NJ Sports Betting Handle Nearly $5 Billion For First Half Of 2021

It looks like $10 billion for the year will easily be cleared, aided by a football fall
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The June gambling revenue figures released on Friday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement set up a review of the state of the industry at the midpoint of 2021.

So June’s sports betting handle (amount wagered) of $766.9 million — about what was expected — means that $4.89 billion already has been wagered in the Garden State this year.

With lucrative college and pro football betting still to come, it’s a virtual certainty, then, that New Jersey becomes the first U.S. state to reach the $10 billion mark for one year.

For NJ sportsbook operators, the June revenue of $71.3 million finishes off a half-year with $368.3 million in the bank.

And as far as taxes go, sports betting brought the state treasury $8.7 million in June and $43.2 million so far in 2021.

“Hold” on now — and how about online casino?

Improved results for parlay bettors in June dropped the yearly “hold” — or percentage of handle retained by operators — to 17.8% on those multi-leg wagers. Basketball bettors, meanwhile, have yielded only 3.7% of their dollars to the house. The hold so far for baseball has been 4.1%, for football has been 5.9%, and for “other” sports has been 5.3%.

The overall hold in 2021 on New Jersey sports betting is 7.4%.

Numbers maven Chris Altruda notes that June’s hold of 9.3% is the highest in the state since January 2020, and that consequently, last month’s revenue figure is the second best to be recorded in any month since the state launched sports betting in mid-2018.

The percentage of sports bets made on mobile devices came in at 89.1% for June, dropping the yearly mark to 91.1%. June was the first sub-90% mobile handle percentage since February 2020 — the month before COVID-19 took a firm hold on the U.S. Perhaps June’s figure is a modest reflection of more traditional gamblers returning to the casino floors.

Then again, online casino continued its robust results, once again topping the $100 million operator revenue mark with $107.1 million in June.

That comes on the heels of $113.7 million in March, $107.7 million in April, and $108.2 million in May — meaning that the last three months, as COVID-19 restrictions have eased, have seen no meaningful change in revenue for more than a dozen online casino operators.

Brick and mortar, and more

The Atlantic City casino industry, meanwhile, cracked a milestone of its own with $2.1 billion in revenue in the first half of 2021 — slightly more than double what it took in for the same period a year earlier.

Last month, Borgata collected $56.6 million in brick-and-mortar gross revenue. Hard Rock also did well at $35.2 million.

But Ocean Casino, like Hard Rock a three-year-old property that has tended to outperform the “old-timers,” earned just $22.9 million in June to barely nose out Harrah’s ($21.3 million), Tropicana ($21.1 million), and Caesars ($20.1 million). Still, Ocean finished third among the nine AC casinos for the first half of 2021.

June’s online poker revenue of $2.2 million was slightly below the monthly average this year — and first-half 2021 revenue in the category is down nearly 27% off the pandemic-ravaged first half of 2020.

Photo by Shutterstock

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