Half A Billion: New Jersey Sports Betting Explodes In November


New Jerseyans — and more than a few New Yorkers and other visitors — wagered a stunning $562.7 million on sports in November, crushing the previous record of $487.9 mm that had just been set in October.

In fact, virtually as much was bet on mobile devices in November as has ever been bet in total in the state, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement figures released on Thursday. A massive 86.5% of wagers were made online, breaking another record.

The sportsbooks were the biggest winners of all, taking in a record $32.9 mm in gross revenues compared to a more modest $21.2 mm in October — a 55% increase.

The big month pushed the 2019 handle just over the $4 billion mark with another busy month still in play.

The books — now 17 legal mobile sites plus eight Atlantic City casino participants as well as the Meadowlands Racetrack and Monmouth Park — have posted a solid if unspectacular 6.3% margin of profit on that wagering.

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College and pro football clearly have been driving the robust numbers, with September’s mark of $445.6 mm in handle establishing a very temporary record.

About one-fourth of the bets this year have landed in the unfortunate category of “Other,” capturing bets on everything from soccer, to NHL, to boxing, to mixed martial arts, to tennis, to golf, and other sports.

Surprising betting leader — for now

But for the calendar year, basketball betting has a slim lead over football: $806.8 mm to $718.3 mm. It will be interesting to see if football — basically a four-month regular-season sport — can overtake basketball given that the NBA and NCAA hoops are in full swing.

Baseball is in the mix, too, at $698.4 mm, with a modest 3.9% win going to the sportsbooks. That percentage is topped by football (5.6%), “Other” (5.2%), and basketball (4.6%).

Where the books clean up is on parlay (multiple-event) betting. The margin there is 12.5% on $753.1 mm in wagers, a handle higher than all but basketball gambling.

The DGE reports that a record $75.9 mm was bet at brick-and-mortar sites in November, up from $71 mm in October.

Of the $32.9 mm in New Jersey sports wagering revenue in November, nearly half came via the Meadowlands Racetrack and its partners — with the lion’s share coming via the FanDuel mobile app. Next up at just over $9 mm was Resorts Digital — mainly via its DraftKings partner.

William Hill partner Monmouth Park and Ocean Resort and its partners each checked in at the $2.5 mm mark, with Borgata just behind at $2.1 mm.

Nevada topped New Jersey in the October handle battle, with bettors plunking down $543.9 mm in the Silver State. So the longtime “king of the hill” — which has been topped by New Jersey in several months this year — needs an increase of just $19 mm to stay atop the mountain in 2019’s 11th month.

Image courtesy of Shutterstock.com

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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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