A wave of sports bettors poured into New Jersey's sportsbooks in September — wagers climbed 92.3 percent and gross revenue jumped 161 percent from August — putting the state on a course to become the nation's largest sports betting market, according to analysts for PlayNJ.com.
"It is a very real possibility that New Jersey could surpass Nevada as the country's largest sports betting market by the end of the year," said Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com. "Even when Pennsylvania launches sports betting, New Jersey should continue its upward swing."
New Jersey's sportsbooks generated $23.96 million in gross revenue and $183.94 million in wagers in September, according to official reporting. Nevada accepted $558.2 million in wagers In September 2017.
PlayNJ.com expects New Jersey books to eventually generate $500 million in annual revenue, according to PlayNJ.com analysts.
"As more online and land-based sportsbooks hit the market, and customers become more familiar with the products, wagering will rapidly expand," Gouker said.
September online handle was $104.9 million. Land-based sportsbooks' wagers hit $73.9 million.
"We knew online sports betting would grow at a higher rate and narrow that gap over time, but this surpassed our expectations," Gouker said. "Online sports betting could also buoy retail sportsbooks if operators are careful to create an online product that connects customers to the brand."
FanDuel Sportsbook remained the retail market leader, posting $4.4 million in gross revenue. DraftKings Sportsbook — which generates 90 percent of Resorts Online revenue — fueled Resorts' $8.5 million.
"The DraftKings- and FanDuel-branded sportsbooks are clearly benefiting from name recognition, being early to market and offering a solid product, which has given them a leg up," Gouker said.
New Jersey's online casinos generated $25.7 million in September gross revenue, up 3.8 percent from $24.8 million in August.
"Legal online gambling's growth offers a clue to what we should expect to see from online sports betting," said Steve Ruddock, lead online gambling analyst for PlayNJ.com. "Consumer awareness will steadily increase and an influx of new operators will drive marketing and product innovation."