Hills hails 'great start' as NJ reveals first sports betting figures

13 July 2018

William Hill has hailed a “great start” for sports betting in New Jersey as more than $16m (£12.2m/€13.8m) was wagered in the state in the first two weeks of operations.

William Hill took the first legal bets in New Jersey at Monmouth Park racetrack on June 14, just days after legislation was signed following the repeal of the federal PASPA law. The Borgata casino in Atlantic City went live on the same day while William Hill’s Ocean Resort sportsbook began trading on June 28.

Figures released by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement show that a total of $16.4m was wagered between June 14 and the end of the month. Operators retained 8% of the amount wagered, which would be around $1.2m.

Gross sports betting revenue was nearly $3.5m, with Monmouth Park bringing in $2.3m, the Ocean Resort contributing $193,000 in just three days of operations and the Borgata accruing $987,000.

William Hill US chief executive Joe Asher (pictured) said the figures show the “big appetite for legal sports betting” in the US.

"While it's still early, we're obviously off to a great start,” Asher said. “We always knew there was a big appetite for legal sports betting during the years of litigation, and now it is being proven.

“We are proud to be creating new jobs in New Jersey and bringing excitement to our customers. We can't wait until football season."

Total gaming revenue in New Jersey increased by just over 7% year-on-year to $233.6m, with sports betting aiding other gaming verticals according to Seeking Alpha’s Charles Schultz. “The extra traffic presumably helped in other gaming areas,” he said.

Meanwhile, two Ohio lawmakers are sponsoring a bill to legalise sports betting in the state.

Sean O'Brien told Cleveland.com he would like to have specifics in the bill by August or September. Ohio is the seventh largest US state by population with 11.5 million residents - three million more than New Jersey.