New Jersey’s sportsbooks suffered a dip in handle in April compared to the previous month, but the state made firm gains compared to the wagering total recorded in the same period last year.
According to PlayNJ, alongside the year-over-year gains in sports betting, the Garden State also saw its online casinos perform well during the month.
New Jersey’s sportsbooks recorded a handle of $926.9bn in April bets, a 23.9% increase YoY (April 2021: $746.8m), but a 17.3% decrease on March’s $1.1bn.
The month’s handle was the lowest monthly wagering total since August 2021 ($664.7m), and while YoY growth remained significant, April was the first month in 2022 that saw a YoY gain of less than 31%.
From April’s handle, operators earned $50.3m in revenue, an 8.2% drop YoY (April 2021: $54.7m), as well as a 24.2% decline on the previous month’s $66.4m. The month’s revenue yielded $7.1m in state and local taxes.
“So far the national economic headwinds do not appear to be taking a significant bite out of the gaming industry,” commented David Danzis, an analyst for PlayNJ.com.
“But it is entirely possible that as everyday costs increase, people will begin to curtail their betting. Time will tell, but it is a concern for the industry.”
The Garden State’s online sportsbooks recorded $863.1bn in April wagers, 93.1% of the month’s handle, earning $46.3m in revenue. The state’s retail sportsbooks reported $63.8m in handle and $4m in revenue.
FanDuel/PointsBet/SuperBook led the online market with $29.2m in GGR (March: $33.7m), followed by DraftKings/Fox Bet with $7.4m in GGR. Meadowlands/FanDuel topped the retail market with $4.1m in revenue.
“While volume is expected to remain relatively low over the summer months, sportsbooks have been successful over the years in generating significant revenue with baseball parlays and major golf tournaments,” noted Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayNJ.com.
“Those bets have less favorable odds for bettors than straight wagers, and help ensure operators remain profitable.”
With NCAA March Madness Final Four and NBA Playoffs action taking place, it comes as no surprise that basketball was the most popular sport wagered on during April.
The sport generated $323.4m in straight wagers, up 83.6% YoY (April 2021: $176.2m), and has produced $2bn in wagers since the start of the year. Baseball saw $177.9m in wagers, up from April 2021’s $154.9m.
“The popularity of the NBA has always buffered the state from a more dramatic spring slowdown,” added Danzis.
“Having the Sixers and Nets in the early rounds of the NBA Playoffs this year certainly doesn’t hurt either. The market will continue to cool in the coming months as NBA games become less frequent and baseball and other sports such as golf take center stage.”
New Jersey’s online casinos and poker rooms produced $136.9m in April revenue, which is the state’s third-best monthly revenue record behind only March’s $140.7m and January’s $137.8m.
The month’s revenue was also up 27% YoY (April 2021: $107.7m), generating $20.5m in state taxes and fees. Over the 30 days in April, revenue stood at $4.6m per day, surpassing March’s record of $4.5m per day.
Online casino games produced $134.6m in GGR, up 27.8% YoY (April 2021: $105.3m), while online poker generated $2.3m in GGR, down 6.3% from the previous month’s $2.4m.
Per operator, Borgata led the way with $39.9m in revenue, followed by Golden Nugget ($38.1m), and Resorts Atlantic City ($29.1m).
“We keep looking for the ceiling in the online market, but New Jersey still hasn’t hit it,” Ramsey said.
“With inflation eating away at discretionary income, though, it wouldn’t be surprising to finally see a leveling off in the coming months after nearly 10 years of constant growth. But online gaming could also benefit if customers choose to stay home rather than travel to an Atlantic City casino.”