N.J. online casinos hit $2B milestone as sportsbooks reach $315M month

    (File photo)

    New Jersey’s online casinos and sportsbooks both hit major milestones this month, as casinos reopened and the NBA and baseball helped draw more bets and normalize the market, according to PlayNJ.com.

    “It will take some time before Atlantic City rebounds from the closures of the last few months, but we have at least turned a corner in the market with the return of the retail sector,” Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com, said. “However, online casinos and sportsbooks should drive the overall market as long as the pandemic continues. A big month for both in July only emphasizes that reality.”

    With only a week of baseball season and two days of NBA play, the state’s sportsbooks took in $315.1 million in bets in July, up 91% from the $165 million in June, according to official Division of Gaming Enforcement reporting released Monday. This is the largest handle since February ($494.8 million) and is up 25.3% from last year’s $251.4 million.

    Online casinos in July passed $2 billion in lifetime revenue and $300 million in lifetime taxes. July’s $87.5 million in online revenue was up 122.5% from July 2019’s $39.3 million and topped May’s record of $85.9 million. This resulted in $13.1 million in state and local taxes.

    “$2 billion in revenue and $300 million in taxes show just how vital online casinos have become for New Jersey,” Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com, said. “Especially after the last few months, it’s a sobering thought to imagine where the state’s gaming industry would be without online gambling.”

    Even with the increase in bets this month, sportsbooks were still down by $150 million from what PlayNJ considers a “typical June” of $465 million. However, online sportsbooks took in 93.9% of July’s handle. In all, PlayNJ estimated the shutdown in relation to COVID-19 has cost the state nearly $1.6 million in bets.

    Here’s a breakdown of online revenue:

    • FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet ($12.2 million, up from $6.2 million in July);
    • Resorts Digital/DraftKings/Fox Bet ($8.2 million, up from $3.9 million in June);
    • BetMGM/Borgata ($2.3 million, up from $881,435);
    • Monmouth/William Hill/Sugarhouse/TheScore ($1.6 million, up from $593,548);
    • Ocean Casino/William Hill ($1.4 million, up from $691,135);
    • Hard Rock/Bet365/Unibet ($838,812, up from $450,589);
    • Caesars Sportsbook/888sport ($357,132, up from $43,561);
    • Tropicana/William Hill ($38,358, up from $5,245);
    • Golden Nugget/BetAmerica ($85,028, up from $66,533).

    “Although total casino win for July was down 46.8% below last year, a win of $147.4 million shows that a significant number of gamblers were willing to play in person,” Jane Bokunewicz, coordinator of the Levenson Institute for Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University, said. “Whether this recovery could continue and grow will likely depend on the status of COVID-19 infection rates in the tri-state area and consumer confidence in industry safety measures.”

    Some more highlights from the report:

    • July total sports betting handle was $315.1 million, up 91% month-to-month from June;
    • July mobile sports betting handle was $295.8 million, up 79.3% month-to-month;
    • July total gaming revenue was $264.4 million, up 171.1% month-to-month;
    • July sports betting revenue was $29.6 million, up 133.8% month-to-month;
    • July internet gaming revenue was $87.5 million up 3.0% month-to-month;
    • Atlantic City casinos revenue was $147.4 million after most reopened in July;
    • Online casino games revenue was $82.7 million, up from $81.4 million in June;
    • Online poker revenue was $4.8 million, up from $3.5 million in June;
    • Mobile represented 93.9% share of the sports betting market in July.

    In July, gross sports betting revenue rose 65.2% to $29.6 million from July 2019’s $17.9 million, resulting in $3.7 million in state taxes.

    “Sports betting is back in New Jersey in a big way and you can thank the return of MLB and the NBA in July even if only for a few days at the end of the month to drive major activity. Sports betting handle passed $300 million which is up a staggering 90% over June,” Max Bichsel, vice president of U.S. business, Gambling.com Group, said.

    In-person sportsbooks drew $19.3 million in bets, which was expected after a a slow restart to the economy in Atlantic City.

    “As long as major sports are played, online sportsbooks will make up for much of what is lost in the retail sector,” Gouker said. “But with the college football season very much in doubt, and the NFL season facing significant hurdles itself, the fall offers a lot of uncertainty at this point.”