NEWARK, N.J. (CBSNewYork) – Sports betting is now legal in the Garden State and officials say that gamblers have already placed nearly a billion dollars in bets at local casinos and racetracks.

Now, residents and visitors are getting a new way to put money down on their favorite teams.

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The Prudential Center in Newark opened its doors to sports betting 7 p.m. when the Devils took the ice. A brand new lounge with big screen televisions will showcase all the action and betting lines across sports for the arena’s visitors.

Unlike at racetracks and casinos, there won’t be any cashiers to take cash bets. That’s illegal at state sports venues.

(Credit: CBSN New York)

CBSN New York’s Meg Baker reports that gamblers will have to download the William Hill sports betting app to make a wager at the game. There will also be staffers on hand to walk you through what the odds are teach newcomers about the betting process.

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So how has sports betting been doing in New Jersey? The Division of Gaming Enforcement says business is good.

It’s been six months since the Garden State opened their doors to sports gambling and officials report it’s closing in on the $1 billion mark already.

New data also shows most of New Jersey’s bets ($539 million) have been placed online. Another $388 million has been bet in person at a casino or a racetrack however, online sports betting is taxed at a higher rate than in-person bets.

That means big bucks for the state since sports wagering was legalized in June. About $8 million in taxes has been raised.

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The new lounge at Prudential Center will be open during all events, including concerts, throughout the year.