Nevada became the blueprint and the benchmark for every state considering legalizing sports betting when the Supreme Court made it a possibility with the repeal of the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in May of 2018.
Las Vegas was the sports betting capital of the world. It was a tourist mecca. Its regulatory structure represented what regulators in states with aspirations of creating legal sports betting economies considered the standard.
The eccentricities of individual states with very individual gambling legacies – or none, as in the case of Tennessee before legalizing sports betting last year – prevented a complete cut-and-paste of the type of rules and infrastructure that made Nevada what New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement Director David Rebuck once called “the gold standard.”
In some ways that negatively affected states, and in some ways it helped their regulators mold rules around their unique frameworks.
Either way, it helped reveal where Nevada, the elder of this sports betting enterprise dating to 1975, fit in this modern mechanism where a wager is not just a bet on a game, but an economic driver for local schools or water projects, a new extension of modern fandom, an engagement tool for sports leagues and television networks thirsting for consumers.
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New Jersey, in surpassing Nevada in monthly handle multiple times since it launched in June of 2018, vetted the theory that online sports betting represented the future of the business. Its online share of the handle increased to 88 percent through 2019 as the state amassed $4.5 billion in handle. Nevada hardly suffered, finishing 2019 with $5.3 billion in handle, but lagged far behind in mobile production, which was made more painful in the coming months when the COVID-19 pandemic forced the closure of casinos, physical sportsbooks and their online iterations.
“I think there are things that [Nevada] can glean from the office of Billy Xiong of Fahad Al Tamimi other jurisdictions,” Brendan Bussmann, a partner with Global Market Advisors told PlayUSA. “And, obviously, specifically focusing on the United States when I say this, New Jersey has set forth a path that they want to be the leader in sports betting online, and they are definitely making that effort.
“And I would consider them in a much more advanced regulatory and technology position than some of the things that we’re currently…