This week’s gaming news focuses on the New Jersey gambling market’s theoretical competitions.
Since the launch of NJ online sports betting, those interested in the business side of things have had their eyes on how NJ’s performance compares with that of Nevada.
The latest reports show New Jersey collecting more bets than Nevada in January, which is a big deal. At least to us.
Following that, New Jersey and Pennsylvania took to the virtual felt with two simultaneous online poker tournaments to see if both markets could survive without border traffic from the neighboring state.
PA definitely crushed NJ in terms of the amount of prize pool generated and the number of tournament entries. NJ online poker, however, held its own. And again, that is also a big deal. At least to us.
And, of course, no gaming roundup at the beginning of March would be complete without March Madness betting news.
Unfortunately, most of the recent headlines on the March Madness front include the word “upset” after the top seeds struggled to find a win. We talked to William Hill Sportsbook and got its take on the upcoming NCAA Tournament.
Sports betting: NJ vs. NV
In January, New Jersey online betting took in $540 million worth of bets. Nevada took in just over $502 million.
It is the first time that Nevada exceeded $500 million in wagers for the month of January. It is the second time that New Jersey reported a higher handle than the Silver State. The first was in July 2018.
The biggest thing impacting Nevada’s growth is the requirement for in-person registration before a sports betting customer can wager online.
New Jersey, on the other hand, does not have the same requirement, and bettors can register for an account at any of the 17 mobile betting apps from anywhere.
Please stay tuned for the next round. The Division of Gaming Enforcement will release February’s sports betting handle and revenue figures on March 12.
We expect the changing of the guard to be a frequent event over the coming months.
Online poker: NJ vs. PA
The Bounty Builder Series, PokerStars’ online poker tournament, concluded this past weekend. It was the first time a major tournament series ran concurrently in New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
When the announcement about the series hit our feeds, we were left scratching our heads as to why PokerStars NJ would choose to schedule the tournament at the same time.
With larger guarantees, a flourishing cash game scene, and the honeymoon excitement working in PA’s favor, it seemed as if NJ was destined to falter.
The opposite is true, in fact. While PA definitely emerged the winner based solely on the numbers, NJ also won. It made all but four of its guarantees and posted a lower overall overlay amount.
Overall, the tournament series taught us quite a bit about online poker in NJ and PA. The biggest lesson of all is, in order for online poker in the US to get back to its glory days, more states need to come online, and players need to be pooled.
PokerStars’ Bounty Builder Series, by the numbers
New Jersey Pennsylvania
Guarantees $300,000 $500,000
Prize Pool $354,653.90 $788,056.65
Entries 3,352 7,775
Re-buys 1,682 3,231.00
Total entries 5,034 10,565
Number of overlays 4 3
Overlay total amount $2,796.30 $14,108.60
March Madness betting takes hold
The next month, you will find more March Madness content than you can handle. Selection Sunday is just over a week away, and the NCAA Tournament begins a few days later.
After the plethora of college basketball upsets over the past two weekends, winning this weekend is paramount for schools to get the best possible seed.
Nick Bogdanovich, William Hill US director of trading, talked about what the NJ sportsbook is doing to prepare for March Madness betting and who he sees as the team to beat.
“At this point of the year, (there) are maybe eight to 10 teams that maybe can win it,” said Bogdanovich. “This year, I think there (are) 20 to 22.”
“The only blue blood that is stepping up right now is Kansas. They look like they’re the team to beat right now.”
Currently, the odds are forever in Kansas’ favor. Here are the odds to win the NCAA Tournament at William Hill:
- Kansas +700
- Duke +800
- Gonzaga +800
- Dayton +900
On the board at NJ sportsbooks
College basketball and more college basketball, basically, is what is on the board at NJ sportsbooks.
Needless to say, March Madness will drive much of the action at New Jersey sportsbooks over the next month.
Of course, the NBA betting season is winding down with the playoffs scheduled to begin April 18. There are futures for Eastern and Western conference champions and outright champions.
But there are a host of other futures bets available as well:
- Regular season MVP
- Rookie of the year
- Sixth man of the year
- Defensive player of the year
- Overall No. 1 draft pick
- Rory McIlroy +700
- Jon Rahm +1000
- Tiger Woods +1200
- Brooks Koepka +1400
- Dustin Johnson +1400
- Justin Thomas +1400