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According to PlayNJ, despite having the highest retail handle in more than two years, New Jersey sportsbooks fell short of the first $1 billion wagering month in the United States in March.
The state’s sportsbooks accepted $859.6 million in wagers in March, the highest monthly handle in the state despite no football being played during the month, and a strong contrast to the $181.9 million handled in the same month in 2020, which was marred by pandemic-related shutdowns.
‘Much-needed bounce back’
Dustin Gouker lead analyst for PlayNJ.com said: “March represents a much-needed bounce back after a somewhat disappointing February.
“It will probably be until football season before the state gets that first $1bn month, but New Jersey’s online market has made a habit of outperforming expectations. Longer term, though, New Jersey’s market faces serious challenges, most notably New York’s expected launch of online sports betting later this year.”
With the addition of March’s handle, New Jersey now has the eighth-highest monthly handle in US sports betting history.
The wagering revenue in March was $60.8 million, up 360.9 percent from $13.2 million in March 2020 and 31.5 percent from $46.2 million in February. The state received $7.7 million in taxes as a result of March’s victory.
Basketball brought in $441.7 million in March, up from $320.3 million in January and $325.8 million in February, thanks to March Madness. Retail sportsbooks took in $79.5 million in bets, the largest volume since January 2019.
Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com said: “The popularity of college basketball is what led to the resurgence of retail sportsbooks, good news for a segment that hasn’t seen much over the last year.
“If New Jersey allowed betting on in-state college teams, the run by Rutgers could have given them an additional boost. Regardless, it was an excellent month for sportsbooks.”
In March, income from online casino games and poker totaled $113.7 million, a new high for the United States.
Revenue increased by $64.8 million in March of last year, surpassing the previous high of $103.8 million set in January. The state received $17.1 million in taxes as a result.
Borgata’s $36.2 million in March sales was the highest in years, and it was the first time in years that the Golden Nugget, which delivered $31.8 million in March, was not the market leader.
Ramsey continued: “Borgata’s increasing focus on and success in the online market shows how the pandemic changed the dynamic for online casinos. Even when we get past this pandemic, I don’t think gamblers will log into online casinos any less. Instead, this year-long surge points to a long-lasting market shift.”