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US – New Jersey sets betting tax of 1.25 per cent as state challenges Vegas for top spot

By - 15 October 2018

Less than three months since the launch of sports betting, New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy has signed legislation to set a new gambling tax of 1.25 per cent on sports betting revenue, which will be paid to the Casino Reinvestment Development Authority (CRDA).

This tax will apply to both land-based betting and mobile and online sports betting and will come into effect from December 2018. The money will be used for the marketing and promotion of Atlantic City.

In comparison, Nevada taxes its sports betting revenue at 6.75 per cent, West Virginia at 10 per cent and Mississippi at 12 per cent. Pennsylvania’s tax rate will be set at 36 per cent, while Delaware and Rhode Island will see taxes of more than 50 per cent.

Mayor Frank Gilliam, who has a seat on the CRDA Board of Directors, said: “As mayor, I’m never going to be happy with revenue generated in Atlantic City going to a state agency when it could have been used to help the city. History has shown that marketing money has not been spent wisely.”

Larry Sieg, CRDA director of communications and marketing, said: “After a three-year hiatus, we are looking forward to filling the void with much-needed promotion of Atlantic City as a world-class vacation destination. Our team looks forward to having the opportunity to once again get the DO AC brand into the consumer market to increase visitation and economic impact.”

Sports betting wagers increased by 92.3 per cent and gross revenue jumped 161 per cent from August — putting New Jersey on a course to become the nation’s largest sports betting market.

“It is a very real possibility that New Jersey could surpass Nevada as the country’s largest sports betting market by the end of the year,” said Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com. “Even when Pennsylvania launches sports betting, New Jersey should continue its upward swing.”

New Jersey’s sportsbooks generated $23.96m in gross revenue and $183.94 million in wagers in September, according to official reporting. Nevada accepted $558.2m in wagers In September 2017.

PlayNJ.com expects New Jersey books to eventually generate $500m in annual revenue, according to PlayNJ.com analysts.

“As more online and land-based sportsbooks hit the market, and customers become more familiar with the products, wagering will rapidly expand,” Gouker said.

September online handle was $104.9m. Land-based sportsbooks’ wagers hit $73.9m.

“We knew online sports betting would grow at a higher rate and narrow that gap over time, but this surpassed our expectations,” mr. Gouker said. “Online sports betting could also buoy retail sportsbooks if operators are careful to create an online product that connects customers to the brand.”

FanDuel Sportsbook remained the retail market leader, posting $4.4 million in gross revenue. DraftKings Sportsbook — which generates 90 per cent of Resorts Online revenue — fueled Resorts’ $8.5 million.

“The DraftKings- and FanDuel-branded sportsbooks are clearly benefiting from name recognition, being early to market and offering a solid product, which has given them a leg up,” Gouker said.

New Jersey’s online casinos generated $25.7m in September gross revenue, up 3.8 percent from $24.8 million in August.

“Legal online gambling’s growth offers a clue to what we should expect to see from online sports betting,” said Steve Ruddock, lead online gambling analyst for PlayNJ.com. “Consumer awareness will steadily increase and an influx of new operators will drive marketing and product innovation.”

Since launching its sportsbook in August, SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino more than doubled its month-over-month revenues from August 2018 to September 2018. It’s a great time to be a sports fan in New Jersey, with legal sports betting allowing fans to get in on the action, and PlaySugarHouse.com is proud to be a part of the excitement.

The team at Rush Street Interactive, which operates the site, has seen live in-game betting growing tremendously, week over week. The start of the NFL season resulted in more than double the volume of bets on the PlaySugarHouse.com site and those numbers continue to escalate. Betting on mobile devices is proving to be very popular with over 80% of all bets occurring on them.

“We’re very happy with the numbers we are seeing,” said Mattias Stetz Chief Operating Officer of Rush Street Interactive, which operates SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino. “We see that the player base is continuing to grow as the word spreads about the quality and volume of the different live in-game bets at PlaySugarHouse.com. We are at the start of the football season and are excited to see our numbers keep climbing.”

Football is the most popular sport for players in New Jersey to wager on. There are at least 50 different betting options during any given game, allowing players to bet on things like how many touchdowns a quarterback will throw, the outcome of the current drive, or if a team can cover the spread. These options are interesting to our players and we expect live betting will grow in the future.

“Our casino bets have also grown since the launch of sports betting,” added Mr. Stetz. “Thanks to the deep integration of the sportsbook and the casino in both Android and iOS mobile apps and the desktop site, and players being able to use the same account and wallet, PlaySugarHouse.com casino has also grown across the board.”

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