In First Month Of NJ Mobile Sports Betting, DraftKings Serves Notice

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The DraftKings online sportsbook — which enjoyed a monopoly in the mobile space in August — is already nearly king of the hill in New Jersey sports betting, according to Division of Gaming Enforcement figures released on Wednesday.

The Meadowlands Racetrack’s brick-and-mortar FanDuel Sportsbook — in a superb location just outside of Manhattan — took in $3.06 million in revenue in August to win the month. But DraftKings was right behind at $2.97 million, making a powerful statement about the potential for online wagering.

Monmouth Park was a distant third “show” choice at $898,000.

The six Atlantic City casinos that added sports betting followed, with Borgata topping that field at $855,000. Next were Ocean Resort (formerly Revel) at $520,000; Harrah’s at $299,000; Bally’s Wild West at $268,000; Golden Nugget at $215,000; and Resorts at $98,000 – the latter two opening in mid-month.

The casinos combined for about $2.25 million in sports betting revenues, compared to nearly $4 million for the tracks and nearly $3 million for the DraftKings online product, which is in partnership with Resorts casino.

If anyone wondered why daily fantasy sports companies went so hard after sports betting, wonder no longer. That’s $3M in less than a full month in August, which featured … well, Major League Baseball, preseason football, and a few days of U.S. Open tennis.

A taxing calculation

What did the state get out of sports betting in August? $516,000 from brick-and-mortar wagering at a tax rate of 8.5 percent, and $406,000 on a 13 percent online sports betting tax — including a week or so of online sports betting at Borgata (PlayMGM) and Golden Nugget (Play Sugarhouse). So just under $1 million in taxes for the month, with the majority of that coming from DraftKings and the Meadowlands.

Total handle in August — this includes “futures” bets, which complicates the accounting — was $95.6 million, with more than 70 percent of that coming from on-site wagering (just watch that percentage drop).

In terms of per-day revenue figures for August, Meadowlands rose to $98,722 from $75,415 in July, up more than 20 percent. Monmouth Park went up slightly per day, month over month, from $27,622 to $28,968. Borgata rose by about 50 percent, from $18,156 in July to $27,908 in August.

But Ocean’s per-day figures were down an alarming 50 percent, from $34,444 in July to $16,760 in August, thanks in part to new competition coming to Atlantic City.

Still, Ocean ranked second among casinos in per-day revenues, with Golden Nugget third in that category at $12,653 in its 17-day debut.

Bigger news ahead

Next month, we’ll see how FanDuel’s later-entering online product fared against rival DraftKings. Also, it will be telling to see how the brick-and-mortar sites stacked up against each other after a month of football. And how much will the Meadowlands’ FanDuel Sportsbook having very limited betting opportunities on NFL Sundays impact the book’s status atop the pack?

Finally, the win percentage for these 2½ months for all properties on “completed events” comes down to a mundane 5 percent. The majority of the betting has come on MLB, where the win percentage is 4.3 percent so far.

John Brennan

John Brennan has covered NJ and NY sports business and gaming since 2002 and was a Pulitzer Prize Finalist in 2008, while reporting for The Bergen County Record.

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