Sports betting in the U.S. is surging with the return of the National Football League and other major professional sports, and gambling operators are vying for fans’ attention.
Sports betting has been on the rise as more states legalize the industry, and the recent return of the biggest sports leagues has helped satisfy demand that built up during Covid-19 shutdowns.
In New Jersey, the biggest market for sports betting outside Nevada, total sports-wagering revenue in August rose nearly 57% compared with last year, to $39.5 million, according to numbers released Monday. From January through August, revenue totaled about $178 million, up 16.5% versus 2019, despite the several-month sports hiatus earlier in the year. In April, when virtually all major sports were canceled and casinos shut down, sports-betting revenue plummeted to $2.6 million, an 88% drop from the previous year.
This autumn marks the third NFL season since a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court ruling paved the way for states outside Nevada to allow sports betting. Twenty-two states and the District of Columbia now have legalized sports wagering. Sports books got a boost this past weekend as leagues staging games or matches included the NFL, Major League Baseball, the National Basketball Association, the National Hockey League and the U.S. Tennis Association.