To all lawmakers looking to legalize sports betting in their state, we issue the following statement: Don’t even think about it if you’re not including online/mobile wagering.
In November, the nascent New Jersey sports betting industry handled $330,748,563, up dramatically (26.9%) from last month’s then-record-setting mark of $260,711,301. Of that total, a staggering 72.1% came from behind a computer screen or mobile device, a fact made all the more impressive by the fact that there are more land-based books than online sports wagering apps in New Jersey.
Revenue was also up sharply over October, with the industry generating $21,243,865, up from just $11,686,119. This equates to an operator hold of 6.4%, which isn’t fully accurate because “handle” includes futures bets placed during the month.
For comparison’s sake
The rate at which online sports betting is growing is nearly mind-boggling. In September, online accounted for roughly $104.9 million in handle. That number more shot up to $174.4 million in October, before climbing to last month’s mark of $238.6 million, up 36.8%.
For perspective, land-based handle has barely budged, inching up from $79 million in September, to $86.3 million in October, and $92.1 million last month.
We will concede that the opening of permanent books at the Borgata and full-month stats from DraftKings’ newly-minted sportsbook at Resorts AC should facilitate a sharper rise in land-based handle in the coming months, but even then, it’s exceedingly unlikely that physical outlets will ever handle half as many dollars as the online books ever again.
As far as revenue, online sportsbooks dominated here as well. Full breakdown as follows:
- Caesars Sports/888Sport NJ: $205,046
- playMGM: $194,212
- William Hill (Ocean): $915,930
- DraftKings Sportsbook and BetStars NJ (Resorts Digital): $7,172,171
- FanDuel Sportsbook: $4,437,916
- William Hill and Play SugarHouse (Monmouth Park): $1,521,295
That works out to a total of $14.45 million, or a 68% share of the market. On the land-based front, it was FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands that won the day, with $2,605,478 in revenue. The very impressive William Hill sportsbook at Ocean Resort Casino performed best out of all Atlantic City-based sportsbooks, coming in at $1,908,742 in revenue. The boost was welcome news for Ocean, which has struggled to shake the specter of the Revel since opening in June 2018. Last month Ocean only reaped $11.7 million in casino gaming revenue, good for well … dead last among the boardwalk city’s nine casino properties.
The only other physical outlet that brought in more than $1 million in sports betting revenue was Monmouth Park, at $1,158,100. Borgata was next at $877,835, which is still quite low considering the overall revenue the casino brings in monthly.
In November, two b&m books actually lost money, leading some to suggest that the sharps ran them over:
— Captain Jack Andrews (@capjack2000) December 12, 2018
The unlucky pairing was Harrah’s AC and Bally’s AC, which posted embarrassing revenue of -$124,260 and -$26,557, respectively.
Daily fantasy giants do it again
In what has become the recurring theme to end all other recurring themes, DraftKings and FanDuel dominated the NJ sports betting landscape once again.
DraftKings revenue is coupled with that of BetStars NJ, so we don’t have an exact figure for you. What we do know from talking to representatives of the company is that DraftKings accounts for at least 95% of Resorts Digital’s revenue, or $6.81 million plus. Also, in the 11 days of November that DraftKings’ retail outlet was open, the company claims it brought in more money than Resorts did in September and October combined.
About the meteoric rise of DraftKings Sportsbook, Jamie Shea, Senior Director of Digital Sportsbook, had this to say:
“DraftKings continues to set the pace in New Jersey sports betting. Since August, DraftKings has taken more than 8 million bets and paid out $250 million to sports fans. Our new retail sportsbook at Resorts had a strong first month, capped with an exciting consumer event this past weekend. No one understands the American sports fan like DraftKings.”
FanDuel was no slouch either. In fact, that’s probably underselling its performance. Accounting for both online and land-based, FanDuel Sportsbook generated $7,043,394 in revenue, which either places it in lockstep or slightly ahead of DraftKings.
In relation to its November performance, FanDuel stated the following: “November was a history making month for the FanDuel Sportsbook. We doubled revenue versus October and we were the first legal sports betting operator in the United States to pay out future wagers early on Alabama winning the college football national championship. With more innovative promotions and payouts than any other sportsbook, we’re thrilled to see more and more consumers choosing to place their wagers with the FanDuel Sportsbook.”
An average hold
Although it’s impossible to pinpoint the performance of bettors for any given month, due primarily to how NJ calculates handle, we can say with near certainty that the books had a better month than in October.
Granted, it still didn’t appear to be an exceptional month for the books, with year-to-date win only eking up 0.1% to 5.9%. One area the books did appear to do exceptionally well in was basketball, with YTD hold increasing from 5.5% to 7.0%. Not so much for football, which saw its hold decrease from 5.8% to 5.4% on the year.
Football remains by far the most popular sport overall, with $130.9 million in handle for November. This was followed by basketball at $71.7 million. It was a big month for parlays, probably partly to do with all the parlay-focused promotions running. Parlay handle was a whopping $64 million last month.