The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands in East Rutherford, New Jersey began accepting sports bets on July 14. In its first nine days of operation, Meadowlands took sports wagers totaling $3.5 million.
“We did OK,” Jeff Gural, operatory of Meadowlands Racetrack said Monday to the Associated Press. “Our goal the first weekend was to exceed $1 million which we did. The next four days were quiet with nothing to bet on due to the All-Star break.”
Overall, Gural is happy with the initial figures “despite the fact that we are not at full strength and only have 10 live teller windows open.”
Most of the sports bets came from a period on the sports calendar where there was very little to bet on. Baseball was on its All-Star break, France already claimed the World Cup title, and football and hockey are months away from their season openers.
Baseball did resume over the past weekend, and the track reportedly took in over $650,000 of bets on Saturday, with more coming in on Sunday.
Victory is sweetest with football on the board
Sports betting at the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands takes place in the Victory Lounge. It expects to expand its operation to include 15 cashiers and 65 TVs by the beginning of football season.
Football season is typically the busiest for sportsbooks and Meadowlands is positioned to capitalize on that more than most. Meadowlands Racetrack is part of the Meadowlands Sports Complex, which includes the MetLife Stadium, home to the NFL’s NY Jets and Giants.
For now, the sportsbook won’t operate during NY Jets or NY Giants home games. Meadowlands is currently trying to reach an agreement with the NFL, which fiercely opposes sports betting.
“Hopefully by football season, you’ll be able to bet on every play,” said Gural to the New York Post.
Meadowlands tempting New York sports bettors
Meadowlands is the closest legal sports betting venue to New York. In fact, 12 million people live within a 20-mile radius of the racetrack.
New York has had its share of troubles trying to get sports betting legislation passed. It doesn’t look like anything is happening on that front in the near future and certainly not in time for football season.
With Meadowlands just 30 minutes by car away, sports bettors from the Big Apple now have a place to spend their time and place their bets while rooting on their favorite teams.
There are other options for New York sports betting enthusiasts to place wagers in the neighboring state of New Jersey. While none are as close as the Meadowlands, those that want to make a weekend out of it have a few venues to choose from.
Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill located in Oceanport and Borgata Hotel Casino in Atlantic City began accepting sports bets on June 14. TheWilliam Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Resort Casino opened during Ocean Resort’s grand opening on June 28.
Initial New Jersey sports betting revenue is positive
The FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands is the fourth sports betting operation to launch since Gov. Phil Murphy signed legislation legalizing sports betting in the Garden State on June 11.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) released the first sports betting revenue figures earlier this month. The report included the two weeks of operation in June after sports betting became legal.
The sports betting industry took in a total of $16.4 million in sports bets during the first two weeks and operators earned nearly $3.5 million in revenue.
The revenue broke down like this:
- Monmouth Park: $2,279,166
- Borgata: $986,831
- Ocean Resort Casino: $192,671 (open for three days)
The DGE doesn’t break down handle (the total amount of sports bets) by operator, so it is hard to compare Meadowlands first nine days to the first two weeks at Monmouth Park and Borgata.
What we do know is by the end of its first day in business, Meadowlands took in $560,000 in sports bets. On average during its initial 17 days of sports betting, Monmouth Park brought in $480,954.
On the surface, Gural has every reason to be pleased. Location is everything, at least until mobile sports betting launches. Meadowlands is in the perfect place to lure both New York and New Jersey football fans to its sportsbook and it is primed to take the lead in New Jersey sports betting.