NJ sports betting handle nears $100 million for August
Legal Sports Report

New Jersey Sports Betting Generates Nearly $100 Million In August Wagers

NJ sports betting revenue

Sports bettors in New Jersey placed more than $95 million in total wagers during August across retail and online channels. Of that amount, casinos and racetracks held about $9.2 million in revenue.

Those numbers come from the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement, which released its monthly report on Wednesday.

It’s the third revenue update since NJ sports betting went live in June, and the first with mobile and online sports wagering factored in. That segment performed quite well, as expected, generating more than $21 million in handle.

NJ sports betting revenue at a glance

The previous report from July included data from five retail sportsbooks, up from three in June. This month, the count swelled to eight with the additions of betting facilities at Golden NuggetHarrah’s, and Resorts.

The August report features that group, with the three newcomers joining midway through the month. Here’s the land-based revenue:

PropertyAugustJulyYTD
Totals:$6,059,662$3,845,880$13,364,210
Bally's Wild Wild West$267,796$17,788$285,585
Borgata$805,526$562,830$2,355,187
Golden Nugget$111,785N/A$111,785
Harrah's$298,521N/A$298,521
Meadowlands$3,060,367$1,372,216$4,432,583
Monmouth Park$898,017$856,280$4,033,463
Ocean Resort$519,563$1,036,766$1,748,999
Resorts$98,087N/A$98,087

Reminder: Revenue is what’s left after sportsbooks pay out the winning tickets — the gross profit. Handle refers to the total amount of all wagers.

Handle is not itemized by operator, but the DGE did provide a total for August: $95,634,048. Adding in the previous months, rolling handle since launch comes to nearly $158 million.

NJ reporting is different than Nevada sports betting in that outstanding tickets are included as revenue in the current month. The DGE does separate those bets, though, revealing that sportsbooks have held 5 percent of settled wagers since launch — about on par with Nevada’s historical average.

The state collects 8.5 percent of land-based revenue in taxes.

NJ online sports betting kicks in

August was also the month in which online and mobile sportsbooks began coming to market in NJ.

DraftKings Sportsbook was the first, soft-launching its web/mobile client on the first day of the month. By the end of the reporting period, two competing platforms were up and running. PlayMGM Sportsbook (Aug. 22) and SugarHouse Sportsbook (Aug. 23) went live at the tail end of the month, so their data includes just a few days of betting.

Here’s the total August revenue for those three operators:

  • DraftKings Sportsbook: $2,970,331
  • playMGM Sportsbook: $49,626
  • SugarHouse Sportsbook: $103,324

Per-day revenue might be a better way to compare apples to apples for the operators with partial-month revenue:

  • DraftKings Sportsbook: $95,817 per day
  • playMGM Sportsbook: $4,962 per day
  • SugarHouse Sportsbook: $11,480 per day

NJ online sports betting is taxed at a rate of 13 percent.

Quick takeaways

NJ sports betting has been live for nearly three months, enough time that we’ve begun to get a feel for how the market will shake out.

First of all, it’s clear that location is of the utmost importance for retail sportsbooks.

The Meadowlands is in the catbird seat in that regard, occupying an enviable patch of land just across the river from New York City. The FanDuel Sportsbook on property generated more than $3 million in August revenue, representing nearly a third of the NJ total. Expect traffic to become even more dense as football season goes on, particularly on game days across the parking lot at MetLife Stadium.

The online/mobile version of FanDuel Sportsbook launched on Sept. 1, so its performance will be included in the next report, too.

Speaking of which, it’s also immediately clear that the NJ industry will be heavily reliant on betting conducted outside of casino walls.

Online and mobile betting were responsible for more than a third of the total revenue for August despite having just one option for most of the month. DraftKings Sportsbook reaped the early-bird benefits with its Aug. 1 launch, generating the vast majority of that revenue by itself.

The numbers look good in a vacuum, but September will provide the true measuring stick for NJ sports betting.

What to expect in September

You should expect those numbers to grow substantially next month.

For starters, a few additional online/mobile platforms have gotten themselves up and running. Four more have already launched in September — 888 Sportsbook, Caesars Sportsbook, FanDuel Sportsbook, and William Hill — and there’s a line forming behind them. Several large European operators have NJ platform deals waiting for them, including the likes of bet365 and BetStars.

On the retail side, Hard Rock AC should be announcing its plans in the immediate future. When the property opened in June, CEO Jim Allen said it would be about two months until details were made public. It’s been closer to three now, and Allen and company are still mum on sports betting.

Tropicana will likely have a sportsbook up and running sometime this year, too, though its timeline is similarly undetermined. The Trop will use William Hill to power its operations, possibly targeting a late-fall rollout.

Most notably, though, September marks the start of peak season for US sports and sports betting. College and professional football have already kicked off, and the NBA and NHL seasons arrive soon. Much of the August revenue can be attributed to preseason NFL games, including heavy action on the hometown Jets and Giants.

The sports calendar itself should drive significant market growth, starting now and continuing through the end of the year.

Eric Ramsey
- Eric is a reporter and writer covering regulated US gambling, sports betting, and DFS. He comes from a poker background, formerly on staff at PokerNews and the World Poker Tour.