Who needs NFL? OK, let’s not go that far, but the New Jersey sports betting industry had itself a solid month despite the NFL only being in warm-up mode.
Handle for the month of August came in at $293.6 million, predominantly from online wagering apps, signifying an uptick of 16.8% over July, and a mammoth 207.1% increase over a year prior. And while that latter figure needs to be taken with a wheelbarrow of salt, as 12 months ago NJ sports betting was still in its infancy with few online options, it doesn’t take away from the fact that the industry is booming.
Sports betting revenue for the month came in at $25.2 mm, bringing the annual total up to $152.7 mm, and marking a substantial increase over July’s figure of $17.9 mm.
Online steals the show … again
At this point, no one is expecting retail sports betting to account for a majority of total handle. But few predicted that online sports betting would eventually account for a sizzling 85% of wagers placed, either. That’s exactly what happened in August, when $249.3 mm worth of wagers were placed online, versus a comparatively paltry retail figure of $44.4 mm.
That massive gap is expected to grow even wider over the coming months, as a plethora of apps recently opened their doors to the virtual masses. Included among them are European behemoth bet365, sports media company turned operator theScore, and Unibet. And all of this is forgetting the recent rebrand of BetStars NJ to FOX Bet, which on the basis of brand recognition alone, should result in a significant uptick in handle for the operator.
By contrast, the number of retail sportsbooks in the state is essentially capped, with most eligible licensees already having rolled out their permanent books.
Meadowlands wins again
Leading the charge was the Meadowlands. Comprised of the enviable FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet apps, as well as a FanDuel-branded retail book at the Meadowlands, the license accounted for nearly $9.3 mm of the industry’s $25.2 mm in August.
Right on its heels was Resorts (DraftKings, BetStars NJ, ResortsCasino.com), which pulled in $6.7 mm from online wagers and another $527k from its DraftKings-branded retail outlet. The gap between the industry’s two powerhouses should shrink further in September, thanks to the FOX Bet rebrand.
No other operator really came close to the top two, with Monmouth Park pulling a respectable $2.1 mm across its online and retail outlets, Ocean Resort clocking in at just under $1.2 mm, and the Borgata license coming up just short of the $1 mm benchmark with $931k. Borgata recently unveiled its spectacular Moneyline sportsbook, replacing the temporary book that was crammed into the racebook.
Are you ready for some football?
Last year, NJ sports betting handle rose from $95.6 mm to $183.9 mm from August to September. OK, we’re not expecting handle to nearly double this time around, but it seems exceedingly likely that New Jersey will see its first $400 mm (maybe $500 mm) month.
To celebrate the advent of NFL, books are firing out promos like wildfire, with a select few offering something a little extra, like the Super Pool on DraftKings.
Will it be enough for New Jersey to consistently beat out Nevada, which only has in-person mobile registration? Time will tell, but we’d put New Jersey around -200.