The marriage of wagering events on all four major professional sports leagues in the U.S., greater accessibility to mobile sports betting apps, and several big-time promotions led to a record-breaking month for the nascent NJ sports betting industry, at least where handle was concerned.
Sports betting handle for the month of October was up an eye-popping 41.7% to $260,711,301 over the previous month. Revenue, on the other hand, was effectively slashed in half, dipping from $23,961,038 in September to just $11,686,119.
The big increase in handle doesn’t exactly shock as at the beginning of September there were just three online sports betting options to choose from, versus eight at the dawn of October. Also, various operators had to wait weeks after launch before their mobile apps were available on iOS. The decrease in revenue … well, that was, as David Rebuck might put it, “stunning,” to say the least.
A divide grows
Last month, online sports betting handle trumped land-based revenue by a sizeable margin ($104.9 mm for online v. $79.1 mm for brick-and-mortar). That divide only grew by three George Washington Bridges in October, with online sports betting handle accounting for nearly all of the industry’s growth.
In total, online sports betting handle clocked in at $174.4 mm (growth of $69.5 mm), compared to just $86.3 mm (growth of $7.3 mm) for land-based properties. We expect this divide — no, chasm — to grow even larger as more online books emerge in the coming months, although the imminent launch of a DraftKings branded sportsbook at Resorts AC should at least do something to help bolster land-based figures.
Turning to revenue, online sports betting once again stole the show, accounting for $8.84 mm, and an otherworldly 75.6% of industry revenue. That being said, if your name wasn’t DraftKings Sportsbook or FanDuel Sportsbook (and to an extent Play SugarHouse) you really weren’t contributing all that much to the feast.
The breakdown of online sports betting revenue by license holder (online brands in parentheses) is as follows:
- Bally’s (Caesars Sports / 888 Sport NJ): $108,359
- Borgata (playMGM): $66,924
- Golden Nugget (Play SugarHouse partial month): $151,446
- Ocean Resort (William Hill): $385,641
- Resorts Digital (DraftKings / BetStars): $5,090,253
- Meadowlands (FanDuel): $2,427,928
- Monmouth Park (William Hill / Play SugarHouse): $608,611
While we don’t have exact figures for DraftKings, last month we learned that DraftKings revenue accounted for at least 95% of total Resorts Digital revenue. We initially presumed that the percentage would be somewhat lower for October, as BetStars NJ was live for the entire month of October versus a partial month in September, and saw its iOS app hit the market. However, that wasn’t the case, as a source close to DraftKings has confirmed that the operator again accounted for 95%+ of the total Resorts Digital revenue.
The overall dominance of online sports betting could go a long way toward convincing legislators in states not named New Jersey to reconsider their stance, as currently New Jersey is the only state (out of eight) to offer online sports wagering sans the nuisance of in-person registration at an affiliated casino. Other states that haven’t yet legalized sports betting are a mixed bag of favoring online rollouts and restricting the industry to just physical books.
Plans are in the works for West Virginia sports betting to go online, and Pennsylvania will launch online sports betting apps shortly after its first brick-and-mortar books open sometime in the next few weeks. At least that’s a start.
Bettors getting … better?
Thanks in part to a string of strong NFL weekends for players, revenue was down precipitously across the board. To illustrate just how well players fared in October, consider that at the end of September, year-to-date industry hold on completed events was 7.9% (13.7% on parlays).
Well, man, what a difference a month makes, as after October, YTD hold dropped to just 5.8%, with parlay hold clocking in at only 8.5%.
In other words, if the juice were removed from the equation, bettors would have soundly beat the books last month. Also noteworthy is that NFL win percentage plummeted from 10.2% in September to 5.8% for September and October combined, meaning bettors came alarmingly close to beating the books last month on football, even with the VIG factored in.
Full breakdown of industry completed win statistics is as follows:
- The FanDuel branded sportsbook at the Meadowlands brought in the most revenue of any land-based operator, at $1.11 million.
- On the flip side, land-based Meadowlands revenue was down a whopping 74.5% compared to September.
- Monmouth Park saw $607k in land-based revenue. Despite a massive dip compared to September ($2.14 mm), Monmouth is still number two in the land-based industry. The horsemen win again!
- Tropicana, Resorts, Golden Nugget, and Borgata all generated $120k or less at their land-based books. The drop-off at Borgata was particularly alarming, falling from nearly $2.4 mm in September to just $120k in October.
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