New Jersey’s sportsbooks hit $1.1bn in March wagers thanks to the state’s interest in the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament, despite the continued rise of the neighboring state New York, according to PlayNJ.
The Garden State’s online casinos set new records in revenue during the month as well with more than $140m wagered in March.
“In a changing landscape, New Jersey’s sportsbooks were still able to post their best handle in a month without football,” commented David Danzis, an analyst for PlayNJ.com.
“Increased competition from New Jersey’s neighbors is inevitably going to affect the state’s sportsbooks, but it continues only to be at the margins. The state’s own bettors have proven a powerful force on their own.”
According to official data, New Jersey’s sportsbooks accepted $1.1bn in March bets, up 30.7% year-over-year from March 2021’s $859.6m, and a 13.7% improvement from February’s $985.6m. Online sportsbooks attracted $1.04bn in wagers (92.9%) while retail sportsbooks saw $79.5m in bets.
Since launching in 2018, New Jersey sportsbooks have taken $25.6bn in wagers. Even with more states around them regulating sports betting, wagering in the Garden State has continued to rise, growing by 40.7% and 32.7% YoY in January and February respectively.
Sportsbooks won $66.4m in revenue from March’s bets, up 9.5% YoY (March 2021: $60.8m) and up 115.1% from February’s $30.9m. The month’s win yielded $9.1m in state and local taxes. Retail sportsbooks won $5.2m.
The NCAA Tournament was the main draw during the month, as basketball betting saw $667.3m in wagers, a 51.1% improvement YoY (March 2021: $441.7m), and a 32.6% rise on February’s $503.1m.
However, the Garden State could have taken even more wagers if it wasn’t for its ban on wagering on in-state college teams. St Peter went on a historic run to March Madness’ Elite Eight, but wagers on the team had to be placed in neighboring New York, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania due to the state’s in-state college team wagering ban.
Danzis added: “With St Peter’s off the boards, a small chunk of in-state wagering flowed out of New Jersey and into neighboring states. That hasn’t happened much in the history of New Jersey’s gaming industry. But it shows that decisions made in the past can affect the state’s sportsbooks now that they find themselves in a more competitive environment.”
Per online operator, FanDuel/PointsBet/SuperBook led the way with $33.7m in gross revenue (February $14.0m) followed by DraftKings/Fox Bet/Resorts with $8.6m. In retail, Meadowlands/FanDuel regained its top spot with $3.2m in revenue.
Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayNJ.com, stated: “Traditionally, the popularity of the NBA has helped New Jersey sportsbooks fare well during the slower season of sports betting that begins in April.
“But there are a lot of basketball fans in New York that no longer have to cross state lines, so the seasonality of sports betting could be a bit more pronounced this year.”
Online casinos and poker hit record heights in March, crossing the $140m threshold for the first time with $140.7m in online gambling revenue, up 23.7% YoY (March 2021: $113.7m) and an 8.2% improvement on February’s $130.0m.
Online casino games produced $138.1m in revenue, up 24.5% YoY (March 2021: $111.0m) while online poker yielded $2.5m in revenue, down 6.3% YoY (March 2021: $2.7m).
$4.5m in daily revenue was generated by online casinos and poker during the 31 days of the month, down from $4.6m per day in February, which only had 28 days. March’s revenue produced $24.6m in state and local taxes.
Per operator, Borgata led the way, generating a record $41.4m in revenue, followed by Golden Nugget ($38.3m), and Resorts Atlantic City ($30.8m).
“One of the most remarkable changes over the last two years is just how competitive the online market has gotten,” concluded Danzis.
“It was just a couple of years ago when the Golden Nugget license was easily the most dominant player in the online market. Since then, operators have increased attention on the segment, which has helped online casinos capture an increasing share of the overall gaming portfolio in New Jersey.”