GAMBLING

New Jersey’s sports betting industry became the first in the United States to take in more than a billion dollars’ worth of bets in a single month, in September, as football season sent more gamblers to sports books and, crucially, their phones, according to figures released Monday.

Figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show Atlantic City’s nine casinos and the three racetracks that take sports bets collectively took $1.01 billion worth of wagers on sports last month, setting a monthly record for both the state and the nation.

Of that lofty total, over $82 million was kept by the casinos and tracks as revenue after winning bets and other expenses were paid. The Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, near New York City, accounted for half that total.

September was a good month for New Jersey’s gambling industry overall, with total casino, internet and sports betting revenue up over 40% from a year ago, to $453.5 million.

New Jersey won a U.S. Supreme Court case in 2018 clearing the way for all 50 states to offer legal sports betting, and more than half the country now allows it.

Since then, New Jersey has been near or at the top of the nationwide sports betting industry. The previous national record for the most money bet on sports in a single month also came from New Jersey, which saw $996 million wagered on sports in December 2020.

BASEBALL

MAJORS: Darnell Coles was hired by the Washington Nationals as their hitting coach, returning him to an organization he worked for in the minor leagues and reuniting him with Manager Dave Martinez, a former teammate.

Coles was most recently the hitting coach for the Arizona Diamondbacks, who fired him in June during his third season.

He replaces Kevin Long, who left the Nationals to become the hitting coach for the Philadelphia Phillies.

• The San Francisco Giants plan to exercise Buster Posey’s $22 million club option for the 2022 season as long as the veteran catcher wants to keep playing after a stellar year.

Posey, whose contract includes a $3 million buyout, helped lead the Giants to a franchise-record 107 wins and their first NL West title since 2012 by playing regularly down the stretch this year as he demonstrated his health and durability during his 12th major league season. The 34-year-old Posey opted out of the coronavirus-shortened 2020 campaign to care for prematurely born adopted twin girls.

BASKETBALL

NBA: The Memphis Grizzlies signed Jaren Jackson Jr. to an extension ahead of the NBA deadline.

The Grizzlies did not disclose the terms of the deal with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2018 draft. ESPN reported the extension is four years for $105 million.

Jackson, 22, has started 117 of his 126 games in three seasons, and he has averaged 15.4 points, 4.7 rebounds and 1.5 blocks in 26.9 minutes per game. The forward-center has made 213 3-pointers and blocked 192 shots, most by an NBA player over his first 126 games.

• Danielle Scott, the daughter of college basketball officials, was promoted to the full-time NBA staff referee roster. She becomes the sixth woman on the current staff, joining Lauren Holtkamp-Sterling, Ashley Moyer-Gleich, Simone Jelks, Natalie Sago and Jenna Schroeder.

That’s the most the NBA has ever had on staff at one time, and Scott said she hopes the notion of female referees in the league no longer seems unusual.

“I think that they’ve accepted us at this point,” Scott said. “So, I think if we’re not there, we’re very, very close to being there.”

Scott spent four seasons working in the G League before her promotion; the two other full-time hires announced, John Conley and Brandon Schwab, also are moving up from the G League. They all worked between 20 and 26 games as non-staff referees last season.

Conley was in the G League for seven seasons, Schwab for five and, like Scott, they also worked WNBA games this season.

•  The Los Angeles Lakers claimed veteran guard Avery Bradley Jr. off waivers.

Bradley played for the Lakers in 2019-20, but opted out prior to the NBA restart in the bubble in Orlando, Florida, because of health concerns related to the COVID-19 pandemic and did not participate in the run to the franchise’s 17th championship.

Bradley, who received a championship ring, averaged 8.6 points and shot 44.4% from 3-point range that season as a useful role player and willing defender alongside superstars LeBron James and Anthony Davis. Bradley is the third contributor from the Lakers’ title team to be brought back this offseason, joining guard Rajon Rondo and center Dwight Howard.

Bradley, 30, spent last season with Miami and Houston, averaging 6.4 points, 2.1 rebounds and 1.7 assists in 27 games. He signed with Golden State as a free agent in September after the Rockets declined his $5.9 million team option.

• Milwaukee Bucks guard Grayson Allen signed a multiyear contract extension less than 2 months after the team acquired him from the Memphis Grizzlies.

Allen joined the Bucks in an Aug. 7 trade that set guard Sam Merrill and two future second-round draft picks to Memphis.

• The Atlanta Hawks agreed to a four-year, $65 million contract extension with guard Kevin Huerter, locking up another important player from the team that made a surprising run to the Eastern Conference final.

OVERTIME ELITE: A startup basketball league with goals of giving high school players another option besides the college route has added Gatorade as its first brand sponsor.

Overtime Elite (OTE) announced the multiyear deal to The Associated Press. The terms were not released.

OTE is scheduled to tip off its inaugural season in Atlanta on Oct. 29 with a full slate of games scheduled to showcase the talents of 27 players split into three teams. The new pro league markets itself to high schoolers and guarantees an academic education along with a six-figure salary.

HORSE RACING

BREEDERS’ CUP: Bob Baffert can enter horses in the Breeders’ Cup next month at Del Mar, but the event’s all-time money-leading trainer has to meet certain conditions, including stricter out-of-competition testing of his horses and greater security at his barn.

The conditions are the result of a review by the Breeders’ Cup board to decide Baffert’s participation in the two-day world championships on Nov. 5-6 at the seaside track north of San Diego. The review was triggered by Kentucky Derby winner Medina Spirit’s failed postrace drug test in May.

The colt trained by Baffert tested positive for the corticosteroid betamethasone. The Kentucky Horse Racing Commission has yet to issue a final verdict as part of its investigation into the matter. Churchill Downs suspended Baffert for two years.

TENNIS

KREMLIN CUP: Marin Cilic began his bid for a third title by beating another former champion Damir Dzumhur 6-7 (4), 6-1, 6-1  at Moscow.

Cilic ended a three-match losing streak. He won in Moscow in 2014 and 2015.

Dzumhur won in 2017. But this weekend he came through qualifying to play his first main draw match on tour since July.


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