Sports betting in Nevada has been legal since 1949. For nearly 70 years, this state has owned a monopoly on legal land-based sports betting across the entire United States. Leading the way, was the overall gambling capital of the world, Las Vegas.
Just about every land-based casino in Las Vegas also offered sports betting in an on-site sportsbook. Casino giants such as MGM, Caesars and Sands helped make Las Vegas the sports betting capital of the world. That title is suddenly on the line due to changes in the law back in May of 2018.
Is Las Vegas “Sports Betting Capital” Title Really On the Line?
In a landmark decision by the US Supreme Court, states were given the right to govern legal sports betting within their borders. The actual case pitted the state of New Jersey against the federal government along with major professional sports leagues and the NCAA.
The Garden State wasted little time taking advantage of this monumental win. Land-based sportsbooks in a few Atlantic City casinos and NJ. Racetracks were up and running by summer. A year later, the sports betting business in the state is booming. Booming to the point where it is vying for the title as the new “Sports Betting Capital”.
The numbers bear this out. In a recent report on www.foxbusiness.com, New Jersey took in $1.5 billion in sports wagers last football season from September through January. The total sports betting revenue in Nevada came in at $2.7 billion for all of 2018. The current trends in 2019 point towards New Jersey topping Nevada in total revenue this football season. It has already surpassed Nevada a few months this year.
New Jersey May Be The Sports Gambling Capital For The US?
Going back to May, New Jersey’s total sports betting revenue came in at $318.9 million. The revenue total for sport betting in Nevada was a close second at $318.3 million. That trend continues to accelerate with each passing month. The gap really started to widen in July with New Jersey posting $251 million against Nevada’s $235 million.
Football is the main draw for sports bettors, garnering the lion’s share of business against all other sports. Leading the way is the NFL as the heaviest bet professional league in the US sports betting market.
Las Vegas has a built-in football betting crowd as a top tourist destination. The host city for the annual Super Bowl draws the biggest crowd. However, Sin City would rank as the next biggest destination to watch the big game. You also have other real money gambling hot spots in the state such as Reno.
New Jersey has Atlantic City as its main casino gambling hub. However, the state’s main advantage in this title bout is overall population. Sport betting is also legal in neighboring states; New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware. However, the sheer volume of sports bettors along the Northeast corridor offers huge revenue potential.
Nevada and more particularly Las Vegas appears to be fighting a battle it cannot win. The good news is that California is not considering legal sports betting. The entire western half of the US is lagging behind the East. This gives Las Vegas a good chance to remain the sports betting capital (west of the Mississippi).