Sports fans that live in New York are rapidly acknowledging the potential to bet on their favorite teams and players thanks to a newly legalized sports betting industry in nearby New Jersey.
A general manager of a sports bar located a stone’s throw from the Hoboken train station terminal in New Jersey has noted the bar’s new clientele in recent weeks, with single professionals and males from New York coming in by train just to have a legal flutter.
In New Jersey, sports wagering appears to be coming of age. It is no longer a requirement that you must be physically present in a casino to place a bet. You can make wagers on smartphones and tablets, providing your geolocation confirms you are within the borders of New Jersey. Julio Carrasco, who manages the sports bar overlooking the Hoboken Terminal called Texas Arizona, said that those venturing to bet here from NYC stick out like a sore thumb.
Mr. Carrasco said that while most people in the bar are “regular” customers or “meeting friends,” there are single people sitting alone that are “specifically here to gamble.” Sports wagering is still illegal in New York, which is why more people are crossing state lines and traveling from the Empire State and placing sports wagers on their mobile devices, with no need to use Google either thanks to native mobile apps.
It’s not just train stations in New Jersey where New Yorkers are coming to place their bets either. People are driving into the state, entering parking lots and driving back to New York. There is a genuine feeling among sports fans in New York that the state is missing out on vast sums of potential revenue by not legalizing the industry.
According to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, racetracks and land-based casinos registered almost $38m in profits for September 2019, buoyed by the NFL and college football seasons that always entice significant sports betting action. September also saw record numbers in terms of total funds wagered on sports in the state, hitting $445m.
This is the largest monthly figure since the sector was legalized back in June 2018. It’s still not clear whether the New York State Gaming Commission will consider mobile sports betting as a legal pursuit for its residents. The Commission has legalized sports betting at the state’s commercial casinos since 2013, but for now, mobile and online sports betting remains red-flagged.