Martin Green •
US Sports Betting Update – New Jersey Shatters Its Own Monthly Sports Betting Record
New Jersey Shatters Its Own Monthly Sports Betting Record
New Jersey sportsbooks set a new national record by taking $1.3 billion worth of wagers during October. That shattered the existing record monthly handle of $1.01 billion, which was set in the Garden State in September. October represented the first full month of NFL action this season, and football wagers drove the record-breaking performance.
Bettors in New Jersey wagered $499 million on football in October. However, the sportsbooks held just 2.4% of that handle, which equates to $11.8 million in revenue. They made most of their money on parlays. Sports fans spent $317 million on parlays last month, and the sportsbooks held 15%, which earned them $47.5 million.
That highlights just how difficult it is to place successful parlays, as the house edge increases with every leg you add. Many of the parlays in October would have been placed on football, but bettors placing single-game wagers enjoyed a far stronger month.
The “other sports” category, which includes hockey, soccer, tennis, golf, UFC and boxing, reached $205 million in wagers and $9.84 million in revenue. Bettors wagered $156.9 million on basketball and $127 million on baseball. The hold on basketball was just 2.5%, but the books held onto 6.7% of the baseball handle as the Atlanta Braves clinched the World Series.
Tax Revenue Breaks Through $10m Barrier
Sports betting revenue also reached a record of $84.2 million in New Jersey last month, which amounts to an 6.5% hold. As previously mentioned, that was largely driven by parlays. It ensured that the state earned $10.6 million in tax revenue, its highest ever monthly tally from the sports betting industry.
The Meadowlands – which hosts FanDuel, PointsBet and SuperBook on its license – led the way with $44.1 million in sports betting revenue. FanDuel is the market leader in the state, but PointsBet is also very popular thanks to its reduced juice NFL sides and its unique PointsBetting markets. Resorts Digital, which hosts DraftKings, FOX Bet and its eponymous online sportsbook, came in second with $15.9 million in revenue.
The sports betting industry has become a useful cash cow for the state. However, the impending launch of online sports betting in neighboring New York could jeopardize that. Senators in the Empire State believe that at least 30% of the bets placed in New Jersey are made by New Yorkers. They hope to keep that money in the state when nine legal online sportsbooks launch in New York in January 2022.
Operators in New Jersey earned $448 million in total gambling revenue during October. Online casino gaming accounted for $127 million of that total, up 36% year-on-year. In-person casino winnings were $237 million in October, nearly 28% higher than a year ago, led by Borgata. “Atlantic City has effectively extended its momentum from the summer into the fall season,” said James Plousis, chairman of the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. “Five casino-hotels surpassed their brick and mortar results from October 2019 and the other four were within striking distance. All of the operators have the tools that are needed to successfully compete in this market.”
A New Record Handle in Pennsylvania
Pennsylvania sportsbooks also enjoyed their busiest month of all time. The Keystone State handle hit $776.3 million in October, which was a 26.2% increase on the record of $615.3 million set in January 2021. There were five full weekends last month, which helped drive the sharp increase in football betting.
However, the state did not manage to set a new revenue record. The hold was just 5.4%, meaning the gross revenue dipped to $42.3 million. Operators in Pennsylvania must pay a 36% tax on revenue, but they are permitted to deduct promotional costs before the remaining revenue is taxed. They handed out $18.7 million in promotional credits in October, which brought taxable revenue down to $23.5 million. The state therefore earned $8.5 million in taxes.
Online sports wagers accounted for 92% of the total market. FanDuel extended its lead at the top after increasing its market share by 3.1%. It handled $270.8 million in Pennsylvania during October, which was 37.9% of the online total. Revenue was $19.3 million, which equates to a 7.1% hold. DraftKings was second, with a handle of $201.7 million and $9.6 million in revenue. Barstool Sportsbook was a distant third, followed by BetMGM, BetRivers, FOX Bet, Parx, SugarHouse, Unibet, TwinSpires, Caesars, Betway, and Wind Creek.
Pennsylvania has a larger population and GDP than New Jersey, but it does not benefit from an influx of New Yorkers each month. It is also a slightly less competitive market, as the high licensing fees and revenue tax rate have deterred some operators from launching. It currently has the second largest handle in the country for October, but it is likely to lose that place when Nevada reports its figures.
Eleven States Join the Record-Breaking Party
Twelve states have already reported record-breaking figures for October: New Jersey, Pennsylvania, Michigan Indiana, Tennessee, Iowa, Mississippi, West Virginia, Oregon and New York. Washington DC also set a new record. New York’s retail sportsbooks handled $25.6 million, but that figure will soar when online wagering begins. Of the 13 jurisdictions that have reported their October figures thus far, only Montana missed out on a new record.
Indiana was sitting in third place, with a handle of $461.1 million, but Michigan exceeded that tally by reporting a handle of $497.6 million for October. However, it also failed to set a new revenue record, as gross revenue stood at $26.9 million. Operators in Michigan handed out $19.6 million in promos last month. The state took its tax on the remaining revenue of $7.3 million, resulting in just $775,077 in taxes, according to the Michigan Gaming Control Board.
FanDuel reclaimed the lead in Michigan, where it captured 26.8% of the handle. DraftKings’ share fell to 26%. FanDuel also held $10.3 million, compared to just $2.9 million for DraftKings. BetMGM was a close third in Michigan, and then there was a large gap to Barstool Sportsbook in fourth place, followed by Caesars, PointsBet, FOX Bet, BetRivers, TwinSpires, WynnBET, Parx, FireKeepers, Golden Nugget, and Four Winds.