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US – New Jersey sportsbooks back to record-breaking month in August

By - 15 September 2020

New Jersey’s sportsbooks returned to their record-setting ways in August, using the return of major sports to catapult to the best month in history for any legal jurisdiction.

And in generating nearly $670m in August wagers, more than $100m more than the state’s previous best,New Jersey surpassed $8bn in sports bets since launching in June 2018 and again staked its position as the largest and most dependable US market, according to PlayNJ.

“A full schedule of baseball, basketball, and hockey was enough to unleash an avalanche of pent-up demand,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com. “New Jersey’s sports betting market has proven resilient since the pandemic began, drawing more bettor interest since March than any other U.S. jurisdiction. With major sports back on the board, though, the state’s sportsbooks are showing shocking strength.”

New Jersey’s online and retail sportsbooks collected a record $667.98m in wagers in August, up 112 per cent from $315.1m in July, according to official reporting released Monday. The handle is up 127.5 per cent from $293.6m in August 2019 and blew past the state record $562.7m handle set in November. No state has ever drawn in more in bets in a single month, beating Nevada’s all-jurisdiction record of $614.1m set in November 2019.

With August’s bets, New Jersey sportsbooks have collected $8.4bn in wagers since the industry launched.

Gross revenue in August grew 56.7 per cent to $39.5m from $25.2m in August 2019. The “win” yielded $4.9m in state taxes.

The return of major sports was the great catalyst. Basketball attracted $166.2m in bets and baseball added $150m. Sports classified by the state as “other,” which includes hockey, drew $204.9m. And the staggering totals came before any significant football games could be played.

New Jersey has weathered the pandemic better than any other state, including Nevada, which hasn’t topped New Jersey’s monthly handle since December. Though Nevada has yet to report its August data, New Jersey will likely take the No. 1 spot again.

“New Jersey’s robust and mature online market is a clear advantage over every other jurisdiction, including Nevada, which relies more on in-person betting,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ. “A full schedule of major sports in August, generating huge interest, has only highlighted the fact that New Jersey is better positioned to withstand the challenges of the pandemic.”

Online sportsbooks produced 90.1 per cent of August’s handle, down from 93.9 per cent in July. FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet led the market with $17.6m in gross revenue, up from $12.2min July. FanDuel was followed in revenue by Resorts Digital/DraftKings/Fox Bet, who generated $10m, up from $8.2m in July)

BetMGM/Borgata reported $3.3m, up from $2.3m whilst Monmouth/William Hill/Sugarhouse/TheScore generated $1.7m, up from $1.6m

Retail sportsbooks began to steady in August, drawing $66m in bets, up from $19.3m in July. FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands again capitalised on the New York market, easily topping retail books with $3.6m in revenue.

“The top online brands in the state, including FanDuel and DraftKings, are pouring money into advertising, which is a theme that can be seen across most legal jurisdictions,” Mr. Gouker said. “The brands are jockeying for market share now that sports have returned. The end result of that fierce competition will benefit bettors as products and promotions improve.”

New Jersey’s online casinos and poker rooms continued to impress in August with a record $87.8m in revenue, up 113.6 per cent from $41.1m in August 2019. With Atlantic City casinos open for the entire month, generating $199.1m in revenue, online casinos still edged the record $87.5m generated in July.

August marked the fifth consecutive month that online casinos and poker have topped at least $80m. Year-to-date, online gambling has generated $597.98m and is on pace to more than double the $482.7m in revenue produced in all of 2019.

“New Jersey’s online casino market appears to have set a new floor as it continues to fare well even as casinos reopen in Atlantic City,” Mr. Ramsey said. “As people were forced to stay home, they were introduced to these online gambling products. And many of those gamblers apparently liked what they found. I am not sure the online market will ever return to pre-pandemic levels.”

August’s “win” yielded $13.2m in state and local taxes. Online casinos and poker generated $2.83m a day in the 31 days of August, up slightly from $2.82m a day in the 31 days of July. Revenue from online casino games hit $84.7m, up from $82.7m in July. Online poker produced $3m in August revenue, down from $4.8m in July.
Golden Nugget Online Gaming dominated the market with $27.7m in August, down from $31.5m. Borgata was second with $19.8m.

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