The NJ sports betting industry desperately needs American pro sports back.

The proof comes in the April numbers released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) late Wednesday. Here are a few monthly numbers to digest:

  • Handle: $54,593,092
  • Revenue: $2,634,050
  • Loss of revenue: (87.6%)

These figures are 100% mobile sports betting, as retail sportsbooks were closed for an entire month as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

A typical month of April includes the NCAA Final Four, Masters betting, and the start of the Major League Baseball season. March Madness betting was canceled, and the others are postponed.

Looking back at the same month last year, handle came in $313.7 million.

The three-day NFL Draft was the only major event on the sports betting calendar and clearly, it didn’t come close to filling the void.

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Celebrating PASPA’s 2-year anniversary

Ironically, this a historic week for NJ sports wagering.

Exactly two years ago today (May 14, 2018), the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was overturned.

After years of legal battles, including several defeats, the ruling cleared the Garden State’s path toward a legalized market.

A month later, New Jersey Gov. Phil Murphy placed the first wager at Monmouth Park’s William Hill Sportsbook.

Later in the day, the first legal sports bet in Atlantic City history was placed at the Borgata Race and Sportsbook.  

And following a slow rollout, the NJ sports betting industry is now capable of competing with Las Vegas in terms of revenue and handle.

The market consists of 17 mobile apps and 10 retail sportsbooks, the latter of which are closed.

But current situation aside,  New Jersey continues to reap the rewards of a legalized business.

For 2019, total NJ sports betting revenue came in at $94 million. The more eye-catching number, however, is the handle of $4.5 billion.

Obviously, both of those numbers will be taking a significant hit this year.

The current year-to-date handle is $1.27 billion, which is off 8.6% from the same period last year.

But had PASPA never been overturned, this wouldn’t even be a conversation.

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A closer look at the NJ sports betting numbers

In terms of mobile operators, there isn’t much to highlight. Two of the 10 license holders (Golden Nugget and Tropicana) reported a monthly revenue loss.

The Meadowlands Racetrack continues to lead the NJ sports betting field thanks to the success of FanDuel Sportsbook.  

Combined with PointsBet NJ, the North Jersey racetrack was the only license holder to break seven figures ($1.6 million) in revenueBut the number is still off more than 86% from the same period last year.

Resorts Digital (DraftKings SportsbookFox Bet NJ and Resorts) took a distant second with $604,359.

Here is a breakdown of the market by license holder:

Property (Online)Online RevenueRetail RevenueApril Total
TOTAL$2,634,050---$2,634,050
Bally's (Caesars, 888)$20,095---$20,095
Borgata (BetMGM, Borgata Sports)$78,477---$78,477
Golden Nugget (BetAmerica, GN Online)($9,097)---($9,097)
Hard Rock (Hard Rock online, Bet365 NJ, Unibet)$43,892---$43,892
Harrah's---------
Meadowlands (FanDuel, PointsBet)$1,629,212---$1,629,212
Monmouth (William Hill, SugarHouse, TheScore Bet)$182,098---$182,098
Ocean Resort (William Hill)$86,934---$86,934
Resorts (DraftKings, Fox Bet, Resorts Online)$604,359---$604,359
Tropicana (William Hill)($1,920)---($1,920)

NJ sports betting road to recovery

May will be another challenging month for NJ sports betting due to pro sports being sidelined.

However, the UFC and NASCAR are back. Plus, the PGA has penciled in a June return.

The NFL schedule release means that opening-week point spreads are out.

Rumors continue to circulate that Major League Baseball is looking at an early July restart.

Once the doors to these leagues swing open, so will the NJ sports betting floodgates.

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.