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March Madness Delivers Record Revenue, High Handle for NJ Books

NJ sportsbooks saw a nice spike in handle and revenue in March thanks to big volume on the NCAA Tournament.

New Jersey sportsbooks hit a new high with $31.7 million in revenue for the month of March 2019. Fueled by the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the books handled over $372 million.

The oddsmakers saw a big rebound from February, where they made over $12.7 million following a players’ Super Bowl blowout. Guess it’s easier to spread risk out over 60 games than just one.

The handle reflects a nice bounce-back from February, which came in under $320.4 million. Add in the record $385 million for January and the state’s books have already eclipsed a billion dollars in handle for 2019.

Online betting eclipsed 80 percent market share for the month, drawing over $298 million in handle. Retail did about $74.2 in wagers for the month.

FanDuel distancing from competition

New Jersey has seen a battle for top position since the state legalized sports betting last summer. This month, one outlet put up a big number and put competitors on notice.

The Meadowlands led both online ($13.3 million) and retail ($4.3 million) revenue and totaled over half the state’s number for the month. FanDuel runs the Big M’s book in East Rutherford and is responsible for a substantial portion of the online revenue.

DraftKings has done well to keep up online, drawing almost $7.3 million in revenue for the month. However, their location at Resorts Casino in AC did just over $85,000 for the month, second-lowest in the state.

The two DFS powers combined for nearly four-fifths of the state’s total revenue this month. However, this is the largest gap between the top two books since they started offering bets.

Retail rebound

February was a bad month for the AC books, as many lost money for the month thanks to the Super Bowl. March provided a nice bounceback.

Despite the continued lack of NJ rail service, retail locations finished in the back across the board.

The big winner for March down the shore was the Borgata, earning over $752,000 in revenue. The jewel of the marina district also had the biggest gap between retail and online (under $101,000) revenue.

Ocean Resort finished second in retail for AC at over $541,000 for the month. Combined with $1.41 million online, they led all casinos with a total revenue at almost $1.96 million.

The surprise for the month comes at the opposite end of the Boardwalk. Tropicana’s William Hill location broke the $250K plateau this month to finish third among retail outlets.

Adding the nearly $2.65 million from their retail and online books running at Monmouth Racecourse in Central Jersey, William Hill finished third for March with over $4.8 million in total revenue.

Bally’s finished third among AC outlets with $233,000 at their retail locations and over $336,000 online.

Hard Rock has upgraded its retail location since I visited last month during the first weekend of the Big Dance. However, they finished last in March with over $82,000 in combined revenue.

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