Betting on an eating contest

Betting on Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating contest has been approved for the first time by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

New Jersey’s regulator has allowed local sportsbooks to offer bets on Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog-Eating Contest for the first time.

It’s the first time licensed sportsbooks in any state have been authorised to offer wagering on the contest, which is a July 4 tradition in New York.
The contest has always taken place at the original Nathan’s Famous Corporation restaurant in the neighbourhood of Coney Island in Brooklyn, New York, but this year will be held behind closed doors at a private location due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

Until now US sportsbooks had not been allowed to offer betting on the contest, which has been growing in popularity for years via offshore sportsbooks. According to bookmakers, more than US$1 million is wagered across the market.

The new authorisation from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) comes with strict measures designed to guarantee the integrity of the contest. Betting must be halted immediately prior to the start of the event, with no live wagering available, and bookmakers may only offer odds on events that are directly related to competition.

The standing record of hot dogs eaten is 74, which has been held by the favourite Joey Chestnut since 2018. Chestnut won again last year with 71 hot dogs. He has lost the contest only once in the past 13 years and will this year be aiming for his 13th title.

DraftKings and Caesars will offer betting on the contest from New Jersey.