Author: Joe Kizlauskas
Last Updated: 17th February 2021
According to analysts for PlayNJ, New Jersey became the first state in history to report a legal sports betting handle of over $900 m in November, putting the first $1 billion month clearly in its sights.
In November, sportsbooks in the Garden State produced $931m in wagers, smashing the previous $803.1m record set in October and marking the fourth consecutive month the state has set an all-jurisdiction handling record. The November bets produced $6.2 million in state taxes on $50.6 million in sales, falling short of the record of gross operator revenue of $58.5 million set only last month.
Dustin Gouker, PlayNJ.com’s lead analyst, commented: “Even if New Jersey can’t quite reach $1bn in a month before the end of the NFL season, the mere possibility so soon after the industry launched in 2018 would have been close to inconceivable until just a few months ago.
“The restart of the US sports world after the shutdowns of spring and early summer has fuelled online sports betting in ways that would have been hard to predict before this year.”
For what is now the nation’s largest sports betting industry, the year-on-year growth has been striking. The handle of November rose 65.6 percent in November 2019 from $562.7m, which was then a state high. In November 2019, revenue was 53.7 percent higher than $32.9m.
The growth of last month came with a sports timetable that was lighter than a normal November. The NFL remained the biggest draw, allowing football to attract bets of a record $433.3 million up from $278.9 million in October. But only a sliver of the college basketball season was played, and the NHL and NBA laid dormant, in what is usually one of the busiest months of sports betting.
The second largest share of November’s handling of finished events at $221.5 m actually belonged to sports listed as other than football, basketball or baseball. And that’s without the falling of a single puck in the NHL.
Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com said: “When the traditional major betting sports went quiet, most of the major online sportsbooks were really good at engaging their customers with an array of offerings, from golf to table tennis.
“What is surprising is that those efforts continue to pay dividends even as the major sports have returned.”
Online betting produced 93.6 percent, or $872.1m, of the overall handle of the state, which grew from 92.6 percent in October. FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet has consistently topped online operators with gross sales of $21.2m up from $29.3m in October.
Retail sportsbooks, which managed to stay open with limitations, made bets of $59.5 million up from $59.2 million in October. With $3.6m in sales, Meadowlands/FanDuel topped retail books.
“As good as the online market has been, Atlantic City has been hit hard this year by the pandemic,” Gouker said. “The state’s growth overall over the last few months is almost entirely the product of online sportsbooks. That will continue for the foreseeable future.”