NJ Sportsbooks Enjoy Record Revenue In January — But There’s A Catch

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The “handle” — that is, the amount of money bet on sports — tends to get most of the publicity when a state like New Jersey releases its monthly figures as it did on Wednesday.

But in January, the real news was the eye-popping gross revenue figure of $53.6 million, easily a new record for the burgeoning industry.

That came on handle of $540.1 mm, meaning that the sportsbooks landed a rate of return of nearly 10%.

Compare that to just one month earlier, when a slightly larger handle — $557.8 mm — produced only about half the revenue, $29.4 mm.

The only other month with NFL games that came close for the sportsbooks was October, with a then-record $46.4 mm revenue on $487.9 mm in bets on all sports.

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The January windfall for the operators was nearly triple what it achieved the previous January, when $18.8 mm in revenue was accumulated off $385.3 mm in bets.

The big handle in January 2020 capped a massive football season, with $2.59 billion wagered in those five months and football leading the charge.

And what does this do for New Jersey taxpayers? The state collected a record $6.6 million in tax revenue in January, a big boost from $3.7 million a month earlier.

The Super Bowl factor

A professional sports bettor known as “Captain Jack Andrews” on Twitter, however, provided a caveat to the apparent windfall because of the timing of Super Bowl Sunday.

While the volume of sports betting on mobile devices in New Jersey continues to inch toward a half-billion dollars per month, the numbers at eight Atlantic City casinos, the Meadowlands Racetrack, and Monmouth Park have been leveling off.

After $71.3 mm was bet at those sites in September 2019, the figures moved only slightly each month after: $71 mm, $75.9 mm, $68.9 mm, $69 mm.

But each of the more than a dozen mobile sportsbooks are affiliated with one of those operators, so the casinos and tracks benefit from the big online sports betting numbers.

Nearly half of January’s sportsbook revenue, $26.5 mm, flowed through the Meadowlands, which in addition to its brick-and-mortar FanDuel sportsbook has online partnerships with FanDuel and PointsBet fueling the big numbers.

Resorts Digital’s affiliation with DraftKings helped it place second at $15.9 mm, and Monmouth Park achieved $3.2 mm. Big players on the casino front included Borgata at $3.2 mm and Ocean Casino at $2.3 mm.

And the Oscar goes to …

Sunday night’s Academy Awards produced $380,424 in wagers at New Jersey sportsbooks, according to preliminary data posted by the DGE.

Bettors cashed $340,702 on those bets, leaving the industry with a win of 10.4%.

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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