Everyone knows someone who bets on football, and it’s not difficult to imagine betting on basketball.
But baseball? Who bets on baseball?
Lots of people — and according to Wednesday’s report by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, it’s a “best bet” for gamblers.
The win percentage for casino and racetrack sportsbooks plus their mobile betting partners is a modest 3.2% on $441.8 mm wagered over four regular-season months.
Basketball — both NBA and college basketball — produced $663.1 mm in handle for almost six months of action. The house’s return? 4.6%.
Football in the calendar year featured only a handful of postseason NFL and college games, generating $115.9 mm in handle and a 4.3% return.
The DGE, like the Nevada Gaming Control Board, unfortunately lumps everything from hockey to tennis to golf to women’s World Cup soccer into a nebulous “Other” category – which resulted in $606.7 mm in handle and 4.5% win for the books. That’s more than one-quarter of the total 2019 handle, so clearly some of that category should be made available.
The year-to-date win percentage for the sportsbooks is 5.8% — which at first seems too high given the above figures.
But that’s because we haven’t mentioned parlay bets of multiple predicted winners — the lottery tickets of the sports betting world. On $402.8 mm in parlay bets, the house kept a whopping 12.9%.
Dog days come early in NJ
As for the monthly figures, the July handle of $251.4 mm was the lowest since September 2018 — the early days of New Jersey mobile sports betting.
With no football or basketball and no particularly special events, the number is not shocking. (Nor was the mere $40.6 mm in July 2018, before mobile options were available and with modest consumer awareness of the brick-and-mortar options.)
Speaking of casino and racetrack sportsbooks, their $38.3 mm in handle was a fourth straight monthly decline, now reaching a record-low 15.1% of total handle.
It was a solid month for gross revenues, as $17.9 mm nearly doubled June’s results in spite of a lower handle in July. The Meadowlands Racetrack and partner FanDuel accounted for about half of that figure, with DraftKings, Resorts, and other partners claiming $3.7 mm.
Monmouth Park and partners including William Hill took in just under $2 mm. The leading Atlantic City casino brand was Borgata at about $900k, with Ocean Resort — also with upgraded sports betting space — coming in at $600k.
Unlike some months, all of the brands made money in July. Harrah’s trailed the field with a mere $113k in sports betting revenue.
Quite the handicapper
Kudos to “Captain Jack Andrews,” who is @capjack2000 on Twitter. His Tuesday poll produced 185 votes on predicting the July handle that broke down like this:
- Over $300 mm — 24%
- Between $270 mm and $300 mm — 25%
- Between $240 mm and $270 mm — 26%
- Under $240 mm — 25%”
The “wisdom of crowds” indeed — the winner was the third choice, picked by 26% of his followers.
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