New Jersey sees $2.64 billion in legal sports betting

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One year after the floodgates opened, the cash is flowing.

New Jersey, the state that secured a Supreme Court ruling that allowed it and other states to provide legal sports wagering, has seen $2.64 billion in betting so far, via the Associated Press.

Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who implemented the effort while in office, explained on ESPN that the state has generated so much betting because “we’ve made it easy for people to sign up and to participate,” which siphons cash away from illegal online sports books.

“Given that we’re competing with offshore companies that have been doing it illegally over the Internet for years that’s the thing states have to do to get into this business and to succeed,” Christie said, via SportsBusiness Daily.

More and more states are embracing gambling on sports, and for good reason. Every state in the mainland has a bordering state, and few will want to see their residents leave the state to spend elsewhere money that could be wagered (and lost) at home.

Meanwhile, look for efforts to shut down offseason gambling operations to intensify. For years, bookies have feared the legalization of gambling, because while the authorities generally will look the other way on a victimless crime, the state becomes the victim when people are betting with someone other than the state.