New Jersey sportsbooks, gaming regulators and the bean counters in the State Government have grins from ear-to-ear as the Garden State posted a record monthly sports betting handle in December 2020. The huge December figure capped off an astonishingly successful 12 months for the New Jersey sports wagering industry. The enormous rally following professional sports return in late July saw the Garden State post an incredible $6 billion in sports bets, beating the 2018 single state annual handle record of traditional gaming powerhouse, Nevada. The Annual Handle Record Falls Despite the Pandemic “A unique set of circumstances, most notably a once-a-century pandemic, sent online sports betting to these previously unfathomable highs,” is how leading NJ sports betting analyst Dustin Gouker said in a statement. “The pandemic has had a diametrically opposite effect on New Jersey’s online and retail markets for both sports betting and casino games. But the growth of online betting was crucial in making up for at least some of the losses in revenue at Atlantic City casinos and certainly continue to steady the entire gaming industry.” Gouker wrote. In December alone, New Jersey’s sportsbooks took in a record $996.3 million in sports wagers. This figure, agonizingly close to becoming the first ever $1 billion betting handle month eclipsed the previous monthly record, set only one month prior of $931 million. Additionally, December was the fifth consecutive month that New Jersey set an all-time record for sports wagers placed following the commencement of professional sports after their pandemic-enforced shutdown. Online sportsbooks and mobile sports betting apps continued their dominance of the overall sports betting handle in December, contributing a record of $929.3 million worth of bets placed online. Those numbers convert to an amazing 93.3% of the $996 300 794 sports wagering handle. The total dollar figure of online sports wagers represents a 6.6% increase over November’s then-record of $872 million worth of online sports bets. NJ Revenues Increase Too; Defying the National Trend Across the United States, legal sports betting state revenue numbers have been underwhelming compared to their record December sports wagering handles. Sportsbooks revenues across the nation have been cut into by the excellent promotional deals and generous welcome offers of the leading online sportsbooks. However, as the nation’s most mature online sports betting market, New Jersey has already been through that introductory phase. New Jersey bucked the reversing revenue trend in December and in fact, reported a revenue-rise for the month. Garden State sportsbooks made $66.4 million in December, representing a significant 31.3% increase from the November revenue result of $50.6 million in revenues. $7.6 million in taxes was paid into the state budget in order to fund education, health, infrastructure and policing and fire protection services. 2020 Result and Spectacular Year-on-Year Increases A close examination of the 2020 numbers reinforces the extent of the growth in the New Jersey legal sports betting industry, despite the limitations presented to it by the global pandemic. For the year, the Garden State’s sportsbooks reported a handle of $6,017,707,104, which qualifies as a 30.4% increase over 2019 when the Garden State recorded a not-to-be sniffed at $4,582,941,931 in wagers. Around 92% of that figure (around $5.53 billion) was wagered online and revenues for the entire year came in at an impressive $398.5 million. When examining how the numbers changed over the 12-month period, enormous growth is evident within New Jersey’s sports betting industry. Looking back 12 13 months ago, December’s 2019’s legal sports betting handle in New Jersey was $557.8 million, while the 2020 December take of $996,300,794 represented a 78.6% year-on-year increase. Sports betting revenues over the same period jumped from $29.4 million in December 2019 to $66.4 million last month – a solid 125.6% spike.