New Jersey’s online and retail sportsbooks rejoined the national trend of declining betting volume in June. But a hold of 9.3% pushed revenue at sportsbooks to more than $71 million, a remarkable result that blunted the effects of any summer slowdown, according to PlayNJ, which tracks the state’s regulated online gaming and sports betting market.
“Overall, New Jersey continues to perform far better than every other sports betting market in the U.S.,” said Dustin Gouker, analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayNJ.com. “No market can completely overcome a lack of betting inventory, but New Jersey’s sportsbooks continue to find ways to capitalize on what the sports world is offering, most notably the NBA Playoffs and baseball.”
Online and retail sportsbooks took in $766.9 million in bets in June, according to official data released Friday. That is down 5.8% from $814.3 million in May, but up dramatically from $117.8 million in June 2020, a month still plagued with pandemic-related closures.
June’s action yielded $71.3 million in gross gaming revenue, the most in operator revenue since sportsbooks posted a record $82.6 million in January. $164.4 million in parlay betting, which has a year-long hold of 17.8%, by far the highest of any type of bet, was the main revenue generator in June. Operator revenue was up 34.7% from $52.9 million in May and up exponentially over $12.6 million in June 2020.
All told, June’s betting yielded $10.5 million in state and local taxes.
March brought the highest betting volume in U.S. history, with $4.6 billion in legal bets placed across the U.S. With no football or betting holiday like March Madness, combined U.S. handle fell to $3.7 billion in both April and May. That is a 19.6% drop from March’s high. But New Jersey’s volume has outperformed the rest of the U.S., down 10.8% in June from $859.6 million in March.
New Jersey’s advantage, other than its close proximity to New York, is the popularity of the NBA in the Northeast. June saw $190.9 million in basketball-related bets, easily the most of any sport during the month. Through the first six months of the year, basketball has attracted $1.7 billion in wagering. That represents 34.5% of the $4.8 billion handle from events completed so far this year, the most of any sport by a considerable margin.
“While the sportsbooks in most states have been scouring the sports landscape for opportunities to drive interest, New Jersey’s books have successfully capitalized on the NBA playoffs and baseball,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com.
89.1%, or $734.7 million, of June’s handle came through an online operator. FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet commanded the market lead once again with $38.1 million in gross revenue, up from $29.8 million in May.
FanDuel was followed in revenue by:
- Resorts Digital/DraftKings/Fox Bet ($13.0 million, up from $9.5 million in April)
- BetMGM/Borgata ($5.6 million, up from $4.7 million)
- Ocean Casino/William Hill ($2.3 million, up from $1.3 million)
- Monmouth/William Hill/SugarHouse/TheScore ($2.0 million, up from $1.8 million)
- Hard Rock/Bet365/Unibet ($642,297, up from $508,488)
- Caesars Sportsbook/888sport ($243,981, down from $518,217)
- Golden Nugget/BetAmerica ($80,615, up from -$87,211)
- Tropicana/William Hill ($92,388, down from $48,000)
Meanwhile, retail sportsbooks continued to benefit from loosening restrictions with $83.9 million wagers in June, up from $79.6 million in May. Meadowlands/FanDuel led all retail books with $6.4 million in revenue in June.
The most mature U.S. market other than Nevada, New Jersey should get an infusion of new brands, including a potential Sports Illustrated-branded app, after SI and 888 Holdings announced a deal to create an app that could launch in multiple markets. This as voters get a chance to alter the market with a vote later this year to lift the state’s ban on wagering on in-state college teams.
“It feels like market share in New Jersey is cemented right now,” Ramsey said. “Right now, the state could really benefit from a small shakeup. A new brand with a well-known name like SI could help. So too would unlocking local college sports betting.”
Online casinos and poker
Online casinos and poker rooms extended their run of $100 million-plus revenue months to four, reaching $107.1 million in June. Revenue was up 26.1% from $84.9 million in June 2020, though down from $108.2 million in May.
The huge gains made in online gambling in 2020 has so far withstood the reopening of Atlantic City casinos. Through six months of 2021, online gaming has produced $634.2 million in revenue. That is well on pace to surpass the record $970.3 million in revenue in 2020 and easily reach $1 billion in revenue in a single year for the first time.
Borgata/BetMGM led in June with $34.3 million in casino and poker revenue. That topped rival Golden Nugget, which reached $27.6 million. Resorts Digital, which includes the Fox Bet and DraftKings brands, which has also made significant investments in its online gaming product over the last year, was third with $22.5 million in revenue.
“The positive effect of online sports betting, the race for market share, and the behavioral changes that stemmed from last year’s pandemic-related shutdowns continue to benefit online casinos and poker rooms,” Ramsey said. “$1 billion in annual revenue seems like a certainty now. And more growth could come this fall, even with Atlantic City recovering.”
Other highlights from June’s report:
- Online casinos and poker rooms generated $18.7 million in state and local taxes.
- Online casinos and poker generated $3.6 million per day in the 30 days of June, up from $3.5 million per day in May.
- Online casinos accounted for $104.8 million of June’s revenue, up 28.8% from $81.4 million in June 2020.
- Online poker generated $2.2 million, down 37.5% from $3.5 million in June 2020.
For more information and analysis on regulated sports betting and online gaming, visit PlayNJ.com/news.