Wednesday October 29 ,2014 : NEW JERSEY SPORTS BETTING MARKET WORTH $11 BILLION?
A pragmatic reason for NJ businessmen to rally around stalled betting law.
Numbers that have emerged during the litigation between the state of New Jersey and the US national sports leagues over sports betting show that an expert assessment values the potential market at an impressive $11 billion – surely an incentive for gambling businesses to get behind the state in pushing for sports betting legalization.
The revelation came about when Dennis Drazin, who operates Monmouth Park for the state’s thoroughbred horsemen, asked the track's partner in the sports-betting venture, the US division of William Hill plc, to provide an assessment to assist the court in arriving at an appropriate bond for the sports leagues opposing the introduction of New Jersey sports betting.
The presiding judge in the case, Michael Shipp, appeared to accept the William Hill estimate and set a $3.4 million value on the bond, which the leagues must post to protect Monmouth from the business it would have lost should he void his preliminary ruling and decide against a permanent injunction.
The publication North Jersey.com observed that the estimate represented a three-fold greater market size than the sports betting market in Nevada – currently the only real competition, noting that New Jersey racetracks and land casinos could benefit by around $600 million in revenues a year if sports betting was allowed.
David G. Schwartz, the director of the Center for Gaming Research at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas, agreed that the New Jersey market would be substantial if implementation was allowed by the courts, adding:
“It could be more, because of the greater local [New Jersey] population. A greater proportion of people could visit on a regular basis, which would lead to an overall higher bet total. New Jersey does at least double the online poker business that Nevada does, which could be a good analogy.”
Joe Asher, the chief executive of William Hill’s U.S. branch, told North Jersey.com that New Jersey has more than three times as many residents as Nevada, and that in addition the operators would be able to draw from nearby New York, Pennsylvania and other surrounding states, all of which had a deeply ingrained sports and betting culture.