N.J. hits the jackpot: State scores big in first month of sports betting

By Emily Bader
New Jersey | Aug 15, 2018 at 12:02 pm

New Jersey’s first month of sports betting was a good gamble, with wagers increasing dramatically from June and almost doubling the number of open sportsbooks to five.

“The underlying data points are impressive, too,” Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com, said. “And it’s important to remember that this is the industry’s infancy. A mature, fully established New Jersey sports betting market could field billions of dollars in annual wagers.”

In July, the state’s sportsbooks generated approximately $3.8 million in revenue on $40.7 million wagers, according to reporting released by the Department of Gaming Enforcement on Tuesday. These numbers are up from the $3.5 million generated in June on $16.4 million in completed wagers.

FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack — which opened July 14 — reported $1.35 million of gross revenue in July and generates $43,790 per day.

“Revenue growth slowed at the existing books, but we expect it to hasten once football begins later this month,” Gouker said. “August will be fun to watch, as it will give us our first full month-over-month comparisons.”

More books are awaiting their turn, too.

Wild Wild West Casino opened July 30, Harrah’s Atlantic City opened Aug. 1 and Resorts AC is expected to open in the coming days. This month, DraftKings became the first operational online sportsbook.

“By the end of the year, New Jersey should have perhaps as many as a dozen online sportsbooks,” Gouker said.

New Jersey’s legal online gambling generated the most it has ever, with a record $25.9 million in July, up 14.2 percent from $22.7 million in June and 25.8 percent from $20.6 million in July of last year.

Atlantic City casinos cracked 30,000 employees for the first time since 2014, proving again that online gambling hasn’t cannibalized New Jersey’s land-based casinos,” said Steve Ruddock, lead online gambling analyst for PlayNJ.com. “Add more than $155 million in additional tax revenue that online gambling has generated since 2013, and online gambling has proven to be an unqualified success.”

Emily Bader | ebader@roi-nj.com | emilybader