April was the first month that wagering at New Jersey’s online and retail sportsbooks slowed, marking the first month of an expected seasonal ebb in sports betting.
New Jersey’s online and retail sportsbooks generated $926.9 billion in bets in April, which is still up 23.9% from $746.8 million in April 2021, according to official reporting released Monday. April’s handle was down 17.3% from $1.1 billion in March and was the lowest since $664.7 million in bets were made in August 2021.
Year-over-year gains, however, remained significant, but April marked the first month this year with a year-over-year gain of less than 31%, according to PlayNJ, which tracks gaming developments in the state.
“So far, the national economic headwinds do not appear to be taking a significant bite out of the gaming industry,” David Danzis, an analyst for PlayNJ.com, said. “But it is entirely possible that, as everyday costs increase, people will begin to curtail their betting. Time will tell, but it is a concern for the industry.”
Yet, summer is just around the corner, and with tourism season nearly here, brick-and-mortar gaming revenue numbers have the potential to gradually increase, Jane Bokunewicz, faculty director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University School of Business, said.
“Factors that contributed to increases in revenue last year — like pent-up demand and increased discretionary spending money because of COVID-19 subsidies — may be offset this year by inflation and higher gas prices. However, we are not yet seeing evidence of this impact in the spring revenue numbers,” Bokunewicz continued. “Staffing shortages will likely continue to impact summer 2022, but may be mitigated by the return of foreign workers. While COVID remains a concern, the public seems to be returning to pre-pandemic social behavior by attending large gatherings, traveling more and socializing with friends.”
April’s bets produced $50.3 million in operator revenue, which was down 8.2% from $54.7 million in April 2021, and down 24.2% from $66.4 million in March. March’s win yielded $7.1 million in state and local taxes.
Online sportsbooks attracted $863.1 billion in wagers, or 93.1% of April’s handle, and won $46.3 million in revenue on those bets. FanDuel/PointsBet/SuperBook topped the online market, with $29.2 million in gross revenue, down from $33.7 million in March. DraftKings/Fox Bet was second, with $7.4 million in revenue.
Meanwhile, retail sportsbooks won $4 million on $63.8 million in bets. Meadowlands/FanDuel topped the market with $4.1 in revenue.
“While volume is expected to remain relatively low over the summer months, sportsbooks have been successful over the years in generating significant revenue with baseball parlays and major golf tournaments,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes PlayNJ.com. “Those bets have less favorable odds for bettors than straight wagers, and help ensure operators remain profitable.”