Pickleball Picks up Steam as a Legal Sports Betting Market – But Not in New Jersey

Pickleball has seen explosive growth in popularity in recent years, especially among the older demographics. The game has gained so much traction that over 25,000 news courts must be created to keep up with demand, as noted by Business Insider.

Now, the sport is gaining momentum in another arena: legal sports betting. In a landmark move, several sportsbooks including FanDuel announced in August that they will begin accepting wagers on professional pickleball matches and tournaments. 

While one Canadian province and ten U.S. jurisdictions have cleared the way for pickleball betting, New Jersey has not yet joined the party.

10 States Have Greenlighted Pickleball Betting

The official announcement of the partnership between the Professional Pickleball Association and FanDuel’s sportsbooks, enabling betting on the sport, was made on August 23rd. This has been in the works for several months, with Genius Sports and Sportradar finalizing the details throughout most of 2023. 

Genius Sports provides data and video streaming for pickleball betting, while Sportradar has developed an integrity program for officials and players. Several jurisdictions have already approved sportsbooks to offer pickleball betting.

In an interview with Forbes Magazine, Fanduel said that Washington, Colorado, Tennessee, Michigan, Wyoming, Illinois, Connecticut, Louisiana, and Ontario are the debut pickleball betting jurisdictions.

In June, Maryland, a state among the 30+ states in the nation that have legalized sports betting, granted approval for pickleball to be included in the wagering options. However, the commencement of betting on this sport was not immediate. 

PPA Tour stands as the sole officially recognized pickleball association authorized for betting within the Old Line State.

New Jersey Not Yet a Pickleball Betting State

Interestingly, New Jersey, a major player in the legal sports gambling market in the US, was not included in the list of authorized jurisdictions for betting on professional pickleball. This exclusion is surprising for several reasons. 

Firstly, New Jersey’s sports betting regulations allow gambling on a wide range of events and competitions. Moreover, the state’s regulatory approval process adds a level of credibility that few other states can match. 

The Garden State also has a pickleball-friendly environment with over 160 courts statewide, and the sport’s popularity is still growing, as shown by a recent survey.

The Approval Process in New Jersey

For any new sport or event to be approved for betting in New Jersey, the regulatory process is straightforward according to the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE). A governing body must be identified that is responsible for administering the sport or contests in question. 

Policies and procedures around integrity must also be described to ensure the credibility of competition. When asked specifically about pickleball’s status, a DGE spokesperson told PlayNJ that New Jersey is not currently accepting wagers but stopped short of ruling it out. 

The comprehensive evaluation of each event was emphasized, indicating the possibility of considering proper filings. Nevertheless, an examination of recent petitions revealed no indication of the initiation of the approval process by the Professional Pickleball Association (PPA) or FanDuel.

Future Prospects for Pickleball Betting in the Garden State

So what will it take for New Jersey residents to get in on the pickleball betting action? Reading between the lines of the NJDGE’s comments, it does not seem an insurmountable task. 

The PPA already has integrity measures in place for players and 25 professional tournaments on the docket for 2023. Submitting their governing details along with wagering proposals from sportsbooks like FanDuel could gain approval.

As one of the largest legal sports betting markets, New Jersey stands to gain from adding another vertical. With rapidly growing interest in both pickleball the sport and legal wagering, now may be the ideal time. 

Benefits of Pickleball Betting for New Jersey

There are several potential benefits to adding pickleball betting to the legal sports betting landscape in New Jersey. First, it would provide consumers with more options and flexibility when placing bets. Second, it could help to attract new customers to the industry, particularly those who are interested in pickleball but may not be familiar with or interested in other sports. Third, it could generate additional tax revenue for the state.

Challenges to Implementing Pickleball Betting in New Jersey

One of the biggest challenges to implementing pickleball betting in New Jersey is the fact that it is a relatively new sport. As such, there is not as much data available on pickleball matches and tournaments as there is on other sports. 

This could make it difficult for sportsbooks to set accurate odds and lines. Another challenge is that pickleball is not as widely televised as other sports. This could make it difficult for bettors to find information about upcoming matches and tournaments.

What Types of Bets are Available For Pickleball?

Standard betting markets such as money lines and over/under are available for Pickleball fans to bet on. In addition, match scores will also be an option. 

The association expects that other leading sports betting platforms in the US will roll out pickleball wagering as it gets approved in more states. The PPA Tour has partnered with Genius Sports to provide data and live video feeds to participating sportsbooks. 

Tour professionals are subject to the PPA Tour Sports Betting and Integrity Policy, and all staff, officials, and players must complete a course on betting integrity. This marks a significant moment for the PPA Tour and the game of Pickleball as they lead the sport’s entry into the innovative industry of sports betting.


Overall, the potential benefits of adding pickleball betting to the legal sports betting landscape in New Jersey outweigh the challenges. The PPA and sportsbooks should work together to submit the necessary paperwork to the DGE in order to get the approval process started. With a little effort, pickleball betting could be a reality in New Jersey in no time.

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