In New Jersey, sports bettors keep asking the question, “Is there an app for that?”

The answer is mostly yes. However, for iOS users, the answer was NO for New Jersey mobile sportsbooks BetStars, 888 Sport, and playMGM. Until now.

After weeks of waiting, Apple finally cleared the trio of sports betting apps for inclusion in the Apple App Store.

All three sportsbooks have had Android versions of the mobile sportsbook available at the time of their online launch.

It’s a good thing, too. Android users account for 54.5 percent of the U.S. mobile market, while iOS is 44.3 percent.

Even so, iOS users have been waiting patiently (or not so patiently) for the latest additions that came just in time for Sunday’s NFL games.

New Jersey online sportsbooks

Now, all eight online sportsbooks can accept sports wagers on Android and iOS apps. Not all, however, have browser-based sports betting.

Mobile sportsbooks with browser-based betting:

Mobile sportsbooks without browser-based betting:

  • Betstars
  • playMGM

It is important to note that not having an online option may not be that much of a detriment. According to recent data, 65 percent of the time Americans spent online in 2017 was spent on a mobile device.

And 85 percent of the time spent on a mobile device was on an app. Those numbers are certainly going to continue to grow.

Mobile sports betting revenue driving the market

The three new additions to the Apple App Store came with a lot less pomp and circumstance then the launch of New Jersey sports betting.

Make no mistake about it, though, a mobile sports betting app is necessary to stay relevant.

The most recent sports betting revenue report shows mobile sports betting revenue surpassed land-based sportsbook revenue during its first full month of operation.

Retail sportsbooks reported $11.4 million in revenue, while online sports betting brought in $12.5 million.

Keep in mind not all mobile options were available for the whole month. Knowing that, expect to see more growth when October’s revenue figures come out. It doesn’t hurt that both the NBA and NHL return to the court and ice this month.

What the newcomers are up against

BetStars, 888, and playMGM definitely have some ground to make up. While iOS users may be fewer in numbers than their Android counterparts, they still represent a healthy portion of the population.

It is unlikely sports betting enthusiasts sat around waiting for the apps to launch. With the NFL season well underway, it is hard to imagine someone itching to place a bet deciding to sit it out.

Without a doubt, many of them went and found an app they liked and have been placing bets ever since.

All three companies have a digital presence through an online casino. Customers that were fans may have taken their business elsewhere while waiting for the apps to be approved.

Now it is up to the online sportsbooks to win back their customers and find some new ones. Of course, it is easier said than done.

The NJ sports betting market is crowded, and the competition for customers is fierce. It can’t be all about the lines, although, the lines better be competitive. There has to be a concentrated effort on branding and promotion.

The three newcomers may have an advantage in this area. Betstars and 888 both have global experience building a sportsbook. Meanwhile, playMGM has been operating in Nevada since the beginning of mobile sports betting.

All of the efforts to acquire customers comes at a crucial time. Neighboring Pennsylvania is busy preparing for its legal sports betting launch.

And the quest for customers will begin again. Most New Jersey sportsbooks plan to launch in PA, and they will be taking their best practices with them.

In this case, what happens in New Jersey is not likely to stay in New Jersey.

Kim Yuhl

About

Kim Yuhl is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about poker culture and the online gambling industry. A part-time member of the poker media since 2013, Kim recently sold her marketing business to write full-time while traveling around the world. You can learn more about her work and travels at kimyuhl.com.