Oscars Betting A Flop? NJ Sports Betting Revenue Drops In February

Written By Marco Cerino on March 13, 2019 - Last Updated on March 17, 2019

New Jersey sportsbooks overcame underwhelming numbers from the Super Bowl and Oscars to draw over $12.7 million in revenue in February on $320 million handle. The numbers were released Wednesday by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Numbers for February were down from a record-high $385 million in handle for January and $18.8 million in revenue. The books lost a reported $4.5 million on the Super Bowl alone after handling under $35 million in bets. Bettors who got in early moved the lines for the Patriots, and the line sitting at -2.5 couldn’t draw countering bets and limit the books’ exposure. New England won 13-3.

FanDuel again won the battle of the books, drawing a combined $8 million in revenue for the month. Over $6.5 million of that came from the online book, while about $1.5 million came from the retail book at the Meadowlands Race Track.

A spokeperson for FanDuel Sportsbook released this statement: “We are delighted to have extended our position as the number one sportsbook in New Jersey. FanDuel Sportsbook’s first Super Bowl vastly exceeded our expectations and, despite the people’s choice New England Patriots winning, the FanDuel Sportsbook still saw record online revenues in the month. We continued to bring our customers best-in-class promotions and introduced new self-service betting kiosks at our retail location at the New Meadowlands Racetrack. We’re looking forward to the inaugural March Madness with legal sports betting in New Jersey.”

FanDuel opened its first book in Pennsylvania on Wednesday, launching operations at Valley Forge Casino.

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Retail fails

Another month, another extension of the handle gap between online and in-person. Internet betting took in $258.9 million in handle for February, while retail did just $61.5 million. Basketball was the lead sport, taking in over $152 million in handle for the month.

For the first month, multiple books saw significant losses on the retail and a few didn’t break even overall. Six Atlantic City casinos and Monmouth Park all lost money at their brick-and-mortar books. Four casinos lost money overall, led by Borgata which finished over $750,000 under for the month. The winter weather, compounded by the lack of rail service to the shore city, limits the business at the casinos.

Resorts finished second overall, thanks to its partnership with DraftKings Sportsbook. Their online arm, which combines DraftKings, BetStars, and the book in its online casino, combined for over $3.7 million in handle. The DraftKings retail book on the AC Boardwalk did over $142,000 in revenue, best in the city. The only other casino location to finish in the black was at the Hard Rock Casino, which did over $103,000 in its first full month of operation, while drawing just under $19,000 online.

Ocean Resorts finished second in Atlantic City in revenue, as its online book through William Hill took in over $1.02 million online, countering the $280k-plus it lost at the Boardwalk location. William Hill and PlaySugarHouse combined for $1.27 million in online revenue for Monmouth Park, who lost over $500,000 at the race course books.

Did Oscars betting flop?

The state took a risk and let the books offer single-event betting on the Academy Awards, the first state to allow such options. Some thought it could help ratings and bring in new customers to the betting operations.

Like the Super Bowl, the numbers weren’t great. The books took in just over $747,000 on the various categories, taking in under $180,000 in revenue. The win percentage of 24.4% was the best among all eligible categories for the month.

Basketball has done well to take over the top spot for handle from football. March could see the state eclipse the January handle record with college basketball’s postseason. Can the retail locations bounce back, even with the AC train still not running?

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