The once-dominant New Jersey sports betting market is showing signs of fatigue as bettors are spending less now than they did just a year ago.
A seasonal drop-off from March’s sports-heavy calendar to April’s lighter lineup is expected, but NJ’s slide indicates something larger.
According to the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, NJ sportsbooks took in nearly $834 million worth of legal bets in April and kept more than $72 million. The amount wagered (handle) is down more than 10% from April 2022. The year-over-year monthly sports betting revenue in New Jersey, however, increased by better than 43%.
Reading the NJ sports betting tea leaves
The 18.7% dip in handle from March’s $1.02 billion is on par with a similar month-to-month decline in 2022 (-17.3%).
But, April’s data confirms a long-held industry belief that New York’s emerging market would eventually stunt New Jersey’s growth.
April is the 12th consecutive month where the statewide sports gambling handle has been down compared to the same month a year prior. Not coincidentally, NY launched online sports betting in January 2022, which siphoned off a fair amount of NJ’s gambling activity.
Before NY’s entry into the internet sports gambling market, NJ was the national leader. It had surpassed Nevada and Las Vegas as the US sports betting capital (at least in terms of dollars). Over the last 15 months, the Garden State has ceded ground to its neighbor and been knocked off its perch atop the national sports gambling mountain.
New Jersey remains in the top tier of legal sports betting states, although Illinois, Pennsylvania, Michigan and Ohio have joined NY and NV as legitimate rivals.
Gamblers’ preference for online sports betting crystal clear in NJ
Online sports betting continues to attract the bulk of legal wagers in NJ. Based on the DGE data, 95.7% ($798.5 million) of April’s handle were online bets. For the year, 94.8% of all the money bet on sports has been done using online sportsbooks in NJ.
Gambling regulators in NJ do not break out individual operator statistics. The exact market share, gross revenue, promotional spending and taxes for NJ’s online sportsbooks are unknown. New Jersey lumps approved online operators under Atlantic City‘s nine casinos, two digital-only entities and three state-licensed racetracks.
The online sportsbooks under the Meadowlands Racetrack include FanDuel, PointsBet and SuperBook. Collectively, this grouping always accounts for the largest amount of statewide revenue. In April, they generated $36.1 million, with the retail book at the track kicking in another $1.9 million. It’s widely understood that FanDuel Sportsbook is responsible for the bulk of the reported figures.
Resorts Digital (separate from Resorts Casino Hotel) includes DraftKings Sportsbook and FoxBet, with the daily fantasy sports operator considered the driving force for this reported group. Last month, they generated just under $20.4 million, according to state data. DraftKings operates a retail sportsbook inside Resorts and posted a monthly loss of $58,339.
The Borgata casino and BetMGM rounded out the market’s top three with just a shade over $6.5 million.