After a month of milestones and a new record handle that topped $50 million, New Jersey's online and retail sportsbooks are positioned to overtake Nevada for the first time since August 2019, according to analysts from PlayNJ.com.
"New Jersey could very well top Nevada, not just in January, but for the foreseeable future," said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com. "And assuming that happens, we could be seeing the beginning of New Jersey's more permanent place as the top market in the country."
New Jersey's online and retail sportsbooks generated $540.1 million in bets, up 71.3 percent from $385.3 million in January 2019, according to official reporting released Wednesday. In December 2019, sportsbooks generated $557.8 million in bets.
Basketball generated $177.5 million, or 32.9 percent of the state's January handle, overtaking football as New Jersey's top draw.
Nevada has topped New Jersey in monthly handle since the kickoff of the NFL season. But New Jersey is now tracking ahead of Nevada, which generated $497.5 million in January 2019.
"While still the most popular sport in New Jersey, football does not quite command the same share of the sports betting market as it does in Nevada," Gouker said. "Meanwhile, basketball has proven to be a big winner for the state. That puts New Jersey in prime position over the next few months in its race to become the country's largest legal sports betting jurisdiction."
January's handle yielded a record $53.6 million in revenue, up 285 percent from $18.8 million won in January 2019. January resulted in $6.6 million in tax revenue for the state.
During the month New Jersey reached three impressive milestones: $6 billion in bets ($6.4 billion), $400 million in revenue ($447.1 million), and $50 million in sports betting taxes ($53.4 million) since the industry launched in June 2018.
Online betting remains the key vehicle for growth, generating $471.1 million, or 87.2% of the state's January handle. In addition, new betting opportunities could help grow New Jersey's market in February, including online-conducive Super Bowl prop bets, Oscars betting, and initial interest in the XFL.
"New Jersey has been on the leading edge since the sports betting market first launched in 2018," said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com. "No market has been as innovative, and that is a significant contributor to the rapid maturity of New Jersey's sports betting industry."
FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet topped the online market once again with $22.2 million in gross revenue, up from $12.1 million in December. FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands led retail books with $4.3 million in gross revenue.
New Jersey's online casino and poker industry enjoyed its first $50 million month, generating $55.1 million in January, up 64 percent from $33.6 million in January 2019.
The industry is on pace to generate more than $650 million in revenue in 2020. That would smash 2019's record of $482.7 million. And the recently launched live online slots games add a new avenue for growth.
"$700 million in revenue is within reach this year, which would have been inconceivable just a few years ago," Ramsey said. "The industry's ability to find new areas of growth, along with the symbiotic relationship that exists with online sports betting, will keep online casino gambling moving forward."