The Final Four, the first full month of professional baseball and the beginning of the NBA and NHL playoffs all helped push New Jersey online and retail sportsbooks to a strong April. This as trends in New Jersey begin to take root 10 months after sports betting in the state was legalized, according to PlayNJ.com analysts.
"Nearly a full year in, we are beginning to get a clearer picture of how New Jersey bettors react to certain products and sports," said Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com. "While there are a lot of similarities between Nevada and New Jersey, the bettors of the Northeast behave a bit differently than in the West. For instance, New Jersey's overwhelming preference for online betting has been obvious, and the region's enthusiasm for college basketball and pro baseball are showing in the state's handle."
New Jersey's online and retail sportsbooks accepted $313.7 million in bets in April, down 16 percent from $372.5 million April, and generated $21.2 million in April revenue, down from $31.7 million in March.
New Jersey's online sportsbook brands continue to drive the most action, accounting for $253.97 million, or 81 percent, of total bets in April. Basketball and baseball drew the most April bets.
"The New Jersey market has differentiated itself from Nevada in a number of ways, so it is not surprising that baseball drew more interest relative to overall handle in the Garden State," Gouker said. "New Jersey's proximity to New York and Philadelphia, each with some of the largest baseball fanbases in the country, certainly helps drive interest at sportsbooks."
FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands remains tops in the retail market. FanDuel posted $3.3 million in April gross revenue, down from $4.3 million in March. Monmouth Park followed FanDuel with $761,316.
FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet and Resorts/DraftKings continue to dominate the online market. FanDuel generated $8.8 million in online gross revenue, down 34 percent from $13.3 million in March. DraftKings fueled Resorts' $4.8 million April, down from $7.3 million.
The online market will continue to evolve, too. The Stars Group announced that Fox Bet will in the near future join the Resorts Digital umbrella, replacing the BetStars brand.
"Brand recognition has proven to be critically important in the infancy of the sports betting market, and Fox Sports is certainly a household name," Gouker said. "This is really the first attempt for a media company to get directly involved in the U.S. sports betting game. If Fox has success, we could see more media companies in the future."
Online sports betting continues to bolster New Jersey's online casinos. In April, New Jersey's online casino and poker industry generated $36.6 million in gross revenue, up 59 percent from $23.02 million gained in April 2018. April's strong showing generated $6.4 million in tax revenue, which now totals $203.4 million since legalization.
"Before online sports betting was legalized, it was thought that the growth of online casinos would begin to tail off," said Steve Ruddock, lead online gambling analyst for PlayNJ.com. "The effect of online sports betting has been profound. It infused new energy in gamblers and new investment into online casinos. Because of that growth has actually accelerated significantly."