Nevada has some true competition right now for the sports gambling dollar. That is certainly rare.
The state of New Jersey exceeded Nevada in sports betting revenue for January 2019, the first time Nevada has failed to be the No. 1 revenue-generating state for legal sports gambling.
Nevada's sportsbooks totaled $14.6 million from gamblers in January, per the monthly report publicly released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. In New Jersey, sportsbooks racked up $18.8 million from sports bettors in January, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.
Nevada and its sportsbooks set a monthly record for money wagered on sports in January with $497 million. However, a subpar hold rate of just under 3 percent accounted for Nevada falling behind New Jersey, where gamblers bet $385 million in its sportsbooks.
The average hold rate is 4.8 percent, according to the UNLV Center for Gaming Research and the Nevada sportsbooks had a hold rate of 7.8 percent.
January is typically a month with less action for sportbooks because there are fewer professional and college football games, as opposed to a busy football fall. That was again the situation for Nevada’s sportsbooks, plus the state is in an overall recession.
For January 2019, the Nevada casinos suffered a 3 percent year-over-year decline in winnings, collecting $984 million versus the $1.015 billion won in January of 2018. Per the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the casinos as a whole lost $1.2 billion over the fiscal year.
On the other hand, New Jersey has seen growth after it legalized sports gambling last spring, so the state didn’t experience a downturn similar to Nevada.
New Jersey was the first state other than Nevada to legalize sports gambling after May, when the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992.
Other states have legalized sportsbooks since: Delaware, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island and West Virginia. Several other states have legislation on their tables to make sports betting legal.
Draft Kings (Resorts Atlantic City) and FanDuel (Meadowlands Racetrack) combined for nearly 80 percent of New Jersey's haul. Draft Kings took home $6.8 million in winnings in January and FanDuel added $5.85 million.
New Jersey lost a total of $4.6 million on $34.9 million wagered on the game between Los Angeles and New England, according to the NJDGE.
It was certainly a surprise that the state lost money on the Super Bowl considering it was the first big game New Jersey gamblers could bet on.
Nevada had no problem making money. Bettors in the state wagered almost $150 million on the Super Bowl, the second-most wagered on any Super Bowl, and the sportsbooks took home $10.7 million, according to the NGCB.