NJ Sets Another Sports Betting Record In October, Nears Half-Billion Dollars In Handle

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How big can the New Jersey sports betting market get?

More than a year into the grand experiment, we don’t appear to have found the peak.

On Thursday, the state Division of Gaming Enforcement announced an October betting handle — the total amount wagered in the state — of $487.9 million, topping September’s then-record $445.6 million handle.

The weather has turned chilly a bit early in the Garden State this year, but sports betting doesn’t serve at the whim of Mother Nature like the Atlantic City casino industry does. That’s because $417 mm of that record handle came from mobile sports betting taking place all over the state, and even an early snowstorm wouldn’t deter those bettors. That 85.4% figure also is a new record — though just barely.

On the road to $4 billion

The state has now taken in a staggering $3.46 billion in bets in 2019, a figure which will climb well past $4 billion once the ball drops in Times Square on New Year’s Eve.

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A gross revenue figure of sports betting in October of $46.4 mm works out to nearly 10% hold — meaning a strong month for operators.

The industry’s win percentage for the year is a respectable 6.4%, with baseball bettors yielding only 3.9% while parlay bettors — wagering as much as has been bet on baseball, football, and basketball combined — have dropped 13.4% of their wagered money. (Casual bettors, please take note.)

Just over half the industry’s revenue was collected by the Meadowlands Racetrack and its partners, including FanDuel and PointsBet. Resorts and its partner DraftKings accounted for more than 20% of the remainder, with Monmouth Park and its partners edging out Ocean Resort, Hard Rock, and Borgata for third place.

The revenue figure for October 2019 was up 297% over October 2018 — impressive because by the latter date, all operators were up and running for the entire month except Tropicana and Hard Rock.

The state benefits from the mobile craze, as it collects 13% of mobile gross gaming revenue as tax compared to 8.5% for brick-and-mortar wagering. The combined amount of sports betting tax revenue for the year to date is just under $29 mm.

As colleague Brian Pempus notes, however, Nevada took in $528.5 million in October 2018, meaning it is almost a lock to repeat its September status as U.S. leader in betting handle.

Photo by Per Bengtsson / 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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