In the blue corner, wearing the Meadowlands trunks and the No. 1-ranked sportsbook in the land: FanDuel Sportsbook. And in the green corner, wearing Resorts trunks and the No. 1-ranked sportsbook in the land: DraftKings Sportsbook.
Wait, you’re rightfully thinking, how can there be two No. 1 sportsbooks?
Executives at each company, understandably, stand by their claims that their brand reigns supreme. In October, the New Jersey sports betting crown went to Meadowlands Racetrack and its online partners, which includes FanDuel. The two months before, it went to Resorts Atlantic City and its partners, which features DraftKings. The previous 54 months: Meadowlands.
Is there a way to determine a true No. 1? It depends on the flag you wave: FanDuel or DraftKings.
FanDuel vs. DraftKings: By the NJ sports betting numbers
In October, as has been the case for the life of legal sports betting in New Jersey, Meadowlands Racetrack and Resorts Atlantic City topped the list of revenue-earners. While the Division of Gaming Enforcement does not break down revenue by operator, one could still infer that the two brands – FanDuel Sportsbook NJ and DraftKings Sportsbook NJ – carry the load.
Last month, Meadowlands reported $60.2 million in total revenue, the second-best month in the five-year history of NJ sports betting. (Only November 2021, at $64.4 million, beat it.) That total represents a 32.7% year-over-year increase for Meadowlands and nearly doubled the $34 million reported in September.
As for Resorts, it went the other direction. After posting a personal-best $56.99 million in August, Resorts declined to $49.89 in September to a mere $15.3 million in October – all of it, more even, coming from the online sector.
All told, over the course of legal sports betting in NJ, Meadowlands has amassed $1.7 billion in total revenue. Resorts, meanwhile, sits at $560 million. No other licenseholder is above $300 million.
Interestingly, in terms of retail sports betting, Meadowlands (with its FanDuel Sportsbook) has totaled $172.2 million in lifetime revenue. Resorts (DraftKings) stands at $18.8 million. Both Monmouth Park (Caesars Sportsbook NJ) and Borgata (BetMGM Sportsbook NJ) have reported more in-person revenue at $38.8 million and $22.4 million, respectively.
How execs view race for No. 1 sportsbook
Together, those two properties account for 69.1% of revenue market share, which falls in line with the national metric of 70%.
Peter Jackson, CEO of FanDuel parent company Flutter Entertainment, noted during his company’s recent earning call that legal sports betting boasts “incredibly intensive competition.” Between the two, however, the nod goes to DraftKings – if you wave the DraftKings flag.
When highlighting key takeaways from the third quarter, Jason Robins, CEO and co-founder of DraftKings opened with, “we are winning.” While he didn’t specifically name names, many connected the dots.
Following the Flutter earnings call, Jackson told CNBC:
“We have a billion dollars more in revenue in the US, so we’re very clearly number one.”
Flutter reps emphasized that net gaming revenue, not gross gaming revenue, is the more accurate and important metric. Net gaming revenue represents a company’s take after deducting the cost of promotional spend from gross revenue. Following those guidelines, Flutter said, FanDuel owns a 47% share of the national market, ahead of DraftKings.
“We have not altered our posture in the market as a result of what other people are doing,” Jackson said, adding that FanDuel features stronger retention rates than competitors as well as a “long list of advantages” over the competition.
“The best is yet to come,” Robins closed his key takeaways. And New Jersey is the driving factor.
“New Jersey has been a real great story for us. It was our first state. It continues to be one of our largest states.”
The rest of the NJ sports betting scene
Overall, NJ sportsbooks reported $1.293 billion in handle. It stands as the fourth-best month in Garden State history, just short of September’s No. 3 spot of $1.299 billion. That pushes the state’s lifetime handle to $42.8 billion, the country’s highest total since the fall of PASPA in 2018.
In addition, sportsbooks grossed $92.3 million in total NJ sports betting revenue. Of the 10 remaining licensees, only four topped $2 million in revenue:
- Borgata (BetMGM | Borgata): $7,839,758
- Tropicana (Caesars | Mojo): $2,256,830
- Hard Rock (Hard Rock | bet365 | Unibet): $2,299,969
- Monmouth Park (Caesars | BetRivers): $2,055,783
|Licensee||Online Brand(s)||Total Revenue||Retail Revenue||Online Revenue||Total Tax Obligation|
|Meadowlands||FanDuel | PointsBet | SuperBook||$60,245,955||$2,445,257||$57,800,698||$7,721,950|
|Resorts Atlantic City||DraftKings | Fox Bet | Resorts||$15,301,137||($14,002)||$15,315,139||$1,995,193|
|Borgata||BetMGM | Borgata||$7,839,758||$623,754||$7,216,004||$991,100|
|Hard Rock Atlantic City||Hard Rock | bet365 | Unibet||$2,299,969||$239,921||$2,060,048||$288,585|
|Tropicana Atlantic City||Caesars | Mojo||$2,256,830||($117,108)||$2,373,938||$298,722|
|Monmouth Park||Caesars | BetRivers||$2,055,783||$603,780||$1,452,003||$240,090|
|Freehold||Barstool | PlayUp | betParx||$1,789,451||$160,431||$1,629,020||$225,418|
|Caesars Atlantic City||WynnBet||$574,319||$574,319||---||$48,820|
|Bally's Atlantic City||Sporttrade||$261,697||$171,781||$89,916||$26,327|
|Harrah's Atlantic City||Prophet||($13,002)||($126,187)||$113,185||$3,992|
|Golden Nugget Atlantic City||Golden Nugget | Betway||($101,721)||$27,454||($129,175)||($12,616)|
NJ sports betting welcomes ESPN Bet
Certainly that has garnered plenty of attention. And executives with PENN Entertainment, which entered into a 10-year partnership with the sports media empire, as well as ESPN remain bullish that the sportsbook can carve into the market share.
FanDuel and DraftKings, meanwhile? Bring it on.
Robins called the competition “great” at the Global Gaming Expo in October. Because legal sportsbooks, if you think about it, are on the same team.
“That’s the purpose of legalization. And I think we need to do a better job of differentiating and cleaning out some of the illegal stuff.”