ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) Sports betting is a second-inning home run in New Jersey, where gamblers plunked down more than $95 million on sporting events in August, helping Atlantic City's casinos to one of their biggest monthly revenue increases in three decades.
The $95.6 million wagered on sports in August was more than twice as much as the amount bet in July as New Jersey's sports betting market is soaring.
Nearly $74 million was wagered at on-site betting windows, and $21.7 million was bet on sports via online or mobile phone apps, a market segment that is expected to become the dominant player in the industry as more and more companies gain approval from New Jersey regulators to offer online sports betting.
The surge comes as more companies race to join the burgeoning market, which became possible when New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case in May clearing the way for all 50 states to offer sports betting should they so choose.
The numbers, released Wednesday, helped boost Atlantic City casino revenue to nearly $304 million, an increase of more than 24 percent from a year ago.
''With the new casinos that opened in June and the addition of sports wagering options, including online alternatives, the gaming industry has experienced growth rates in July and August that have not been achieved in years,'' said David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. ''It is an exciting time for Atlantic City and we look forward to continued revenue growth going forward.''
The Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, just outside New York City, led the market with just over $3 million in sports betting revenue in August; Resorts Digital was close behind at $2.97 million. Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport won just under $900,000; the Borgata casino won just over $855,000; Ocean Resort Casino won nearly $520,000; Harrah's won nearly $300,000; Bally's won nearly $270,000; Golden Nugget won over $215,000, and Resorts casino won just over $98,000.
So far this year, those outlets have won $16.4 million on sports bets. Part of the money they have taken in as bets involves games that have not yet been played, including baseball's World Series and football's Super Bowl. That money will be accounted for after those events are decided.
The companies retained about 5 percent of the amount bet on completed events.
Internet gambling had another good month, as usual, with $24.8 million won online, an increase of nearly 17 percent from a year ago.
Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC