N.J. tops Nevada in monthly bets for first time

American sports-betting history was made in May.

For the first time -- and just one year after a landmark ruling from the U.S. Supreme Court -- more money was bet at New Jersey sportsbooks than at Nevada books in a month.

In May, New Jersey books took $318.9 million in bets, just ahead of Nevada books, which accepted $317.4 million in wagers during the month, according to revenue numbers released Thursday by state gaming control.

On May 14, 2018, the Supreme Court struck down the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992, the federal statute that had restricted state-sponsored sports betting to primarily Nevada. Since the decision, legal sportsbooks have begun operating in seven states in addition to Nevada, and roughly a dozen more states are close to entering the bookmaking business.

New Jersey has quickly separated itself from the newcomers and has taken more than $3 billion in wagers in its first full year operating.

"I'm not surprised at all," retired state senator Raymond Lesniak, who spearheaded New Jersey's sports-betting efforts, told ESPN. "I've been saying all along that the Northeast and New Jersey is a hotbed of sports activity. We love our sports. We are well on our way, in overall gaming, to becoming the Las Vegas of the East Coast."

While New Jersey came out on top in May, the impact of expanded sports betting has not hurt Nevada's sportsbooks. Nevada books eclipsed $5 billion in wagers for the first time in 2018 and are on pace for another record-breaking year in 2019.

Nevada sportsbooks, which won $11.2 million in May, have not suffered a losing month statewide since July 2013.