The anticipation of March Madness betting began months ago for sports betting in New Jersey.

After all, last month, for the first time outside of Nevada post-PASPA, legalized wagering on the ever-popular NCAA Tournament began in earnest.

Now, those rewards have come to light.

The NJ Division of Gaming Enforcement released March Madness data at the Betting on Sports America conference.

According to the DGE, NJ sportsbooks took in more than $100 million in wagers during the tourney, resulting in more than $10 million in revenue.

Breaking down March Madness betting

For years, most college basketball fans had to settle for office pools or family bracket challenges.

In 2019, that began to change.

And New Jersey certainly reaped the benefits of legalized betting on the 2019 NCAA Tournament, despite prohibiting operators from accepting wagers on games involving state teams.

According to the DGE, land-based and online sportsbooks in the Garden State accepted some $106 million in wagers during March Madness, which spanned March and April.

Operators held about 10% of tournament bets, resulting in just a bit more than $10 million in revenue.

March Madness vs. other NJ sports betting seasons

The DGE also reported at the conference that bettors laid down $182 million during the 2018 college football season. That figure, to no surprise, was $130 million more than total handle during the college basketball regular season.

Certainly, football reigns supreme with sports betting. And the above overall handle for college football does not include the big stage of the final stretch of bowl games, including the national championship, which took place in January.

Regardless, the popularity of college basketball took off, as it should, during March Madness.

Consider, after all, that the public wagered more than $100 million across 67 games.

March Madness betting boosts March revenue

The NJ sports betting industry has yet to hit its first anniversary. Still, no other month in the industry’s nine-month history even came close to March.

Retail and online sportsbooks in the state combined for a whopping $31.7 million in NJ sports betting revenue from $372.5 million in wagers.

That revenue total nearly doubled the state’s next-highest monthly total of $18.8 million in January. (The March handle ranks second to January.)

As the 2019 March Madness event tipped off, NJ operators already began seeing the effect of March Madness.

At FanDuel Sportsbook, for example, the opening weekend of the tourney included the property’s biggest Friday in terms of handle. And the weekend became FanDuel’s second-biggest ever, just behind the Super Bowl.

Additionally, PointsBet NJ needed little time to determine that “March Madness lived up to the hype,” according to Ron Shell, PointsBet’s vice president of customers and insights.

“In four days we turned over millions of dollars with thousands of unique customers and handle per game, only second to the Super Bowl.”

Grant Lucas

About

Grant Lucas is a longtime sportswriter who has covered the high school, collegiate, and professional levels. A graduate of Linfield College in McMinnville, Grant has covered games and written features and columns surrounding prep sports, Linfield, and Oregon State athletics and the Portland Trail Blazers throughout his career.