Now that NFL season is officially here, it seems highly unlikely the NJ sports betting monthly handle will come close to hitting August numbers again anytime in the near future.

This is because the $665 million in bets reported for August will likely look minuscule once September numbers are released next month. Why?

Well, it’s no secret the Garden State is on the verge of making history this NFL season with multiple months of wagers exceeding $1 billion. More on this below.

But before we get ahead of ourselves, here’s a closer look at the August results.

NJ sports betting revenue August 2021

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released August figures on Thursday. Out of the $665 million wagered, $612.9 million came from online bettors. It amounts to a tad over 92%.

NJ sports betting revenue came in at just over $52 million, which is up 31.7% year over year.

Remember the big difference between 2021 and 2020 is the fact that Major League Baseball had the summer spotlight to itself.

Last summer, NBA and NHL teams were playing following their respective pandemic-forced shutdowns.

Overall, several NJ license holders put up solid August results.

Meadowlands Racetrack, led by FanDuel, sets the pace

The NJ sports betting story is still trending in the familiar direction of the Meadowlands Racetrack dominating the market. Out of the $52 million in revenue, $26.9 million came via the Meadowlands Racetrack. While the DGE does not break results down by the 21 operators, it’s understood that FanDuel Sportsbook is responsible for the bulk of it.

However, PointsBet also operates under the license. Going forward, starting with September results, SuperBook is now live via a market access deal with the Meadowlands. This means the North Jersey racetrack now has all three of its allotted online skins filled.

But to put the FanDuel/Points Bet results in perspective, the nine Atlantic City casinos reported a combined total of $22 million. This would be both mobile and retail. Keep in mind Bally’s Atlantic City currently only offers retail wagering via its FanDuel-branded book.

Other top August NJ sports betting performers

More than half of the AC total comes from another strong performance by Resorts Digital. The trio of DraftKings SportsbookFox Bet, and the Resorts-branded app combined for $12.9 million. Out of that total, nearly all of it came via mobile devices.

The understanding is DraftKings was the biggest contributor to this equation.

Borgata, led by BetMGM,  was the next closest (and a very distant third) with $4.7 million.

NFL betting season + NJ bettors = $1 billion?

Looking ahead, this theory on NJ sports betting handle breaking the $1-billion plateau is not some crazy random thought.

Sure, at one time, when the industry launched in 2018 the concept of it happening may have sounded insane. However, all it takes is one look back at 2020 results to see it’s only a matter of when, not if, it will happen.

In December 2020, Garden State bettors set a new national record with  more than $996.3 million in total wagers

Now there are some additional factors that could contribute to hitting the mark:

  • All nine Atlantic City casinos (for the first time ever) have a retail sportsbook.
  • Barstool Sportsbook, SuperBook, and Betway Sportsbook all recently launched, expanding the mobile market to 21 apps.
  • William Hill has been rebranded to Caesars Sportsbook (you may see a commercial or two when watching football).

Ironically, NJ was on target to crack $1 billion even without these new additions.

“With only a few college and NFL preseason games, August still showed the outsized effect football has on the sports-betting industry,” said Valerie Cross, analyst for PlayNJ.com. “Even if September falls short of $1 billion in wagering, we will likely get there before the end of the year.”

Oh, by the way, NJ sports gamblers have now pushed the year-to-date total past $6.1 billion.

AP Photo/Brynn Anderson

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.