NJ Sports Betting Shows Signs Of Life With $117 Million May Handle

May will go down as another quiet month in the NJ sports betting world. Major pro sports were mostly shut down due to coronavirus pandemic, but Garden State bettors were not completely abandoned.

The  $117.8 million handle (all of which came via mobile/online) may not be eye-opening, but could have been much worse considering the current situation.

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And this figure more than doubles April’s handle of $54.6 million.

However, the latest figures from the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement are way off what they would normally be.

Sports wagering gross revenue came in at $9.9 million, which is off 36.2% year over year.

Wagering Gross Revenue was $9.9 million for the month.

Factoring in Atlantic City casinos still being closed (eliminating retail operations), the results are not surprising.

And while live horse racing is back at the Meadowlands Racetrack, fans are still not permitted .

A little NJ sports betting is better than none

The reality is, the NJ sports betting industry could be in much worse shape than it is.

Think about it. Land-based casino revenue came in at $0 for the second month in a row. And as a result, total gaming revenue came in a $91.2 million. And that is off 65.8% from the same period last year.

The majority of the credit belongs to the NJ online casino industry that is hot off another record month of $85.9 million.

So without the MLB regular season or NBA and NHL playoffs, NJ bettors found alternatives such as the return of the UFC and NASCAR.

Year-to-date handle sits at $1,4 million. And this is slightly off from the $1.7 million reported from the same period last year.

FanDuel Sportsbook still leads the field

While the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands is silent, the mobile action is not. Meadowlands Racetrack, it’s land-based partner, reported a NJ sports betting best $4.2 million in revenue. PointsBet NJ accounts for a portion of it.

Resorts Digital continues to hold down the No. 2 spot with $3.8 million. DraftKings Sportsbook and Fox Bet NJ are included in this total, along with the self-branded app.

As far as the overall performance goes, here is a breakdown by license holder:

Property (Online)Online RevenueRetail RevenueMay Total
Bally's (Caesars, 888)$107,171($74,367)$32,804
Borgata (BetMGM, Borgata Sports)$701,283($6,957)$694,326
Golden Nugget (BetAmerica, GN Online)$54,433---$54,433
Hard Rock (Hard Rock online, Bet365 NJ, Unibet)$230,004---$230,004
Meadowlands (FanDuel, PointsBet)$4,288,003($56,620)$4,231,383
Monmouth (William Hill, now Caesars, SugarHouse, TheScore Bet)$466,142($5,669)$460,473
Caesars Sportsbook (Ocean Resort)$439,967($2,149)$437,818
Resorts (DraftKings, Fox Bet, Resorts Online)$3,766,305---$3,766,305
Tropicana (William Hill)$23,476($2,759)$20,717

Quiet celebration: NJ sports betting 2nd anniversary

Ironically, if it wasn’t for the coronavirus pandemic, the upcoming week would be a pretty big deal for NJ sports betting.

June 14 marks the second anniversary of the first legal sports bet placed in the Garden State. And some might remember Gov. Phil Murphy did the honors at Monmouth Park.

The sports wagering options may still be limited, as the NBA, NHL and MLB still working toward their respective post-pandemic restarts.

The good news is the PGA Tour season resumed yesterday with the Charles Schwab Challenge.

But with  the lights still out, celebrations will need to wait.

Hot summer days ahead

June will likely be another fairly quiet one for NJ sports betting.

NBA and NHL teams are returning to practice this month. The actual games, however,  are not scheduled to start until July.

And in the meantime, maybe just maybe, Major League Baseball will announce a restart plan.

Either way, late summer will include many more wagering options than normal. Call it the pre-cursor to NFL betting season.

Combine it with the pent-up demand for live events, and NJ sportsbooks could be looking at their best summer yet.

About the Author

Bill Gelman

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.