On June 14th, New Jersey officially started taking bets on professional and collegiate sports after a long legal battle to overturn PASPA. If the early numbers are any indication of what’s to come, New Jersey’s hard work is going to pay off in a big way. According to a report by the state’s Division of Gaming Enforcement, in the first 2 ½ weeks of betting, New Jersey took in a total handle of $16.4 million with a betting revenue of $3.5 million dollars. These numbers exceeded what Delaware did in its first 3 weeks of taking wagers and they could really stir up some excitement with other states still in the exploratory stages of legalized sports betting.
Further Analysis of the NJ Sports Betting Numbers
The numbers released in the DGE’s report are for the period of June 14th to June 30th. Additionally, they’re only for three of the state’s gambling venues as they were the only approved venues to take sports bets during that specific time frame.
NJ Total Handle Overview
The total handle refers to how much money the betting venues took in wagers. For the first 2 ½ weeks of legalized sports betting, New Jersey venues took in a total handle of $16.4 million dollars.
Completed Events: 94% of the total handle ($15.4 million) was from completed wagers, also referred to as the completed handle. A further breakdown shows that 66% of the completed handle ($10.1 million) was wagered on baseball and 14% ($2.2 million) was wagered on soccer.
Future Events: Roughly $1.045 million dollars (6%) of the total handle was wagered on Future Events including the World Cup (48%), the World Series (12%), and the NFL (27%).
Unclaimed Winners: In addition to future events, there’s over $1.2 million in unredeemed wagers.
Sports Betting Revenue
Including the Future Events and Unredeemed Wagers, the DGE reports a $3.45 million dollar betting revenue. However, if you remove those wagers until they’re resolved, the DGE reports a clean and clear $1.2 million earned in sports betting revenue which translates into a 7.8 winning percentage. That’s higher than Nevada’s standard of a 5 to 6 winning percentage.
That means the state of New Jersey is on pace to clear over a ½ million dollars in the first month of sports betting. Keep in mind, this is only for 3 venues as the state has a half dozen more casinos that will eventually start taking sports wagers.
Sports Betting Breakdown by Venues
The following is a breakdown of the sports betting numbers by venue:
MonmouthPark – Officially taking wagers on the first day (June 14th), Monmouth Park racetrack led the way in New Jersey’s early sports betting success with $2.27 million in betting revenue. Joe Asher, CEO of William Hill US which runs the Monmouth Park sports book, made the following comments about this early success according to the Las Vegas Review-Journal:
“While it’s still early, we’re obviously off to a great start. We always knew there was a big appetite for legal sports betting during the years of litigation, and now it is being proven.”
Dennis Drazin, President and CEO of Darby Development LLC, who operates Monmouth Park echoed Asher’s excitement over these early numbers. In an article by ESPN, Drazin made the following comments:
“We are extremely pleased with our numbers. We think they show there is a huge appetite for sports betting. To be generating these numbers early, and it’s not even football season yet, speaks enormously of the potential for when football season comes around. So we’re thrilled by the early numbers.”
Borgata – This Atlantic City casino also began taking sports bets on the first day. Their total betting revenue came in at just under $1 million ($986,831). Marcus Glover, President of the Borgata, also commented to the Las Vegas Review Journal:
“There’s a lot of pent-up demand waiting for the NFL.”
Glover shared similar excitement over the upcoming football season as did Drazin and Asher of Monmouth Park.
OceanResort – Also located in Atlantic City, the Ocean Resort Casino reported a betting revenue of $192,671 dollars in just two days of sports betting operation. The casino officially began taking wagers on June 28th. At roughly $96,300 dollars in betting revenue per day, the Ocean Resort Casino was on pace to earn nearly $1.6 million dollars in betting revenue over the same duration of days as Borgata and Monmouth Park.
How Sports Betting Impacted Gambling Overall
Not only did sports betting generate over $300,000 in tax revenue, but it inspired an increase in gambling across New Jersey’s casinos. The following is a breakdown of the overall gambling data according to the DGE’s report:
Casinos generated $207.4 million in revenue with $153.2 million coming from slot machines and another $54.2 million coming from tables.
Internet Gaming generated $22.6 million in revenue with $20.9 million coming from authorized games and another $1.7 million coming from peer-to-peer.
That’s a grand total of over $230 million in gambling revenue for the month of June 2018. If you add the $3.45 million earned from sports betting revenue then the state took in over $233.5 million in total gaming revenue. That’s roughly $16 million dollars more in revenue (7.3% increase) than the $217.7 million New Jersey earned in total gaming revenue during the month of June 2017.
The Borgata took in over $65.8 million dollars in total gaming revenue for the month of June. That’s the best June in the casino’s history, which dates back to 2003. Additionally, the Borgata took in more than twice as much total gaming revenue than any other New Jersey casino:
Bally’s – $17.5 million
Borgata – $65.8 million
Caesars – $24.7 million
Golden Nugget – $28.9 million
Hard Rock – $4.17 million
Harrah’s – $29.7 million
Ocean Resort – $3.2 million
Resorts – $16.3 million
Tropicana – $34.2 million
Three of the state’s 9 casinos saw an increase over June 2017. The Ocean Resort and Hard Rock were only in operation during the last week of the month. The Golden Nugget saw the biggest increase at 22.5% over June 2017.
What the Future Holds for Sports Betting in New Jersey
According to these early numbers, the future is very bright for sports betting in New Jersey. As we mentioned, if this report was for a full month, the three venues would’ve brought in over $28 million in total handle, over $6 million in betting revenue, and at least a ½ million in tax revenue. Now, imagine how these numbers are going to improve as more NJ casinos begin taking sports wagers.
For example, FanDuel is opening a sports book at the Meadowlands Racetrack and it will begin taking wagers this weekend. The Hard Rock is working on a deal with Bet365 to implement sports betting. Additionally, the Resorts, Golden Nugget and Caesars are also looking into establishing sports books at their casinos.
And last, but not least, I fully expect these numbers to jump significantly during the upcoming football season. We all know how popular football is with sports bettors, and I expect New Jersey to see significant handles, betting revenues, and tax revenues during the 2018 NFL and NCAAF football seasons.
As a longtime freelance writer, avid sports fan, former athlete, and experienced sports bettor, Rick Rockwell has risen up the ranks at GamblingSites.org to become the self-professed "King of the Blog" in his first year with the site. ...
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