New Jersey’s Sports Betting Handle Streak Denied In June, And Bettors Scored More Than Usual


The relative dearth of sports betting opportunities in June — still no football, and fewer and fewer basketball and hockey games — led to the inevitable as New Jersey’s seven-month streak of $300 million-plus in betting handle was broken.

Bettors in New Jersey wagered $273.2 million in June, according to statistics released Friday by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Gross revenues for the industry were $9.7 million, which is the lowest return since August 2018, when online sports betting was in its infancy.

In that summer month last year, operators collected $9.2 million on just $95.6 million in bets. The sportsbooks recorded a similar retention of money in June 2019 on triple the volume; that there is a fine month for bettors.

The high-water marks so far for the industry are $385.2 mm in handle in January and $31.7 mm in revenue in March. That March figure was about as much as January and February revenue combined. (Madness, indeed.)

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Women’s World Cup interest

In an otherwise slow sports month, the eight casinos, two racetracks, and more than a dozen online sportsbooks got some relief from the U.S. women’s team winning the World Cup soccer tournament in France (although the DGE does not release separate figures on that event).

“The interest in the Women’s World Cup — I would say that it dramatically exceeded everybody’s expectations,” FanDuel Group President Kip Levin said on the Gamble On podcast this week. “We’ve never seen anything like it, when you look at our businesses around the world. It’s really exciting and telling to the popularity of women’s sports here.

“The Women’s Cup semifinal between England and the U.S. was the largest women’s sporting event in terms of total turnover in the history of [European parent company] PaddyPower BetFair,” Levin added, noting that the final game, won by the U.S. over the Netherlands, ranks no. 2.

Since it’s fair to assume that most New Jersey bettors kept picking the U.S. on the moneyline — and winning — that likely made a dent in those profit margins (offset marginally by the U.S. winning three straight tournament matches by only one goal, for those who took a spread-betting approach).

FanDuel and Meadowlands stay in front

FanDuel’s partnership with the Meadowlands Racetrack and its strong data base of daily fantasy sports players has led to a large edge in sports betting revenue over rivals. The Meadowlands checked in at $4.4 mm in June, while Resorts Digital — led by DFS giant DraftKings — was second at $2.7 mm.

Monmouth Park cleared $1.2 mm, while Ocean Casino Resort — the former Revel property — was just a tick under $1 mm.

Borgata, which enjoyed a near monopoly on sports betting in Atlantic City in June 2018 and collected $1 mm that month, cleared a meager $64,813 in June 2019. Hard Rock managed to lose $4,255, proving that the house does not always win (in the short run, anyway).

With New Jersey sports betting having debuted in mid-June of 2018, we can look back at more than $3 billion having been wagered legally in the state, with revenues of more than $175 million.

The state’s blended tax rate on sports betting works out to a little over 10%, so nearly $20 million has been banked by the state directly from sports betting. More Atlantic City casino visits, more visitors eating and drinking at the Meadowlands Racetrack and Monmouth Park, and more workers at the sportsbooks add still more revenue to the picture.

Photo by Presse Sports / USA Today Sports


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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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