New Jersey gamblers wagered a record $445 million on sports across the state in September, making last month the largest monthly total in New Jersey since legal sports betting began in June 2018.
Since the legalization of sports betting in the Garden State, over $4 billion has been wagered in both New Jersey’s online and retail sportsbooks, with Atlantic City casinos recording 16 straight months of gaming revenue increases.
“September marks 16 straight months of increased gaming revenue for Atlantic City casinos,” said Steve Callender, President of the Casino Association of New Jersey. “We continued to see gains in sports betting and tourism numbers this summer, with gaming revenue increasing over 16 percent compared to last summer. We believe this excitement will continue into the fall season as all major sports are in full swing.”
During September, there was a 142% jump in bets placed, up from $183.9 million in September 2018. Those bets yielded a record $37.9 million in revenue, up 59% from $23.9 million in September 2018, and breaking the record $31.7 million set in March which was significantly boosted by the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament.
“New Jersey more than doubled its handle from September 2018, which is staggering growth,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst at PlayNJ.com. “After such an impressive debut, the question now becomes how much room is there to grow? The upward trajectory will continue, it is just a matter of how steep the growth.”
Yesterday’s figures came as the rapidly growing New Jersey sports betting market challenges Nevada for nationwide leadership of the industry. However, it is expected that New Jersey’s September handle will still likely fall short of Nevada’s, which generated $571 million in September 2018.
“Football betting is massive in Nevada, so it won’t be shocking if New Jersey doesn’t overtake the Silver State in September,” Gouker said. “But what September did show us it that football betting is still an overwhelmingly powerful force in New Jersey, and that will help it keep pace.”
The FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet topped the state’s online market, racking up $13.3m in gross revenue. From a retail perspective, the Meadowlands-based FanDuel Sportsbook reported $3.6m in gross revenue for September, up from $2.6 million last month.
Resorts Digital Gaming’s sports betting offering reported revenues of $10.7 million, while the retail sportsbook at the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City added another $340k to the group’s total.
But following the Sept. 13 launch of Fox Bet, Resorts will now be anchored by two of the most recognizable brands. Earlier this month, the parent company of FanDuel agreed to buy Fox Bet’s parent. Though the brands will likely remain separate, the merger will create an online sports betting behemoth.
“The launch of Fox Bet adds another instantly recognizable brand name to New Jersey, and it could eventually challenge the DraftKings and FanDuel brands,” Gouker said. “In the end, though, the merger puts the company that owns both FanDuel and Fox Bet in position to be the big winner.”
Overall, the results for Atlantic City’s nine casinos in September were mixed; while they collectively posted a 4.1% increase in revenues, six of the nine saw their individual monthly gambling revenue decline.
The Ocean Casino resort up 46.9% to $24.2 million; Hard Rock up 20% to $31.8 million, and the Golden Nugget up 12.7% to $32.3 million.
“The emergence of sports betting over the last year has lifted online casinos more than most would have guessed,” said Eric Ramsey, online gambling analyst for PlayNJ.com. “New Jersey online sportsbooks and online casinos have been aggressive in cross-marketing to sports bettors and casino gamblers, which has benefited the bottom line of both.”
Figures have shown that in September, online casino games and poker generated $41.14 million, up 59% from $25.8 million in September 2018, and edging the $41.1 million gained in August.
“Atlantic City had a strong year with an increase in gaming revenue and traffic going through the Pleasantville toll plaza throughout the summer, non-gaming numbers released thus far also indicate a positive uptick,” said Rummy Pandit, Executive Director of The Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming Hospitality & Tourism. “These increases are encouraging indicators that the seaside resort destination revenues remain on an upward trajectory.”
“While operators continue to face strong competition for gaming and leisure customers, the increase in total gaming revenue shows the industry has grown for the betterment of both Atlantic City and New Jersey as a whole,” added James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission.
Over the first nine months of this year, sports betting has generated $190.6 million in revenue for the casinos and tracks, compared with just over $40 million in the same period last year, when sports betting was still in its infancy in New Jersey.
It has generated just over $23 million in state taxes for the first nine months of the year.