February 2019 will go down as a historic one for sports betting in New Jersey.

For the first time, legal betting on the Super Bowl and Oscars betting took place in the Garden State.

While there was plenty of buzz surrounding both of these events, the numbers tell the real story. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) released its February revenue results, and it shows an overall handle of $320,368,087

It marks a slight decrease from January which had a record handle of $385,279,662.

But there are two factors to take into consideration.

The first is even with the Super Bowl and Oscars, February is three days shorter than January, meaning less betting opportunities. The second being no more weekly NFL games.

Oscars handle alone was only $747,696 with the amount paid out totaling $565,179.

The other big number included in the report is the $12.7 million in combined revenue from the 10 retail sportsbooks and 13 online sports betting platforms in NJ.

The number marks a downtick from the $18,774,940 earned in January.

NJ sports betting revenue breakdown

For the most part, NJ sportsbooks (both online and retail) closed out February with a loss. But there were some bright spots in the numbers.

Here is a revenue breakdown of the 10 retail books and their online partners:

Property (Online)Online RevenueRetail RevenueFebruary Total
Bally's (Caesars, 888)$223,339($40,848)$182,491
Borgata (playMGM)($40,265)($715,727)($755,992)
Golden Nugget (BetAmerica, GN Online)$34,018($159,289)($125,271)
Hard Rock (Hard Rock online)$18,962$103,614$122,576
Harrah's--($95,617)($95,617)
Meadowlands (FanDuel, PointsBet)$6,585,289$1,498,037$7,018,180
Monmouth (William Hill, SugarHouse)$1,276,182($501,873)$774,309
Ocean Resort (William Hill)$1,026,673($280,656)$746,017
Resorts (DraftKings, BetStars, Resorts Online)$3,716,608$142,846$3,859,454
Tropicana (William Hill)$10,477($69,030)($58,553)
TOTAL$12,851,283($118,543)
$12,732,740

While retail as a whole suffered the biggest losses, online sports betting continued to be the high point in the market.

New skins in the game

Technically speaking, there are four new platforms factoring into the numbers.

BetAmerica (Feb. 2) and Golden Nugget Sportsbook (Feb. 19) launched their respective NJ sports betting apps under the Golden Nugget Atlantic City license.

Golden Nugget had been missing from the NJ mobile sports betting equation as a result of SugarHouse Sportsbook switching to Monmouth Park back in October.

Only the BetAmerica app was operational on Super Bowl Sunday. As such, Golden Nugget online wagering totaled just $34,018 in February.

Hard Rock launched its platform powered by Gaming Innovation Group on Jan. 26. Combined with the opening of its temporary retail space, the property generated $122,576 in sports betting revenue.

It’s far from an eye-catching number, but keep in mind that the retail sportsbook remains a work in progress.

Retail had a bad month

Plus out of the eight Atlantic City casinos with retail sportsbooks, only four were profitable.

The Resorts-branded offering from SBTech just beat the Super Bowl cutoff with its Jan. 31 rollout. So February provides a more accurate measuring stick than January did.

Combined with the DraftKings Sportsbook and BetStars NJ, Resorts Digital reported $3,716,608 in online sports wagering revenue. The report does not provide an individual mobile platform breakdown, but one can assume that most of that revenue came from DraftKings.

But the DraftKings retail location at Resorts did not have a great month with just $142,846. Chalk it up as a Super Bowl Sunday hangover.

Meadowlands and FanDuel pull away from the pack

Lest one think it’s all a downtrend for NJ sports betting, one location distanced itself from the rest of the pack and it wasn’t DraftKings Sportsbook.

Meadowlands Racetrack and its two online partners are the clear-cut winners for the month. Besides being home to New Jersey’s only retail FanDuel Sportsbook, the FanDuel and PointsBet mobile sportsbooks both operate under the Meadowlands license.

The property, which is located near New York City, reported a February revenue total of $8,083,326, the bulk of which came via FanDuel customers.

In a statement, FanDuel was delighted to have extended its position as the No. 1 sportsbook in New Jersey:

“FanDuel Sportsbook’s first Super Bowl vastly exceeded our expectations and, despite the people’s choice New England Patriots winning, the FanDuel Sportsbook still saw record online revenues in the month.

“We continued to bring our customers best-in-class promotions and introduced new self-service betting kiosks at our retail location at the New Meadowlands Racetrack. We’re looking forward to the inaugural March Madness with legal sports betting in New Jersey.”

Hollywood tops football’s biggest night

The words “not so super” work when talking about the first year of legalized Super Bowl betting.

NJ sportsbooks reported a $4.5 million loss for the showdown between the New England Patriots and Los Angeles Rams. In fact, NJ racetracks, casinos, and online sportsbooks took in $34,894,900 on Super Bowl wagers with a total sportsbook payout of $39,469,147.

But New Jersey was the only state to offer legal Oscars betting for the first time, and it seems bettors took advantage of the opportunity.

The total amount wagered on the 2019 Academy Awards was not as impressive as the Super Bowl at just $747,696 across online, retail and all categories. But, the win percentage stood at 24.4 percent.

Whether or not it will be offered again in 2020 remains to be seen, but at least for this year, Oscars betting earns the victory over Big Game betting.

Up next? March Madness betting + two new sportsbooks

Considering the volatile nature of sports betting compared to other forms of NJ online gambling, February was chilly but not a complete downer.

For sportsbooks, the biggest month yet could be ahead thanks to the NCAA Tournament.

March Madness betting starts with the conference tournaments (many of which are taking place this week) and continues with next week’s first- and second round games. It means four-straight days of non-stop betting opportunities with game after game after game.

And the defending national champion Villanova Wildcats have a fan base that extends well beyond Pennsylvania.

The month also includes the opening of two new permanent Atlantic City retail sportsbooks. The William Hill Sportsbook at the Tropicana unveiled its 5,000-square-foot space on March 8.

And Hard Rock Atlantic City is expected to unveil its permanent space before month’s end. The exact date is to be determined.

Bill Gelman

About

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and world championship boxing at Boardwalk Hall. He is now adding NJ sports betting and online gambling to the mix.