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Oscars betting level falls by half in New Jersey in 2020

Bong Joon Ho, right, reacts as he is presented with the award for best picture for "Parasite" from presenter Jane Fonda at the Oscars on Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, at the Dolby Theatre in Los Angeles. Looking on from left are Song Kang-Ho and Kwak Sin Ae.

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. (AP) — The amount of money wagered in New Jersey on the Academy Awards this year fell by almost half from last year's level.

New Jersey's licensed sports books took in $380,424 worth of bets on the Oscars this year, the state Division of Gaming Enforcement said late Monday. The amount paid out to settle winning bets was $340,702, leaving the industry with a win percentage of 10.44%.

Last year marked the first time that New Jersey allowed betting on the Academy Awards, and the level of activity was almost twice as great then. In 2019, New Jersey sports books took in $747,696. The amount paid out to settle winning wagers was $565,179, leaving the industry with a win percentage of 24.4%.

Betting on the Oscars is a small niche of New Jersey's sports betting market, which overall is challenging Nevada for the national leadership of the industry, with over $5.8 billion worth of bets having been made in New Jersey since it began offering such bets in June 2018.

Other states also allow wagering on the Oscars.

“Parasite” won the award for best picture during Sunday's Academy Awards telecast. Joaquin Phoenix won the best actor award for “Joker” and Renée Zellweger won the best actress award for “Judy.”

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Follow Wayne Parry at http://twitter.com/WayneParryAC

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