New Jersey Saw $2.64 Billion in Sports Betting in 1st Year After Legalization

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistMay 16, 2019

Former New Jersey State Senator Raymond Lesniak, the legal champion in the Supreme Court decision, raises his hand while speaking on June 14, 2018 before Governor Phil Murphy to placed the first bet at the Monmouth Park Sports Book on the first day of legal sports betting in the state, in in Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey. - New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy on June 11, 2018 signed a law that authorized legal sports betting in New Jersey, ending a nearly decade-long saga that included a multimillion court battle against the nation's top sports leagues and a landmark ruling from the nation's highest court. (Photo by DOMINICK REUTER / AFP)        (Photo credit should read DOMINICK REUTER/AFP/Getty Images)
DOMINICK REUTER/Getty Images

Legalizing sports betting has been a massive revenue generator for the state of New Jersey.

The Associated Press' Wayne Parry reported bettors placed almost $2.64 billion worth of wagers since New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy officially permitted the practice last June. New Jersey's overall gambling revenue climbed to more than $265 million as well, a 24 percent rise from the year before.

"Sports betting without question has provided a major boost to the local economy, and we believe this excitement will translate into increased revenue and tourism throughout the summer," said Kevin Ortzman, a regional president for Caesars Entertainment.

Gambling had long been legal in New Jersey, but sports betting was an exception until May 2018, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act.

Rather than making sports betting available nationwide, the decision allowed states to craft their own legislation and make their own determination on sportsbooks.

According to ESPN.com's Ryan Rodenberg, sports betting is fully legal in eight states, and another six states have passed bills to that end. Only seven states (Alaska, Idaho, Wisconsin, Wyoming, Utah, Nebraska and Florida) have failed to present any legislation with the goal of allowing fans to bet on sporting events.

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