The DGE’s numbers indicate New Jersey sportsbook operators earned $12,732,740 in revenue in the month of February, down approximately $7 million from January. Handle also dropped to $320,368,087 million compared to $385 million in January.
Several factors contributed to the drop in revenue, not the least of which was the outcome of the Super Bowl. New Jersey sportsbooks lost an estimated $4.5 million on the game, meaning they paid out around $39.4 million in wins but only took in around $34.8 million in bets.
Meadowlands and FanDuel Sportsbook lead the way
The following are the revenue numbers from each sports betting operation in New Jersey:
|Property (Online)||Online Revenue||Retail Revenue||February Total|
|Bally's (Caesars, 888)||$223,339||($40,848)||$182,491|
|Golden Nugget (BetAmerica, GN Online)||$34,018||($159,289)||($125,271)|
|Hard Rock (Hard Rock online)||$18,962||$103,614||$122,576|
|Meadowlands (FanDuel, PointsBet)||$6,585,289||$1,498,037||$7,018,180|
|Monmouth (William Hill, SugarHouse)||$1,276,182||($501,873)||$774,309|
|Ocean Resort (William Hill)||$1,026,673||($280,656)||$746,017|
|Resorts (DraftKings, BetStars)||$3,716,608||$142,846||$3,859,454|
|Tropicana (William Hill)||$10,477||($69,030)||($58,553)|
While FanDuel and PointsBet NJ combine to produce the Meadowlands’ monthly sports betting revenue, FanDuel does the lion’s share of the work. Some industry experts noted that FanDuel accounts for about 95 percent of the track’s NJ sports betting revenue.
In a statement, FanDuel touted the addition of self-service betting kiosks at the Meadowlands and its “best-in-class promotions” as reasons for the big numbers:
“FanDuel Sportsbook’s first Super Bowl vastly exceeded our expectations and, despite the people’s choice New England Patriots winning, the FanDuel Sportsbook still saw record online revenues in the month. … We’re looking forward to the inaugural March Madness with legal sports betting in New Jersey.”
Resorts’ partnership with DraftKings Sportsbook generated about $4.3 million less than the Meadowlands. But an off month doesn’t mean DraftKings is out of the top spot for long.
William Hill NJ generated similar numbers from its sportsbooks, bringing their combined total revenue for the month to around $1.5 million.
But all those bright spots can’t hide the fact that February was not the hottest of months for retail sports betting. The next three casinos failed to surpass $200,000 in revenue while Tropicana, Harrah’s, Golden Nugget, and Borgata suffered overall losses for the month.
Oscars betting was a crowd pleaser
While the 2019 Super Bowl left sportsbooks in a lurch, the first year of legal betting on the Academy Awards ended up being a win.
New Jersey was the only state to offer legal Oscars betting. So while football’s biggest night was a bit hum-drum, it appeared bettors took advantage of the option to bet on Hollywood’s biggest night.
The total amount wagered on the 2019 Oscars was just $747,696 across online, retail and all categories. But, the win percentage stood at 24.4 percent.
Kind of funny to point out that Oscars made more money for books than the Super Bowl did.
— Jessica Welman (@jesswelman) March 13, 2019
It’s unknown whether the DGE will allow Oscars betting in 2020, but for the most part, the first year was a success.
March Madness 2019 will change things for March
However, February should be nothing more than an aberration as the country prepares for the onset of March Madness.
In 2018, Las Vegas casinos posted a March Madness handle of more than $500 million in 2018, an opportunity that’s sure to turn fortunes around for NJ sportsbooks, both online and retail.
In fact, New Jersey online sportsbooks are already capitalizing on 2019 March Madness betting by offering promotions of all shapes and sizes.
DraftKings, for example, launched a free-to-play nationwide bracket contest as well as an NJ-only bracket contest with a $20 buy-in. FanDuel also launched a free bracket contest and other sportsbooks are doing the same.
Will NJ sports betting sites see the same hefty handle for the NCAA Tournament that Nevada did in 2018? It remains to be seen, and depending on how the tournament pans out, sportsbooks in New Jersey are eager to see the action.