Billion-Dollar Sports Betting Handle Boom Ends In New Jersey

A 28-day month was the culprit as Garden State falls just short of milestone

The challenge for New Jersey’s sports betting handle to reach the billion-dollar mark for a sixth consecutive month in February was two-fold: only one football game and a mere 28 days in the month.

The combination led to a “mere” $985.6 million being wagered in the year’s second month, meaning that the amount wagered per day was enough to hit the billion-dollar mark in a 30- or 31-day month. The Super Bowl alone produced a handle of $144 million, per an earlier Division of Gaming Enforcement announcement.

Bettors did a fine job in February. To wit, the books made a modest $30.9 million last month, down by fully one-third from the February 2021 haul of $46.2 million. The hold percentage on parlay betting — the golden goose for sportsbooks — was below 17% for a second straight month, still a fine figure for the books but nowhere near record-setting.

Online sports betting produced just over 91% of the total amount wagered in February, a noteworthy figure for lawmakers in the handful of states that are sticking with on-site betting or who plan to do so.

Meadowlands and Borgata still reign supreme

The Meadowlands Racetrack and its partners — FanDuel, PointsBet, and, most recently, SuperBook — again led the way in gross betting revenue, but this time failed to claim more than half of the industry total. The group retained $13.9 million of the state’s $30.9 million, with Resorts and its partners, DraftKings and FoxBet, claiming $8.6 million and Borgata/BetMGM settling for $3.6 million.

As for the notion that “the house always wins,” that’s not true, as Tropicana (-$330,000), Harrah’s (-$225,000), and Golden Nugget (-$26,000) and their mobile partners all lost money on sports betting in February. In fact, Golden Nugget and Harrah’s are in the red for the year so far.

Borgata won yet another brick-and-mortar casino month in Atlantic City with revenue of $52.8 million out of the $212.4 million won overall, a jump of more than 43% for the industry over February 2021. Hard Rock ($37.4 million) and Ocean Casino ($29.7 million) checked in at second and third place, as usual.

Bally’s is spending heavily on upgrades to try to escape the industry basement, but that’s where they landed again in February at $10.7 million.

Online casino operators still a winner

The $130 million won by online casino operators in a short month was on par with January’s U.S. record of $137.8 million. Borgata and its partners, at $37.8 million, again edged out Golden Nugget ($34.6 million) and Resorts Digital ($29.9 million), as the trio claimed the lion’s share of the total.

New Jersey’s online casino operators have now cleared the $100 million mark for 12 consecutive months, and it’s reasonable to expect that streak to go on for quite some time.

Photo: Danielle Parhizkaran/


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