How would the start of the 2020 NFL Season, minus the fans, impact September’s NJ sports betting handle?

Well, looking at the  $748.5 million handle reported earlier today by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, the word HUGE comes to mind. Not surprisingly, 90.6% came via mobile apps.

And it’s $80.6 million more than August’s $667.9 million. This makes it back-to-back months in which the Garden State has hit all-time highs for handle.

We’re talking any legal US sports betting jurisdiction, even Nevada.

NJ sports betting revenue came in at $45 million,  good enough for a 19% year-over-year increase.

Here’s a closer look at three factors that can be attributed to the September’s results.

Broken record: FanDuel is still killing it

No matter what month we’re talking about, Meadowlands Racetrack, the land-based partner of FanDuel Sportsbook, is dominating the field.

September was no exception with $28.1 million in revenuePointsBet NJ also operates under the license, but NJ Gambling Sites understands that FanDuel accounts for the bulk of it.

For the month, the Meadowlands/FanDuel claimed a 62.3% market share.

Resorts Digital, which consists of DraftKings Sportsbook, Fox Bet, and the self-branded app, finished an extremely distant second with $4.7 million.

Borgata (BetMGM and Borgata Sports) was the only other license holder to crack $4 million in revenue,  $4.06 million to be exact.

September sports calendar was stacked

Sports bettors have never seen a September like the one that just passed.

Sure, NFL betting and the tail end of the Major League Baseball season are the norms.

However, the 2020 version also included the NBA and NHL playoffs along with PGA Tour’s U.S Open.  So besides the buzz generated by the NFL’s opening weekend, the menu of additional options resembled a gourmet restaurant for sports bettors.

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down the pro sports world back in March, eventually there was going to be a month where every major pro sport would be playing meaningful games.

September was it.

Will it happen again? It’s hard to predict anything these days.

Cross-selling with online casino

In case you haven’t noticed, the NJ online casino market is enjoying quite a run of its own.

September’s $87.6 million may not be an all-time high, but it’s pretty close to being one. The $87.7 million from August still tops the charts. For those keeping track, this would be five straight months of online casino revenue exceeding $80 million.

Some of it can be attributed to Atlantic City casinos operating at 25% capacity.

At the same time, the bulk of the NJ sportsbook apps out there have sports and casino offerings integrated in the same platform. Access to a shared wallet combined with cross-selling promotions makes it a win-win for operators and players.

The proof comes in the latest numbers.

How big will NJ sports betting handle get?

At the moment, there are no signs of the NJ sports betting market slowing down.

Sure the NBA and NHL recently crowned their respective champions, but NFL and college football are the bigger draws. And those seasons still have a long way to go.

And with baseball there is the excitement of the Tampa Bay Rays, not New York Yankees, shocking the baseball world as the American’s League top team. They are one win a way from making it to only the second World Series in franchise history. (Although interest in the Yankees would have probably helped boost handle a bit.)

The other came in 2008 when the  Philadelphia Phillies won it all.

But could the current scenario result in the first $800 million month in NJ sports betting history?

AP Photo/Brett Duke

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.