NJ Sports Betting Handle Climbs To $330M In November With $21M In Revenue

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New Jersey continues to set records for the amount of sports betting activity each month. Garden State sportsbooks reported a handle of a whopping $330 million in November 2018, according to the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement.

That figure eclipses the amount wagered in October by roughly $70 million and represents a 27 percent increase in activity.

However, the bigger concern for NJ sportsbooks is the amount of money they kept for themselves — the almighty NJ sports betting revenue.

They can rest easy. November’s revenue soared to more than $21 million. New Jersey sportsbooks exceeded their October performance by almost $10 million.

All told, NJ sports betting is just a few million dollars short of $1 billion in handle since launch at $928,134,172.

Online sportsbooks dominating the market

Online sportsbooks accepted $238.6 million, or 72 percent, of all sports bets in November 2018. From that activity, the online books held just under $14.5 million in revenue.

As in previous months, DraftKings Sportsbook reigned supreme as the undisputed market leader. Resorts Digital (DraftKings and BetStars NJ) accounted for $7.2 million in revenue for November. Of that, the daily fantasy sports giant had the majority.

DraftKings’ online rival FanDuel Sportsbook came in second and earned a respectable $4.4 million. In fact, last month was FanDuel’s best so far.

The upward trend in revenue happened for all eight of New Jersey online sportsbook operators in November. William Hill NJ, playMGM, SugarHouse Sportsbook, and all the others reported month-over-month gains for November.

For SugarHouse, November was its first after a switch from Golden Nugget‘s online gambling license to Monmouth Park. The $900,000 gain in revenue should reassure management that the company made the right choice.

Retail sportsbooks lagging, but did fine

Most eyes are following the performance of the online sportsbooks. However, retail sportsbooks had a decent showing and largely righted the ship from October.

Two months ago, New Jersey sportsbooks had a woeful month and could only report gains of $2.8 million. Only one location reported a hold of more than $1 million for October.

Thankfully, the retail segment roared back in November and earned more than twice as much revenue. The brick-and-mortar locations pocketed $6.8 million for the month, and three of the nine locations had seven-digit returns.

Of those three, Meadowlands Racetrack continues to lead the field. The sportsbook, which is within walking distance of an NFL stadium, held $2.6 million in revenue for the month.

Ocean Resort sportsbook was also one of the three millionaires. The new property, which struggled to a disappointing $438,552 in October revenue, improved almost fivefold to keep $1.9 million in November.

The third million-dollar hold occurred at Monmouth Park. The first sportsbook in New Jersey managed a $1.2 million month.

The only disappointments for the month happened at Bally’s and Harrah’s. The two Caesars properties both ended their months in the red, with Harrah’s $124,260 loss taking a dubious first place.

A lot is happening in NJ sports betting

The most-evident outcome from November is a recovery from the October hiccup. Adding almost twice as much money to the balance sheet is a significant step in the right direction for NJ sports betting.

The rise of online sports betting has been nothing short of remarkable. Bear in mind, online sports betting debuted in August.

In the initial month, only 22 percent of New Jersey sports bets occurred through devices. By contrast, almost three out of four are placed that way now.

With such a significant convenience factor, that trend is likely to continue. The good news is that handle will likely come along with it.

More companies are finding a foothold in sports betting each month, and December is shaping up no differently. PointsBet reportedly soft-launched its sportsbook app this week. Freehold Raceway has plans afoot of its own, and Unibet is making deals. Hard Rock Atlantic City claims its sportsbook launch will happen in early 2019.

With all that competition, players should see sportsbooks offer richer incentives and promotions to entice more wagering and traffic.

For the average New Jersey sports bettor, it should be a very heady time for a while.

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Bart Shirley

About

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. When he's not teaching high school math and business, Bart writes about the NJ online casino industry and US online poker. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.