New Jersey’s sportsbooks took more than $1bn in wagers for the fourth consecutive month in December, while online casinos broke its revenue record with $133m, according to PlayNJ, which tracks gaming developments in the state.
December’s numbers capped off a special 2021 for both New Jersey sportsbooks and online casinos. However, the Garden State’s status as the largest online sports betting market in the US may be under threat following the launch of mobile sports betting in neighboring state New York in January.
David Danzis, an analyst for PlayNJ.com, commented: “It’s fitting that New Jersey’s sportsbooks ended the year on a near-record pace, but December could mark the last billion-dollar month in New Jersey for the foreseeable future.
“The state’s sportsbooks have bucked expectations before, and the operators will make adjustments to ensure that New Jersey remains among the top markets in the US.”
According to official reporting, New Jersey’s sportsbooks handled $1.23bn in bets in December, falling just short of October’s record of $1.30bn, but a 23.4% improvement year-over-year compared to December 2020’s $996.3m.
December was the Garden State sportsbook’s fourth consecutive month of achieving over $1bn in wagers, although this run may soon be brought to a halt following the launch of the New York market just over a week ago.
During the month, sportsbooks won $59m in gross revenue, down 11.1% YoY (December 2020: $66.4m), generating $8.9m in state and local taxes. Football attracted the most wagers with $398.8m, followed by Basketball with $384.4m.
Danzis added: “A 17th game added to the NFL schedule and basketball’s continuing popularity helped keep action brisk throughout the month. With nearly $4bn in wagers made, the last four months have been a fantastic finish to 2021.”
In 2021, New Jersey’s sportsbooks produced: $10.9bn in wagers, the most of any US state and up 81.8% on the previous year; $815.8m in gross revenue, a 104.7% improvement YoY; and $122m in state and local taxes, a 104.7% increase YoY.
“2021 will be remembered as the year that New Jersey was the unrivaled leader of the U.S. market, even if that status proves to be short-lived,” stated Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayNJ.com.
“New York will almost certainly assume the crown soon, while New Jersey will potentially slip behind Nevada and others in the coming year. Still, sports betting will remain a powerful revenue generator for the state.”
Online sportsbooks accounted for $1.1bn in wagers, 90.3% of the state’s handle, with FanDuel/PointsBet/SuperBook leading the way with $27.6m in gross revenue (November: $59m). Retail sportsbooks attracted $119.3m (November; $114m) with Meadowlands/FanDuel at the top with $2.4m in revenue.
New Jersey’s online casinos and poker rooms earned a record $133.2m in revenue in December, smashing October’s watermark of $127m, and up 25.3% YoY (December 2020: $99.5m).
2021 saw the Garden State’s online casinos generate: $1.4bn in gross revenue, up 40.9% YoY; $1.3bn in revenue, a 43.5% improvement YoY; and $239.2m in state and local taxes, a 40.9% increase YoY.
Ramsey concluded: “The expansion of online casino revenue was perhaps the best surprise of 2021. Not only did operators hold onto the gains made in 2020, they managed to build on them.
“The market may be nearing its ceiling. But online casinos shouldn’t be impacted much by New York’s online sports betting product, which will only add to their importance for the state’s gaming industry in 2022.”