New Jersey became the first state in history to post a legal sports betting handle of more than $900 million, as the Garden State’s online and retail sportsbooks put the first $1 billion month clearly in their sights in November, according to analysts for PlayNJ.
“Even if New Jersey can’t quite reach $1 billion in a month before the end of the NFL season, the mere possibility so soon after the industry launched in 2018 would have been close to inconceivable until just a few months ago,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com. “The restart of the U.S. sports world after the shutdowns of spring and early summer has fueled online sports betting in ways that would have been hard to predict before this year.”
New Jersey’s sportsbooks generated $931 million in wagers in November, according to official data released Monday, breaking the previous record of $803.1 million set in October and marking the fourth consecutive month the state has set an all-jurisdiction record for handle. November’s bets produced $6.2 million in state taxes on $50.6 million in revenue.
November’s handle rose 65.6 percent from $562.7 million in November 2019, which was then a state record. And revenue was up 53.7 percent over $32.9 million in November 2019.
Football attracted $433.3 million in bets, up from $278.9 million in October. Sports categorized as “other” than football, basketball, or baseball drew in $221.5 million.
“When the traditional major betting sports went quiet, most of the major online sportsbooks were really good at engaging their customers with an array of offerings, from golf to table tennis,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com. “What is surprising is that those efforts continue to pay dividends even as the major sports have returned.”
Online betting generated 93.6 percent, or $872.1 million, of the state’s total handle, which was up from 92.6 percent in October. FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet topped online operators with $21.2 million in gross revenue, down from $29.3 million in October.
Retail sportsbooks generated $59.5 million in bets, up from $59.2 million in October. Meadowlands/FanDuel topped retail books with $3.6 million in revenue.
“As good as the online market has been, Atlantic City has been hit hard this year by the pandemic,” Gouker said. “The state’s growth overall over the last few months is almost entirely the product of online sportsbooks. That will continue for the foreseeable future.”
Online casino and poker
New Jersey’s online casinos and poker rooms fell short of its first $100 million revenue month with $91.8 million in November. That was off from the record $93.5 million set in October, but up 86.9 percent from $49.1 million in November 2019. November’s tally produced $13.8 million in state taxes.
Online casinos and poker have generated a record $870.9 million in operator revenue this year, putting the industry just short of the pace to reach $1 billion for the year. The revenue has injected $130.8 million into state coffers this year.
“With Atlantic City casinos struggling to remain open during the pandemic, the tax revenue generated by online casino games in particular has never been more needed,” Ramsey said. “New Jersey’s online casinos are the envy of every state with legalized online gaming and a model for any state looking to pass legislation in the coming year.”