff Gural, who runs the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, near New York City, isn’t surprised at how quickly the market is growing.
“I was there Sunday, and the place was packed,” he said. “So many of those games went right down to the last minute. It was really exciting.”
He expects the track’s sports book will do even better once self-serve betting kiosks are installed around New Year’s Day to increase the number of betting portals.
FanDuel, which runs the Meadowlands sports book, called November “a history-making month” in which it doubled its revenue from the previous month.
New Jersey is at least putting itself in the same conversation as Nevada when it comes to sports betting. Nevada, which has offered legal sports betting for years, took in $1.8 billion worth of sports bets from mid-June through the end of October. For Delaware, that figure was $54.4 million.
Mississippi, which began sports betting in August, saw $70.8 million in bets between August and October, and West Virginia took in $9 million in bets from mid-August through mid-October.
Pennsylvania and Rhode Island just began sports betting in recent weeks.
New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case in May clearing the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting should they chose to do so.
The $21.2 million that New Jersey sports books kept after paying out winning bets and accounting for expenses, along with another strong month of internet gambling, helped Atlantic City’s casinos post an increase of nearly 25 percent in gambling revenue in November, compared with a year ago.
The casinos won $257 million from gamblers in November. Internet gambling revenue was nearly $27 million, up nearly 31 percent from a year ago. (There are two more casinos operating this November in New Jersey than there were a year ago.)
Among sports betting providers in November, Resorts Digital ($7.1 million) narrowly took the lead from the Meadowlands Racetrack ($7 million). The Ocean Resort Casino was third at $2.8 million, and Monmouth Park Racetrack was fourth at $2.6 million.
The state received $2.4 million in sports betting taxes in November; since it began in mid-June, it has received nearly $8 million in such taxes.
Football bets have represented the largest share of sports betting action in New Jersey so far at $328 million. The sports books have held on to just under 6 percent of all bets in the state. They also have yet to account for bets on events that have not yet happened, like football’s Super Bowl in February, which are neither wins nor losses yet.
Most of New Jersey’s sports bets have been placed online ($539 million) compared with in person at a casino or racetrack ($388 million). Online sports bets are taxed at a higher rate than in-person bets in New Jersey.