NJ Sports Betting Handle Cruises Past $800 Million In Bets In October

The $803 million in bets made in October continues the NJ sports betting trend of Garden State bettors setting new nationwide all-time highs.

There is a NJ sports betting trend, and there are no signs of it slowing down.

The trend we are referencing is the amount of money being wagered on a monthly basis, with the latest all-time high being October’s $803 million. More than 92% of those wagers were made via mobile apps.

Besides being a New Jersey record, it’s the biggest monthly handle ever reported by any legal US sports betting jurisdiction, Nevada included.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released October numbers earlier today.

NJ sports betting revenue came in at $58.5 million, good enough for a 26.1% year-over-year increase.

Here’s a closer look at a few of the other highlights.

NJ sports betting isn’t slowing down

For the year, New Jersey has taken in more than $4 billion in bets, and the last three months have a lot to do with it.

Just look at the numbers.

So out of the $4 billion, more than 50% of the wagers have been placed over the last three months.

Clearly, the shift in the pro sports calendar as a result of the COVID-19 stoppage is having a lasting impact. Remember, all four major pro sports were sidelined during the months of April, May and June.

They slowly started returning in July, but things really didn’t get rolling again until August.

Now, with NFL betting season in midseason form, the industry is showing no signs of slowing down.

FanDuel + Meadowlands still dominating

Once again, there were no surprises regarding the market leader. The Meadowlands Racetrack crushed the field with $29.8 million in revenue.

Out of that total, $29.3 million came via online.

It’s NJ Gambling Sites’ understanding that the bulk of this number can be attributed to FanDuel Sportsbook. However, PointsBet NJ also operates under the license.

Resorts Digital, which is led by DraftKings Sportsbook and Fox Bet, finished an extremely distant second with $14.6 million. The Resorts-branded app also operates under the license.

Borgata, consisting of BetMGM Sportsbook and Borgata Sports, followed in third with $4.3 million.

In terms of market share, Meadowlands still has the biggest chunk, with 50.8% for October.

NJ sports betting + online casino = winning hand

Looking at the October numbers as a whole, it’s hard to ignore the $93.4 million in NJ online casino revenue.

This is the first time ever that number has crossed the $90 million mark. Fittingly, it comes as the industry is about to celebrate the seventh anniversary of its launch.

Here is why this number is significant. The majority of operators have sports betting and casino platforms integrated in the same app. This means the cross-selling model continues to pay dividends.

Resorts Digital is a perfect example, reporting $21.6 million in internet gaming revenue. Combine it with the sports betting revenue, and the grand total comes out to $36.2 million.

Bally’s Atlantic City, as a land-based operation, only earned $11.5 million in total gaming revenue.

Looking ahead to November revenue

Like previous months in 2020, November’s NJ sports betting revenue will include a couple of interesting twists.

For one, the NBA and NHL regular-season starts are delayed as a result of the much later finishes to their respective seasons.

Right now, the majority of the spotlight belongs to NFL and college football betting.

The Masters is the wild card. The PGA Tour major, which typically follows March Madness betting, is making an extremely rare fall appearance.

This is the first time the event is being played in November. Plus, NJ sportsbooks are going all out for Masters weekend.

Then there is the NBA Draft, which is usually held every summer. This year’s version is taking place Nov. 18, but it’s unlikely to attract a significant amount of wagering.

However, DraftKings is offering odds on everything from the No. 1 overall pick to player draft position to school specials.

But here’s the bigger question: Is the $803 million record here to stay, or will New Jersey be looking at its first $850 million month?

First In Line: Hard Rock Atlantic City Reopens Buffet With Changes

Hard Rock AC is now offering customers an all-you-can-eat dining experience at Fresh Harvest. It is the first and only Atlantic City casino buffet to reopen.

Hard Rock Casino finally has the one thing missing from the Atlantic City indoor dining season.

Any idea what it is?

After months of waiting, Hard Rock Atlantic City customers now have the option of eating lunch or dinner at Fresh Harvest casino buffet. For those wondering how a property can operate a buffet when the coronavirus global pandemic is still around, the solution involves some creativity.

Hard Rock is reinventing the concept by replacing the traditional buffet with an all-you-can-eat dining experience.

In other words, for now, forget about the long lines at the food stations. Instead, all of the “classic comforts and international favorites” are served straight to the table. The cost is $29.99 per person.

Call it the social-distance version of the popular Atlantic City buffet.

What’s on the Fresh Harvest buffet menu

Customers familiar with the Fresh Harvest menu will notice that many of the regular items are still on the expansive menu.

Here is a small sampling of what’s available:

  • Sliced brisket
  • New England clam chowder
  • General Tso’s chicken
  • Italian chopped salad
  • New York cheesecake parfaits

Hours of operation are Sunday through Thursday, noon-9 p.m.; Friday and Saturday, noon-10 p.m.

Status of Atlantic City indoor dining

Nothing much has changed since early September when Gov. Phil Murphy cleared the path for AC casinos to bring back indoor dining.

Like the other restaurants across the state, Fresh Harvest employees and guests must follow the indoor dining guidelines mandated by New Jersey.

Hard Rock AC takes things a step further with its Safe + Sound protocols.

At this time, there is no word on when Murphy will increase indoor capacity.

When will other Atlantic City casino buffets reopen?

Unfortunately, this is one of those questions that will remain unanswered for now.

NJGamblingSites reached out to several of the other Atlantic City casinos, and “nothing new” was the response across the board.

The Buffet page on the Golden Nugget AC website includes a brief statement:

“Due to unforeseen circumstances, The Buffet is closed until further notice.”

The restaurant page on the Tropicana AC website still shows the words “Temporarily Closed” across the Fiesta Buffet image.

The others may be waiting to see how smoothly things go at Hard Rock before moving forward with their buffet reopening plans.

Associated Press photo

The 19th NJ Sportsbook Is Here, But Can It Compete In A Crowded Market?

Tipico Sportsbook’s arrival in the NJ market means having 20 sports betting apps in the state before 2020 ends is much more likely.

There is something slightly different regarding NJ sports betting.

For those who haven’t noticed it, the Garden State now has 19 sports betting apps, as Tipico Sportsbook is in its soft-launch period.

Do we hear 20 NJ sportsbook apps?

The scenario is certainly a realistic possibility for 2020.

Tipico, operating via a land-based partnership with Ocean Casino Resort, started its soft launch as mandated by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) last week. The full launch is expected soon.

And it seems Tipico is excited about having skin in the game.

Tipico a late arrival to NJ sports betting

Since launching in August 2018, the NJ mobile sports betting market has expanded at a rapid rate. A total of nine apps launched during those first five months. The options have more than doubled in size, with some rebranding along the way.

But 2020 as a whole has been relatively quiet in terms of new apps. Wynn Sports is the only other newcomer following its early August launch.

Meanwhile, market leaders FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook are in their third season of NFL betting. Looking at September NJ sports betting revenue, the two brands are clearly leading the pack.

Meadowlands Racetrack (FanDuel and PointsBet NJ) claimed a 63% market shareResorts Digital (DraftKings, Fox Bet and Resorts) finished an extremely distant second with a 12% slice of the pie.

Ocean Casino, on the other hand, and its partner William Hill, came in at a tad below 6%.

Gaining traction this late in the game and eight weeks into the NFL season presents its share of challenges.

At the same time, launching in New Jersey makes perfect sense for any mobile operator looking to get a piece of US legal sports betting.

For one, it’s hard to ignore the $750 million in bets that NJ reported for September. This is the highest total ever reported by a US jurisdiction, Nevada included. And 90% of those wagers came via NJ sportsbook apps.

After Tipico received DGE approval last month, Adrian Vella, managing director, US business, commented on why New Jersey makes sense.

“At Tipico, we knew that New Jersey would be the perfect state for us to kick-start our business in the US because of its sophisticated mobile sports betting audience and mature regulatory and licensing environment,” said Vella.

“With an incredible pool of local talent in the New York metro area, we’re thrilled to establish our headquarters in Hoboken and continue expanding our team. We’ve dedicated significant time and energy to build a long-term foundation for the US market, and today marks an important milestone in that journey for Tipico.”

Who in the world is Tipico Sportsbook?

The key to the Tipico team is introducing its brand to New Jersey customers.

Bettors who are doing NFL odds shopping may not take Tipico into consideration, since it’s an unknown entity.

European-based Tipico, which was founded in 2004, is Germany’s leading sports betting provider. So it’s no surprise that the operator is offering Bundesliga (the top German soccer league) odds.

Here is a list of the American sports available via the app:

  • MLB
  • NFL 
  • NCAA Football 
  • Soccer
  • Tennis

Judging by the Tipico Twitter feed, the operator is trying to introduce itself to NFL bettors.

Closing in on 20 NJ sportsbook apps

Tipico is the newest app to the NJ market, but more are coming.

Each license holder can have up to three online skins. And in the case of Ocean, there is room for one more.

Then there is Freehold Raceway, which launched its business in September. There is no doubt mobile apps will be launching under its license in the very near future. This is the most likely path for Barstool Sportsbook’s NJ launch.

And once Twin River Worldwide Holdings completes the purchase of Bally’s AC, expect to see three more apps there.

So having 20 NJ sportsbook apps by the end of 2020 is now considered what bettors refer to as a “lock.”

Setting the over/under line for NJ sportsbook apps at 25 suddenly looks like a realistic possibility for 2021.

PHOTO BY ASSOCIATED PRESS 

NJ Sports Betting Soars To Record $750 Million In Bets In September

New Jersey moved the sports betting benchmark once again with an eye-popping $748.5 million September handle. The question is how close will Nevada get?

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 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 US 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 away 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.

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

AP Photo/Brett Duke

Jamie Foxx Puts A Hollywood Spin On New BetMGM Commercial

Jamie Foxx isn’t just starring in Hollywood films these days. He is the face of a new BetMGM commercial as well as a future ad campaign.

BetMGM Sportsbook is looking to make a bigger splash when it comes to NJ sports betting. So incorporating the famous Fountains of Bellagio into its latest BetMGM commercial is a good start.

Signing Oscar-winning actor Jamie Foxx to do the commercial spots is what really will capture the attention of potential customers.

And more customers equals a bigger market share.

In case you haven’t heard, Foxx and BetMGM are working together in the new The King of Sportsbooks ad campaign.

Take a look.

Jamie Foxx adds entertainment value to BetMGM brand

The commercial appearances will not earn Foxx any Oscar or Golden Globes nominations.

But the focus here is on increasing market share and expanding the customer database. And not just in the Garden State.

The BetMGM app is available in ColoradoWest VirginiaIndiana and Nevada.

And parent company Roar Digital, a joint venture of MGM Resorts International and GVC Holdings, is continuing its rapid growth into other states.

In terms of picking Foxx over other big-name celebrities, Matt Prevost, Roar’s chief marketing officer, explains:

“Jamie is an exceptional talent and we’re proud to have him partner with us on our new campaign for BetMGM.

“The King of Sportsbooks campaign is the next step in the evolution of the BetMGM brand, and Jamie brings a unique ability to tell our story in an incredibly creative and entertaining way.

“BetMGM exists at the intersection of sports and entertainment, and Jamie fits this positioning perfectly; we couldn’t be more excited to welcome him to the BetMGM family.”

More about the BetMGM ad campaign

Combining sports and entertainment star power into a marketing campaign is just part of the deal.

Now that Foxx is on board, BetMGM is just getting started with pushing its sportsbook app and maybe taking a bit more market share from its chief rivals (FanDuel and DraftKings).

The deal includes a variety of “traditional and social media advertisements.”

Plus, the legal sports betting capital of the world (for now) provides the perfect backdrop.

Frequent visitors to the Las Vegas Strip are familiar with the Fountains of Bellagio. Throughout the day, people line up outside the resort to watch the water shows.

The movement of the fountains is synchronized to songs performed by Sarah Brightman and Andrea BocelliElvis Presley, Bruno Mars and Lady Gaga.

If you’ve never seen it, here’s a look.

So using the Fountains of Bellagio as a canvas works well for advertising purposes. In this particular commercial with Foxx, BetMGM is creating a “sitting on the edge of your seat” experience.

Sort of like what takes place during the fourth quarter of a typical NFL betting Sunday.

The company is combining the “magic of sports brought to life on the Fountains.”

And watch closely at the BetMGM sportsbook commercial above. Do you notice Foxx levitating above water?

Call it an old Hollywood trick.

Foxx knows a thing or two about those.

Coming Down The Stretch: Where The Phillies Stand As The MLB Playoffs Loom

The Philadelphia Phillies’ odds of making the MLB playoffs are much better than the New York Mets’, but the New York Yankees are the team to watch.

The Philadelphia Phillies’ weekend series against the Tampa Bay Rays is going to be filled with tense moments.

How it plays out will determine whether or not the 2020 Phillies squad is a postseason contender. Yes, the playoffs are starting next week.

Welcome to the most exciting part of MLB betting season.

The New York Mets, on the other hand, are on the brink of officially being eliminated. As of this morning, their chances of making the playoffs were down to 1.7%.

Over in the American League, the New York Yankees have clinched a playoff spot. The Bronx Bombers head into today’s game as the No. 5 seed. This could change once today’s scores are final.

Basically, with each team still having three or four regular-season games left to play, the standings are tight enough that there is plenty still up in the air.

The good news is there is still time to place a postseason wager. Here is a look at the futures still available via NJ sports betting apps.

What are the Phillies’ odds of making the MLB Playoffs?

The Phillies are struggling at the wrong time.

When they opened a four-game series against the Washington Nationals this week, every game obviously had postseason implications.

So dropping three of the four didn’t help the Phillies’ chances. They went from being the No. 8 seed (second NL Wild Card team) to the No. 10 seed.

But the Phillies are still in the hunt.

Wednesday’s 12-3 victory over the Nats, combined with losses from other teams in the mix, increased the Phillies’ odds of making the playoffs.

Prior to Wednesday’s game, the odds of making the playoffs were closer to 30%. The percentage has increased to 49.6%, but will likely shift again after today’s games are played.

Here is a closer look at where the Phils stood as of this morning:

The first option is clinching one of the two Wild Card spots. With several teams still in contention, a sweep of the Rays will put the Phillies two games above .500. But the Rays are hot tickets to win the World Series.

Could a 30-30 record do the job?

Possibly.

Losing two or three of the games will only complicate the playoff formula.

The second option: The Phillies could also get in by overtaking the Miami Marlins for second place in the NL East standings.

Yes, we’re talking about the same team that won seven out of the 10 games during the season.

The Marlins, who hold the advantage over the Phils, enter tonight’s game against the Atlanta Braves up a half-game in the standings. Atlanta has clinched the division crown and is currently the National League’s No. 2 behind the Dodgers.

New York Mets likely to miss the cut

For the Mets, a 2021 postseason run is a much more likely scenario at this point. The team is 25-31, with only four games against the already eliminated Nationals remaining.

New York took the field tonight two-and-half games behind the Phillies. So even though the Mets are still listed on the board, those futures bets from months ago can be tossed away.

These days, the bigger headlines are the off-the-field news of Steve Cohen finalizing his deal to buy the Mets.

So the smarter bet here may be the over/under line on how much money New York will spend during the offseason (if such a wager was actually on the board).

Looking at the National League betting field

So bettors who wagered on the Phillies or Mets to win the National League should hold those bet slips (even though the odds of either franchise winning remain a longshot).

The Los Angeles Dodgers, with an MLB best 38-16 record, are still the big favorites. Here is a look at the National League futures as of 10 a.m. EST.

Team DraftKingsFanDuel Fox Bet
Dodgers+130+145+135
Padres +500+500+450
Braves +600+600+600
Cubs +700+750+700
Reds +2000+1700+1700
Marlins +1800+1800+1800
Phillies +2000+1800+1800
Cardinals +1800+1800+1800
Brewers +2000+2300+2000
Mets +3300+3600+3000
Giants+2500+3600+2500

Are the New York Yankees still AL championship contenders?

Based on the current odds, the Yankees are still the American League team to beat.

But there is stiff competition. 

DraftKings Sportsbook has the odds of New York winning the AL crown at +280. However, the Rays (+300), who are up 3.5 games in the AL East standings, are hot on their tails. Plus, they won eight of the 10 games in the season series.

But the Yankees are getting healthy at the right time and have won 11 out of their last 13 games.

Based on the odds, there are several other teams with a legitimate shot at advancing to the World Series.

Here is a closer look at the American League playoff picture as of Friday morning.

World Series favorites and underdogs

So there is still a lot to be decided this weekend.

Teams will be locking in their respective postseason positions over the next several days.

Most bettors will likely refrain from putting big money down on the Phillies to win it all. Between inconsistent play and other teams simply being deeper in talent, there are more attractive options out there.

Plus, there is the fear of backing a really bad bullpen.

The Yankees, who are getting healthy again, are the more attractive option. Besides being 7-3 over their last 10 games, they have a +47 run differential.

The Dodgers (+122) and Padres (+79) are the MLB leaders in run differential. The Phillies are +3.

Come the playoffs, should the Fightin’ Phils make it, those numbers will not matter. When the 2020 season is on the line, winning the next game is what it’s all about.

And as far as winning it all goes, here are the current World Series favorites from DraftKings:

And you thought Sundays were only reserved for NFL betting.