Basketball betting helped online sportsbooks across New Jersey smash the $1bn mark for total wagers once again in November 2021.

New Jersey sports betting has proved a big hit in recent months as an increasing number of gambling firms muscle into the market.

The state has legalized online sports betting for three years yet it’s only since COVID-19 restrictions pushed gamers away from land-based casinos and into the online gambling community that sports betting has truly taken off.

And November proved a big hit for basketball bets, with a 250% increase to $399.7m in total wagers taken on the sport during the last month.

This puts basketball almost on par with football, which saw wagers fall from $499m in October to $403.1m in November due to one less weekend of action.

For basketball bettors and sportsbooks alike, November was the perfect month for the sport. There was a full month of NBA action and the college basketball season also began. This combination meant sports bettors had an unmissable number of games to wager on over 31 days.

And it further increases the reality that basketball is the king of sports betting markets. For while more money may be wagered on both football in individual games, across the year basketball has taken $2.3bn in wagers in New Jersey, compared to $1.6bn for gridiron.

New Jersey Sportsbooks November Bets

New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) released figures last week confirming $1.26bn worth of takings from sportsbooks during November 2021. It was the third month running that the $1bn ceiling had been broken through.

That maintains a general trend for the state that has resulted in millions of dollars of taxes being paid back into the system.

Total gaming taxes on all betting and casino activity in the state came to $46.5m, while the casino industry “incurred $6m in 1.25% Additional Tax on sports wagering gross revenue and Investment Alternative Tax Obligations”.

However, there is a growing tax row among New Jersey casinos about the rates they are paying.

Around 91% of all wagers in the state were placed online, which shows just how popular remote betting is becoming in the state.

888 Withdraws From NJ; Sports Illustrated Sportsbook expected

Meanwhile, as NJ sportsbooks celebrate another successful month, news has emerged that one of its oldest sports betting providers is withdrawing from the market.

888 – the European-based gambling firm – is being pulled from New Jersey with immediate effect. 

It is understood the firm, which has been in operation in New Jersey since September 2018, is preparing for the launch of its Sports Illustrated sportsbook in the state, although no official reason for 888’s withdrawal has yet been given.

SI Sportsbook is co-owned by 888 and Authentic Brands Group (ABG), and the two firms hope it will prove a hit amongst bettors, primarily because it will offer sports news, analysis and betting information alongside the latest odds.

It is expected to launch in NJ, Iowa and Indiana before 2021 is out.

888 recently sold its online bingo operations to the Broadway Gaming group for $50m, following a $765.5m loss before tax on the branch in 2020.

And it appears as though a focus on sports betting, poker and casino is in the pipeline for 2022.

Itai Pazner, CEO of 888, said: “Following a strategic review, we have taken the decision to sell the bingo business. This strategic Transaction will enable 888 to further increase its focus on its core platform and unified, scalable and proprietary technology, and grow our key product verticals of casino, sport and poker, as we continue in our mission to be one of the world’s leading online betting and gaming businesses.”

Joe Ellison

Joseph is a dedicated journalist and horse racing fanatic who has been writing about sports and casinos for over a decade. He has worked with some of the UK's top bookmakers and provides Premier League soccer tips on a regular basis. You'll likely find him watching horse racing or rugby when he isn't writing about sport.

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