David Rebuck set up big expectations about New Jersey sports betting revenue.
On a panel at this week’s Global Gaming Expo (G2E) in Las Vegas, the head of the NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement told attendees they’d be “stunned” at the September report.
That report dropped today, and whether Rebuck exaggerated is in the eye of the beholder.
NJ sportsbooks took $184 million in wagers during the month, holding $24 million in combined revenue. Online/mobile wagering have made a big impact on the marketplace as anticipated, responsible for well more than half of the NJ total handle — $104 million.
All of that’s up from about $95 million in total wagers handled in August, with about $9 million in revenue. Football season and the launch of more online sports betting apps in the state helped drive the growth.
There are now eight physical sportsbooks and eight online sportsbooks/sports betting apps in the state.
And the winner is …
The big winner was clearly DraftKings Sportsbook, which likely had the lion’s share of $8.5 million of revenue generated under the license of Resorts AC. (It includes some revenue from BetStars NJ, which launched in September.)
The Meadowlands and its FanDuel Sportsbook also did well, with $7.2 million in revenue across its retail and online wagering operations. FanDuel was well behind competitor DraftKings in the online and mobile channel, however, with about $2.8 million in revenue.
The Borgata and Monmouth Park also fared pretty well, with both boasting more than $2 million in handle for their retail operations, with their online revenue lagging way behind.
Here is the breakdown of the revenue numbers by license holder:
|Property (Online)||September digital||September retail||August||YTD total|
|Bally's Wild Wild West (Caesars online, 888)||$106,463||$394,046||$267,796||$786,094|
|Golden Nugget (SugarHouse)||$619,030||$499,414||$215,109||$1,333,553|
|Monmouth Park (William Hill)||$70,785||$2,138,097||$898,017||$6,242,345|
|Ocean Resort (William Hill)||$292,081||$999,858||$519,563||$3,040,938|
|Resorts (DraftKings, BetStars)||$8,505,940||$279,492||$3,068,418||$11,853,850|
The state realized $2.6 million in tax revenue from sports betting in the month.
For completed events — not including bets on future events that are unresolved — the state’s sportsbooks held 7.9 percent of wagers:
Mobile is big business
It wasn’t clear how quickly mobile betting would become a big part of the sports betting industry in NJ. Suffice it to say, it’s taking over quickly.
Almost 60 percent of betting took place online and via apps. Anecdotally, operators are saying the vast majority of betting is taking place on their mobile apps.
And keep in mind: while there will not be many more retail sportsbooks opening up in the state, there are still a lot of online sportsbook apps to come.
Football is also big business
Not shockingly, football betting was popular in September. There was about $90 million in handle for “completed events” (not including futures), or almost half of all betting in the state.
Parlay betting is also popular, accounting for about $35 million in wagers, as did baseball. The “other” category that includes events such as golf and soccer did a surprising $22 million in handle.
FanDuel vs. DraftKings, part two
The domination of FanDuel and DraftKings on the online side of things was stark. There was $12.5 million in revenue from online in the state, and $11 million came via DK and FD.
The two companies were first to market in NJ sports betting, which helped, but their lead is even bigger than that variable should account for.
Here is DraftKings’ statement, from Jamie Shea, Head of Digital Sportsbook:
“DraftKings continues to exceed our internal projections for New Jersey. While we’re encouraged by our early performance, with more competitors poised to enter the market, we remain focused on ensuring a consumer experience that’s second to none.”
FanDuel offered this statement after the numbers were released:
“As our retail Sportsbook at the New Meadowlands Racetrack grows and with the launch of the FanDuel Sportsbook app, consumer response continued to exceed our expectations in September. We are encouraged to see strong momentum in New Jersey for the newly formed FanDuel Group.
In September, we brought in over $175 million in handle and entry fees across all products (Sports Betting, DFS, Horse Racing, and Online Casino). We look forward to continuing this growth by delivering the best experience for customers across the state.”
So are the NJ sports betting numbers ‘stunning’?
Industry analysts (ourselves included) expected bigger numbers after Rebuck’s proclamation. The numbers are certainly good, but not ‘off-the-charts’ good.
Given the start of football season — which is typically king in US sports betting — and a lot more online sports betting options in September, many expected more than a doubling of handle.
Overall, it’s still early to be reading too much into the numbers, other than sports betting is clearly popular in NJ and will continue to grow as the market is educated and more sportsbook apps launch.