My thoughts on an amazing 2019 for for New Jersey online gambling industry

For the second year in a row, sports betting in the United States has taken the cake as one of the most exciting and successful stories for gambling. 

When 2018 ended, only eight states allowed sports betting on location, let alone online, after the Supreme Court overturned PASPA (the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act). 

In 2019, this number increased by six, with states such as New Hampshire adding legal sports gambling to the repertoire of offerings. Six additional states have authorized such gaming but have not yet rolled out their methodology for it, bringing the total states allowing gambling to twenty.

Even states not normally associated with progressive attitudes towards gaming, like California have begun exploring the possibility of various ways to launch legal online sports gambling.

Currently, only nine of the thirteen states where sports gambling is allowed provide for online wagering, and, for the states that have legalized electronic wagering, it has almost made physical locations completely deprecated. For example, in our own state, New Jersey, recent reports show that more than eighty-five percent of people placed sports wagers on their smartphones. 

But the success isn’t only poaching from physical gambling entities. For example, our other neighbor, Delaware has enjoyed mobile betting totals exceeding the traditional casino revenue from New York, which does not allow online betting, despite a population difference in excess of nineteen million.

Draft Kings itself has disrupted the market by enjoying success of it’s three-way merger with SBTech and Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp and its upcoming plans to go public in 2020.

This year also welcomed multiple European betting outlets like Bet365, Unibet, and Betfred each attempting to extend roots to the States, although whether they will ultimately enjoy a repeat of their European success is still to be seen.

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Various betting operators also broke new ground and partnered with major media firms including Fox Sports, Yahoo Sports, and sports leagues in the United States also signing special gaming partnerships with various companies across the board.  This consolidation of the market will allow big players to use the sports league brand assets to solicit and represent betting, and act as an official betting partner in various states that have legalized betting.

In 2019, gambling in New Jersey and across the United States was also complicated further by a new opinion by the Justice Department meant to clarify the Federal Wire Act (18 USC 1084, intended to limit betting operations involving the use of wired communications) which reversed their 2011 Obama era opinion that the act applied only to betting related to sports. This will likely limit gambling of all kinds within the state, and will almost certainly change the way the business within the state must operate, and will effectively prohibit interstate gambling.

This threat to gambling in New Jersey was however delayed by a judicial challenge undertaken by the New Hampshire state lottery who fears that the act may limit their impressive online revenue. 

In June of 2019, the lottery won a stay against the Trump administration, and the DOJ agreed to delay the opinions enforcement to sometime in 2020. However,  they quickly reversed themselves, and are seeking to appeal the ruling putting much of the market in limbo.

Despite echoing fears, none of these complications across the US have appeared to hamper New Jersey’s aggressively profitable online gambling market, which has netted almost a half of a billion dollars in 2019. It’s worth noting that  The Golden Nugget took in much of those gains, and outperformed its traditional online casino revenue every month (for other states), and eventually outperforming their land-based casino revenue beginning in October. 

Other states that have approved online gambling have begun to grow, but only after the Google started allowing for online gambling advertising in November.  

In 2019, the online gambling and sports betting revenue numbers have helped push New Jersey’s casinos back into profitable operations and it has also led to a seemingly paradoxical increase in table game revenue after the implementation of legalized online gambling.

In general, New Jersey has had a fantastic year in legal gaming, and the new year is sure to bring more “breaking news casino stories”. 

It is our sincere hope that 2020’s revenue streams will surpass 2019, an exciting prospect for everyone involved including the editorial team at NJ Gambling Fun

You may also want to read: NJ Bill 5863 Aims to Police College Sponsorships Vice

And, as always, don’t forget to gamble responsibly.

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