After several months of amazing growth for the betting handle in New Jersey sportsbooks dating back to August 2020, the Garden State’s betting handle came back down-to-earth in February 2021. While it is still predicted that New Jersey will become the first U.S. State to record $1 billion of betting handle in a single calendar month sometime in 2021, with the end of the NFL season, New Jersey’s handle fell back by roughly 20% in February.
Bettors’ sports wagering jumped 50.2% year-on-year to $743 million (anchored by an impressive $117.4 million bet on the Super Bowl alone), however, this was the lowest monthly handle reported since August 2020, even taking into account betting on the National Football League’s showpiece event. In the Garden State in February, $689.3 million was wagered online and $53.7 million at NJ land-based sportsbooks. The numbers are a significant drop on the January 2021 figures of $958.7 million.
The silver livening is that that the February NJ sports wagering handle dip will be a short-lived one with the NCAAB March Madness tournament just around the corner. Traditionally, March Madness is the second-largest single sports betting of the year. This year, industry experts and analysts are expecting interest and betting action on the 2021 March Madness version to be bigger than ever, given that the 2020 March Madness tournament was cancelled due to the global pandemic.
Another positive – sports betting revenue through the roof year-on-year
As for sports betting revenue, the year-on-year numbers were up an astonishing 171.8% for February 2021 as the Garden State’s sportsbooks won an impressive $46.2 million.
Still leading the revenue categories for New Jersey’s online sportsbooks are FanDuel and PointsBet at Meadowlands remaining way out in front as the Garden State market leaders in February, posting $27.2 million in revenue, up a booming 147.3% on the same month last year. Resorts Digital, Fox Bet and DraftKings followed next with $7.7 million of nett revenue, then followed by the Borgata Online Sportsbook on an even $5 million.
According to leading New Jersey sports wagering industry analyst, Dustin Gouker;
“FanDuel and DraftKings have dominated the market since launch, and there really hasn’t been a major change in that dynamic since 2018. BetMGM is making in-roads in other states, including Michigan, but it will take a lot for it to significantly eat into the New Jersey market share of the nation’s two largest operators”, he said.
Other New Jersey sportsbooks over the $1 million mark were; Monmouth Park — with all partners, SugarHouse Sports, William Hill and theScore Bet — combining for $2.6 million; Ocean Casino (with William Hill and Tipico online sportsbooks) at $2.2 million combined; and Hard Rock (together with Unibet and Bet365 Online Sportsbooks) at $1.1 million.
While the growth in sports betting revenue was huge, it was dwarfed in comparison to the profitability of the Garden State’s online casino industry. Online casino revenue reached $93.8 million, which was up 80.4% from the $52 million of revenue taken in February 2020, however, a slight dip on 9.6% on January’s record take of $103.8 million.
Golden Nugget Online Casino, an online spin-off from Tilman Fertitta’s successful bricks-and-mortar casino business, was the most successful online casino in the Garden State coming up with $27.9 million in revenue. The Golden Nugget just edged out Borgata Online Casino, which raked in $25.7 million.
Through the first two completed months of 2021, total gaming revenue is up to $634.4 million in comparison to $587.8 million in 2020. Live casino revenue is down 24.8% and online casino revenue is up 84.5% over the same timeframe, reflecting the impact of the global pandemic.