ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — When New York state started taking mobile sports bets last month, everyone assumed it would take a big chunk out of New Jersey's nation-leading market.
And although New York instantly became the top market in the U.S. in terms of the amount bet on sports in January, it did not hurt New Jersey at all. In fact, New Jersey surpassed its best month in January, taking in $1.34 billion in bets.
That was up more than 40% from the amount New Jersey's casinos and horse tracks handled in January 2021.
New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2018 clearing the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting; so far, 33 plus Washington D.C. currently do.
New Jersey raced out to a national lead in terms of the amount of money its casinos and tracks handled in sports bets, a position it held for four years.
But the state realized that was not likely to last forever, particularly once neighboring New York, with a vastly larger population, approved mobile sports betting. More than 80% of all sports bets are made online in the U.S.
New York launched its mobile betting Jan. 8, and in four short weeks, seized New Jersey's sports betting crown by taking nearly $2 billion worth of sports bets. New Jersey's best month ever came last October when it handled just over $1.3 billion.
New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy anticipated that his state's market would take a hit once New York went online. In a speech last week, he recalled stories of people taking trains, driving or even riding bicycles from New York into New Jersey to make sports bets.
“I think we thought from moment one assuming New York legalized sports betting that it would take a chunk out of our business," he said.
That might still happen, but it has not in the early going.
Follow Wayne Parry on Twitter at https://twitter.com/wayneparryac .