New Jersey Sports Betting Handle Up, Revenue Down In October

Written By Marco Cerino on November 16, 2018

New Jersey sports betting operators handled a record amount in October but earned far less revenue, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Entertainment reported Thursday. Handle reached $240 million for all the state’s licensed entities but revenue was $11.9 million, half of what was earned in September.

Six months after winning its Supreme Court case to open sports betting to new states, New Jersey has developed a thriving and competitive market. Sports betting has taken off at casinos, race tracks, and online.

So how did the books take more bets but make less money? Simple. They got beat more. The last two weeks of October were very kind to the betting public, as backing favorites led to cashing tickets. The books also struggled during the baseball playoffs, as the top teams cruised through the brackets, culminating in the dominant Boston Red Sox winning the World Series in just five games.

Leading the revenue field for the second straight month was Resorts Casino. Their partnerships with DraftKings and BetStars brought in over $5 million in online betting revenue, well eclipsing their earnings at their retail location on the Atlantic City Boardwalk. That might be changing, as DraftKings will take over the book inside Resorts soon, their first physical location in the state after being the first online-only option.

DraftKings’ Senior Director of Digital Sportsbook Operations, Jamie Shea, had this to say after the state’s monthly release: “Since launching DraftKings Sportsbook in August, we continue to exceed our internal projections. We’ve paid out more than $150 million to winning bettors in New Jersey, and even in an increasingly competitive market, our customer retention rate remains strong. We plan to build on this initial success in the coming months as we unveil exciting new features to our Sportsbook product.”

Online betting strengthened its position as the dominant way to go in NJ. $177 million was bet on sites or apps in October, over 70% of the total handle.

FanDuel Sportsbook remained firmly in second place, totaling $3.5 million in revenue between their site and retail locations at the New Meadowlands Race Track in East Rutherford. Online outearned the physical book by over 2-to-1.

FanDuel released this statement after the revenue report:

“October was a great month. Demand for the FanDuel Sportsbook continues to outpace our expectations with online handle 2.5 times higher than September and continued double digit growth in retail handle. It was an exciting month for bettors who won at a high rate on football and benefitted from our industry-leading pricing and odds boosts. We will continue to offer New Jersey customers the best pricing and promotions in the industry and are looking forward to further growth in NJ and beyond.”

Some casinos in Atlantic City have seen their physical locations outperform their online counterparts. Bally’s reported over $300,000 in revenue at their casinos and just over $120,000 from their skins of Caesar’s Casino and 888Sport. Borgata’s newly expanded sports book did nearly double the revenue of

The best performing retail location in AC continues to be William Hill’s book at Ocean Resort. Hill brought in over $438,000 in October, just outpacing the online section which earned over $385,000. The UK-based oddsmaker added a second location on the other side of the Boardwalk at the Tropicana, which earned just over $15,000 after opening Oct. 25.

Golden Nugget saw the biggest drop in revenue percentage-wise among the reporting entities. After doing over $1.1 million in September, they collected just over $200,000, mostly from their online book with PlaySugarHouse. PlaySugarHouse also earned some of the over $608,000 in online from the Monmouth Race Track, sharing that pot with William Hill, who earned over $606,000 in revenue from the track’s sports book.

Richard Schwartz, president of Rush Street Interactive, shared these thoughts after Thursday’s release:

“The figures released for New Jersey’s sports betting market in October are exciting but not surprising! we continue to grow both our casino and sports betting businesses as the New Jersey market continues to expand. Specifically, we grew our internet sportsbook market share by over 18% in October compared to September. When you consider the state just launched sports betting less than five months ago and nearly 600 million has been bet already, it shows sports fans not only enjoy going to the land based sportsbooks but love the ease of placing their bets online. Internet casinos and sportsbooks revenue figures are going to continue to impress as fans enjoy playing from their mobile devices while watching the games.”

PlaySugarHouse should have an advantage as sports betting crosses the Delaware and starts this month in Pennsylvania. Like New Jersey, the state’s casinos and race tracks will open before any online activity. Rush Street has set a launch date of Dec. 1 for their retail location at their casino in Philadelphia. Some PA-based casinos, like Parx in Bensalem, are also looking to join the NJ market.

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