(ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.) — The NBA Finals and the Olympics could not help New Jersey’s sportsbooks to counter a national trend that has typically made July the slowest month of sports betting. But with relatively strong sports-betting revenue, another monthly record for online gambling, and strong results from Atlantic City’s retail casinos, New Jersey’s gaming outlets set a fresh record for total gaming revenue in a month with $450.6 million in July, according to PlayNJ, which tracks the state’s regulated online gaming and sports betting market.
“Atlantic City benefits from a boost in summer tourism, but July is a time when summer travel and busy schedules put online sports betting in the backseat, particularly for locals,” said David Danzis, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com. “In the end, online casino gaming, retail casinos, and online and retail sports betting work as a three-legged stool, and together they are helping the New Jersey gaming industry outperform most every market in the U.S.”
Online and retail sportsbooks accepted $578.7 million in bets in July, down 24.5% from $766.9 million in June, according to official data released Monday. July 2021 was up 83.7% from $315.1 million in July 2020, a month with the relaunch of baseball and the beginning of the NBA bubble.
July’s wagering was far less than February’s $743 million handle, previously the low point of the year. That echoes 2019, when July’s $251.4 million handle was the lowest monthly tally of that year.
At 7.8%, the hold percentage remained high in July for New Jersey’s sportsbooks, yielding $55.0 million in gross gaming revenue. That was down 22.9% from $71.3 million in June and up 86.0% from $29.6 million in July 2021. In the end, sports betting produced $8.3 million in state and local taxes in July.
Baseball was the top sport in July with $195.4 million in wagering over the course of the month, up from $169.3 million in June. With the NBA Finals in July, basketball was second with $74.8 million, down from $190.9 million in June. Sports listed as “other,” which would include the Olympics, fell to $180.4 million from $234.8 million in June.
“The Olympics didn’t cause a spike in volume, which was held down even more by the significant difference in time zones,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayNJ.com. “The NBA Finals helped the state’s sportsbooks avoid a steeper decline, and the Olympics did offer sportsbooks a chance to reach new customers, which can be valuable down the road.
Online operators generated $529.4 million in wagers in July, or 91.5% of July’s statewide handle. FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet once again topped online operators with $29.5 million in gross revenue, down from $38.1 million in May.
FanDuel was followed in revenue by:
- Resorts Digital/DraftKings/Fox Bet ($10.6 million, down from $13.0 million in June)
- BetMGM/Borgata ($5.9 million, up from $5.6 million)
- Monmouth/William Hill/SugarHouse/TheScore ($2.0 million, even with June)
- Ocean Casino/William Hill/Tipico ($1.5 million, down from $2.3 million)
- Hard Rock/Bet365/Unibet ($925,775, up from $642,297)
- Caesars Sportsbook/888sport/WynnBet ($193,331, down from $243,981)
- Golden Nugget/BetAmerica ($79,223, down from $80,615)
- Tropicana/William Hill ($36,490, up from $92,388)
Retail sportsbooks continued in their recovery, tallying $49.3 million in wagers in July, down from $83.9 million in June. Meadowlands/FanDuel topped all retail sportsbooks in July with $2.2 million in revenue.
“Casual sports bettors engage with sportsbooks less frequently in the heart of the summer,” Danzis said. “But the good news for sportsbooks is that sports betting will soon start to gain momentum as casual bettors return home from summer vacations and begin to turn their focus to football.”
Online casinos and poker
Online casinos and poker rooms continue to side-step any summer slowdown, generating a record $118.7 million in gross gaming revenue in July. That is up 35.7% from $87.5 million in July 2020 and up 10.9% from $107.1 million in May. July shattered the previous revenue high of $113.7 million set in March.
Online casino games alone generated $115.6 million in July, pushing lifetime revenue to $3.0 billion since online gambling launched in November 2013. And growth has been consistent from the beginning. Through seven months of 2021, online casino games and poker have generated $752.9 million in revenue, up 47.6% from $510.2 million through the same period in 2020.
“The bounce back in Atlantic City hasn’t slowed online casinos a bit,” Ramsey said. “Any worry that the return of casino visitation would come at the expense of online revenue should be alleviated now.”
Other highlights from July’s report:
- Borgata/BetMGM led the state with $36.5 million in casino and poker revenue, a record for any licensee over a single month. That topped rival Golden Nugget’s $33.5 million in revenue. Resorts Digital was third with $23.3 million in revenue.
- The revenue from online casinos and poker rooms injected $20.8 million into state and local coffers.
- Online casinos and poker generated $3.8 million in revenue per day over the 31 days in July, up from $3.6 million per day over the 30 days of June.
- Online poker generated $3.1 million in revenue, down 36.2% from $4.8 million in July 2020.
For more information and analysis on regulated sports betting and online gaming, visit PlayNJ.com/news.