August saw a welcome return to strong form for New Jersey’s sportsbooks as they used the return of major sports to achieve a record month for any legal jurisdiction. By generating nearly $670m in August wagers, over $100m more than the state’s previous best, New Jersey surpassed $8bn in sports bets since launching in June 2018, cementing its status as the largest and most dependable US market.
According to Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com, a full schedule of baseball, basketball, and hockey was enough to unleash an avalanche of pent-up demand. He said: “New Jersey’s sports betting market has proven resilient since the pandemic began, drawing more bettor interest since March than any other US jurisdiction. With major sports back on the board, though, the state’s sportsbooks are showing shocking strength.”
Between them, the state’s online and retail sportsbooks collected a record $667.98m in wagers in August, up 112% from $315.1m in July. The handle was up 127.5% from $293.6m in August 2019 and accelerated past the state record $562.7m handle set in November. No state has ever drawn in more in bets in a single month, beating Nevada’s all-jurisdiction record of $614.1m set in November 2019.
With August’s bets, New Jersey sportsbooks have collected $8.4bn in wagers since the industry launched. Gross revenue in August grew 56.7% to $39.5m from $25.2m in August 2019. The “win” yielded $4.9m in state taxes.
The return of major sports was the great catalyst. Basketball attracted $166.2m in bets and baseball added $150m. Sports classified by the state as “other,” which includes hockey, drew $204.9m. And the staggering totals came before any significant football games could be played.
“New Jersey’s robust and mature online market is a clear advantage over every other jurisdiction, including Nevada, which relies more on in-person betting,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ. “A full schedule of major sports in August, generating huge interest, has only highlighted the fact that New Jersey is better positioned to withstand the challenges of the pandemic.”
Online sportsbooks produced 90.1% of August’s handle, down from 93.9% in July. FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet led the market with $17.6m in gross revenue, up from $12.2m in July.
Retail sportsbooks began to steady in August, drawing $66m in bets, up from $19.3m in July. FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands again capitalized on the New York market, easily topping retail books with $3.6m in revenue.
“The top online brands in the state, including FanDuel and DraftKings, are pouring money into advertising, which is a theme that can be seen across most legal jurisdictions,” Gouker said. “The brands are jockeying for market share now that sports have returned. The end result of that fierce competition will benefit bettors as products and promotions improve.”