Both online and retail sportsbooks enjoy dramatic growth as NFL season begins as state closes in on Nevada; Online gambling just misses record
(ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.) — 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 — rapidly putting the state’s fledgling industry on a course to become the nation’s largest sports betting market, according to analysts for PlayNJ.com.
“After seeing September, 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. “With New Jersey’s population base, it is hard to see where the ceiling is right now. Even when Pennsylvania launches sports betting, New Jersey should continue its upward swing.”
September marked the first month of the NFL season, and New Jersey’s sportsbooks responded with $23.96 million in gross revenue and $183.94 million in wagers, according to official reporting released Friday. In August, sportsbooks generated $9.1 million in gross revenue on $95.6 million in wagers, known as handle.
By comparison, Nevada accepted $558.2 million in wagers in September 2017.
More growth is inevitable. The number of retail sportsbooks is expected to grow, and two of New Jersey’s eight online sportsbooks didn’t open until after the first games were played in September.
As the market matures, New Jersey’s sports betting industry is expected to generate more than $500 million in annual revenue, according to PlayNJ.comanalysts.
“The sharp growth in September was not unexpected,” Gouker said. “But as powerful as September’s numbers were, there is still so much more room for growth. As more online and land-based sportsbooks hit the market, and customers become more familiar with the products, wagering will rapidly expand.”
The state’s eight online sportsbooks generated a handle of $104.9 million in September, up from $21.7 million in August. Meanwhile, land-based sportsbooks generated $79.1 million, compared with $73.9 million in August.
“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 at The Meadowlands remained the market leader among retail sportsbooks, posting $4.4 million in September gross revenue, up from $3.1 million. FanDuel was followed in gross revenue by:
- Borgata ($2.4 million)
- Monmouth Park ($2.2 million)
- Ocean Resort Casino ($999,858)
- Golden Nugget ($499,414)
- Bally’s AC ($394,046)
- Harrah’s AC ($310,766)
- Resorts AC ($279,492)
DraftKings Sportsbook — which operates under the Resorts license, along with BetStars, and generates some 90 percent of Resorts online revenue — established itself in September as the top online sports betting site among the eight in the state. DraftKings fueled Resorts online gross revenue growth to $8.5 million from $2.97 in August. DraftKings was followed in gross revenue by:
- FanDuel Sportsbook ($2.9 million)
- SugarHouse Sportsbook ($619,030)
- Ocean Resort/William Hill (292,081)
- playMGM/Borgata ($120,938)
- Caesars Sportsbook and 888sport ($106,463)
- Monmouth/William Hill ($70,785)
“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. “The other brands will have to be innovative to gain ground.”
LEGAL ONLINE GAMBLING JUST MISSES ANOTHER RECORD
New Jersey’s online casinos generated $25.7 million in September gross revenue, up 3.8 percent from $24.8 million in August and just short of the record of $25.9 million set in July.
September’s total was up 26.3 percent from September 2017.
“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. That will help drive consistent growth.”
Some other important online gambling data from the September report:
- Online casinos generated $4.5 million in September tax revenue. Online casinos have now generated $164 million in total tax revenue for New Jersey since launch in November 2013.
- The industry generated $858,415 per day in the 30 days in September, up from $800,147 per day in the 31 days in August.
- Market leader Golden Nugget — home to the Golden Nugget, Betfair, and SugarHouse online casino brands — generated $9.3 million in September, up from $8.2 million in August.
- Online casino games generated $24.1 million in September, up from $22.99 million in August. Online poker hit $1.6 million in September, down from $1.8 million in August.
For more information and analysis on regulated online gaming in New Jersey, visit PlayNJ.com.
About The PlayUSA Network:
The PlayUSA Network is a leading source for news, analysis, and research related to the market for regulated online gaming in the United States. With a presence in over a dozen states, PlayUSA.com and its state-focused branches (including PlayNJ.com, PlayNY.com, PlayPennsylvania.com, and PlayCA.com) produce daily original reporting, publish in-depth research, and offer player advocacy tools related to the advancement of safe, licensed, and legal online gaming options for consumers. Based in Las Vegas, the PlayUSA Network is independently owned and operated, with no affiliations to any casino — commercial, tribal, online, or otherwise.