Sports bettors in New Jersey have been deluged with options to place their bets online since DraftKings Sportsbook first launched on Aug. 1. The bet variety on the six active online sportsbooks is compelling, but the hallmark might be in-game betting.
“There were at least 50 different betting options during any given game, allowing players to bet on things like how many touchdowns a quarterback will throw, the outcome of the next rush, or if a team can cover the spread.”
The NFL season began on Sept. 6, 2018, when the defending Super Bowl LII champion Philadelphia Eagles defeated the Atlanta Falcons 18–12.
SugarHouse says that the season commencement gave a huge boost to its sportsbook with bet volumes increasing 100 percent. NFL games instantly became the most popular sports for New Jersey bettors to wager on.
Mattias Stetz chief operating officer of Rush Street Interactive, which operates the SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino, commented:
“We believe that the player base will continue to grow as word spreads about the quality and volume of the different live in-game bets PlaySugarHouse.com offers. We are excited about the rest of the football season and look forward to seeing our numbers climb as we strive to continue to offer our players a great user experience.”
In-game betting is a critical success factor
SugarHouse launched its sportsbook product on Aug. 23, so it might seem to be a bit early to begin claiming records.
And the record being claimed isn’t about being the biggest, or having the most revenue, or most customers. DraftKings has already claimed that it has taken its millionth bet and was the leader for August revenue. So does having the most in-game betting options really matter?
The surprising answer is that it matters very much.
First, there’s the obvious point that SugarHouse is actually claiming something relevant to customers. It is boasting about how good its product is, not just claiming what good business people they have on hand.
Second, and much more important, is that getting the in-game betting options right is going to be the difference between success and failure for all NJ sports betting operators.
The last decade has seen two major changes in sports betting:
- The rise of mobile sports betting — In the UK 56 percent of ALL sports bets are placed using a mobile device.
- The increasing popularity of in-game betting — 22 percent of William Hill’s Nevada betting handle in 2017 came from in-game bets.
The power of live betting for online sportsbooks
Craig Mucklow, vice president of trading for Don Best Sports, which supplies data and odds to sportsbooks around the world, told the Las Vegas Review Journal that in Asia, 90 percent of all basketball bets are now placed in-game.
In-game betting has become so prevalent that, according to Mucklow, “Some companies don’t even bother offering pregame (odds) anymore.”
These two factors, mobile betting and in-game betting, are what will determine the shape of the New Jersey sports betting market during the next few years. Whoever gets it right will reap the spoils and make a ton of money.
Getting it wrong is unthinkable. SugarHouse has made an early claim to have put some distance between itself and its competitors in this crucial area, so it is definitely beginning on the right track.
SugarHouse has stiff competition
The complete list of operators offering online and mobile sports betting in New Jersey are:
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- SugarHouse Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- William Hill
- Caesars Sportsbook
- 888 sportsbook (soft-launch only)
Most of the above have some form of in-game wagering on their sportsbook apps in the Garden State.
And others will follow. You can bet on that.