Who would have guessed it? When online sports betting was legalised by the US senate in 2018, most of us would have expected a state like Nevada to dominate the industry. But instead, as we head in 2020 it looks like The Garden State is leading the pack.
After the law changed at a national level, it was up to each state to decide whether it would allow sports betting within their borders. This sounded straight forward but like all things in life, it gets more complicated. As a number of states legalised sports betting, they set their own restrictions. This has left an awkward situation where a few states have legalised online sports betting, some have chosen not to and others have settled for a middle ground. To get a better grasp of the situation state by state, you can check out a map of which states currently offer online sportsbooks at bettingscanner.com but as we enter the final stages of 2019 we can already see that New Jersey is the real trailblazer.
The reason for this is simply that the state and its gaming commission has offered the least restrictive sports betting regulation. They offer a lower tax rate on sportsbooks than Pennsylvania which takes 36% of their revenue. NJ also does not require anyone to sign-up deposit or withdraw in person – which is the case in Nevada. This means that you can sign-up and gamble online in NJ without entering any casino or sportsbook – you only have to be within state borders.
This policy has meant that sportsbooks eager to get started in the US have chosen to set up in the NJ first, compared to other states. Nevada and Pennsylvania are New Jersey’s biggest competitors, but the garden state has so far, attracted the most interest.
The state, of course, had a competitive advantage over many others in that it already had a number of world-renowned casinos and racetracks. This means that sportsbooks already set up in the state could simply launch their online service, or new sportsbooks could partner with an existing casino, and easily gain a license from the gaming commission.
You have a number of big names in NJ, including FanDuel and DraftKings in the state, but in late 2019 and early 2020, you can expect a flood of new sportsbooks. If you are based in the state then we recommend you look at the latest list of sportsbooks in NJ before you sign-up.
Pennsylvania is showing some real promise, with sportsbooks such as Draftkings and Sugarhouse. In recent weeks, the Oregon Lottery launched its mobile sportsbook app. Exciting times lie ahead for the sports betting industry!