NJ Sportsbooks Break Record in September 2019
NJ fought long and hard for the legalization of sports betting. When it finally happened and the first licensed state-regulated NJ sportsbooks opened for business in June 2018, many experts predicted it would be a huge success. But I doubt if anyone envisioned the record-breaking numbers created by NJ sports betting.
What started in this state as just one Atlantic City casino based sportsbook–at the Borgata Hotel Casino & Spa–and one racetrack sportsbook—at Monmouth Park–has multiplied exponentially. As of this writing, there are 10 retail sportsbooks (or more precisely 11, counting two at the Borgata) and 17 more for online and mobile sports betting. Of the latter, the DraftKings sportsbook was the first to open, while most recent to join the fold is the Hard Rock sportsbook.
NJ sportsbooks just set a new record–$445.6 million in bets in one month
Additional online and mobile sportsbooks are likely, and why not? According to the latest figures released by the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) on October 15, as reported by The Press of Atlantic City, the amount wagered at NJ sportsbooks during the previous month reached an all-time high.
Prior to September 2019, NJ sportsbooks had their biggest month in January 2019 with a total handle (amount wagered) of $385 million. However, last month that record was shattered when NJ sports bettors ( at retail and digital sites combined) wagered a whopping $445 million!
The September 2019 handle was more than double the $184 million that NJ sportsbooks registered in September 2018. It was also enough to push the total amount wagered at NJ sportsbooks since their inception to over $4 billion–and nearly $3 billion so far in 2019!
Dustin Gouker, the lead analyst at PlayNJ.com, called the growth over the past year “staggering.” He also had this to say about what might be expected in the future:
“After such an impressive debut, the question now becomes how much room is there to grow. The upward trajectory will continue. It is just a matter of how steep the growth will be.”
What a way to kick off the 100th season of the NFL
Of course, September is when the regular NFL season starts. It is not only what avid fans of the sport have been waiting months for, but also, now that legalized betting in NJ is so widely available, attracting newcomers like never before.
So it is no surprise at all that last month, gamblers have been flocking to the NJ sportsbooks in droves or, in unprecedented numbers, taking advantage of the even more convenient option to bet on sports online or on their smartphone.
In fact, NJ sportsbook apps contributed $374.2 million of the $445.6 million total September handle. That’s what 17 sports betting apps (compared to only 8 in September 2018) can accomplish.
Furthermore, the 2019-2020 NFL season isn’t just another football season. It’s the 100th anniversary of the NFL, which makes handicapping, betting, and watching the games extra exciting. And, of course, September offered plenty of betting action on college football, baseball, and other sports, too.
Revenue from NJ sportsbooks
The $445 million figure for September refers to the total amount wagered that month at NJ sportsbooks. Don’t confuse that figure with sports betting revenue—the profit the sportsbooks make after the winners have been paid. But the revenue figures are also very impressive.
According to the DGE, the total amount of revenue generated from NJ sports betting was $38 million in September and $190 million for 2019 so far. In comparison, NJ sports betting generated only $40 million in its inaugural year, 2018.
NJ casino revenue down in September, but sports betting more than made up for it
It is interesting to note that NJ casino gambling revenue last month was actually down $7 million compared to September 2018. However, the huge profit from sports betting more than picked up the slack.
In other encouraging news, Ocean Casino Resort, after a very slow start, fared exceptionally well in September, posting the second-best month in its history, with total gambling revenue up 46.9 percent. Ocean Casino’s William Hill retail sportsbook also turned in a big profit in September, with reported revenue of $1,804,785, second among NJ land-based sportsbooks only to the Meadowlands.
Can New Jersey overtake Nevada as the top sports betting state in the US?
On Aug. 28, 2019, I posted an article on NJ Gambling Websites called “Can NJ Replace Nevada As The Reigning Sports Betting King? You Bet!”…
I mentioned that even before the fall football season started, some gambling experts were already envisioning New Jersey as the new No. 1 state for sports betting. So it is interesting to see how those projections compare to the actual results this year so far.
Even though September was a record month for NJ sportsbooks, that month’s handle still falls shy of the $571 million wagered at Nevada sportsbooks in September 2018. (The Nevada sportsbooks total for September 2019 is not yet available.) However, there is no doubt that New Jersey is seriously challenging Nevada for sports betting supremacy. In both July and August, New Jersey’s handle surpassed Nevada’s.
By the end of the year, can NJ sports bettors bet enough to surpass the $5 billion wagered at Nevada sportsbooks in 2018? Probably not, but I wouldn’t call it impossible.