- New Jersey brought in over $50 million in sports betting revenue last month.
- Both individual sportsbooks and the statewide sports betting industry set multiple records.
- It could be a statistical outlier, or it might be a sign of even more industry growth in 2020.
ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – Despite a slight decrease in total handle from December, New Jersey sportsbooks collected $53.6 million in revenue in January – surpassing October 2019 for the highest monthly total on record.
The catalyst for this record-breaking haul was an abnormally high hold percentage of 9.92%. Hold percentage represents the ratio of consumer bets that sportsbooks collect as revenue.
January’s hold was the second-highest of any full month since New Jersey sports betting launched in June 2018, trailing only the 12.93% hold posted in September 2018 and more than double the 4.87% hold from last January.
Once again, online betting made up the bulk of betting action in New Jersey, accounting for 87% of both total handle and total revenues.
The single biggest beneficiary of this unusually profitable month was the Resorts Casino Hotel in Atlantic City, which brought in nearly $16 million in online sports betting revenue – a 48% increase over its previous highest monthly total.
In a year where New Jersey could potentially challenge Nevada’s status as America’s pre-eminent state for sports betting, this is a strong start. For reference, the highest revenue total Nevada sportsbooks posted in a single month in 2019 was $52.1 million (in September).
Miscellaneous Notes About New Jersey Sports Betting
For the first time since August, football wasn’t the most bet-on sport in New Jersey. Bookmakers handled $177.5 million in basketball bets, compared to just $129 million for football. With only 10 NFL games and 10 FBS college football games, there simply weren’t enough wagering opportunities to drive a higher volume of bets.
While no New York or New Jersey-based teams played in the 2019-2020 NFL playoffs, the nearby New England Patriots played and lost in a wild card round upset to the Tennessee Titans, which might have been a driving force behind January’s record numbers.
The national moneyline for that game closed at -210 for the Patriots, and sportsbooks in the greater New England area likely had even more lopsided odds in anticipation of a high volume of bets from Patriots fans.
Parlay cards were by far the most lucrative type of bet for New Jersey books, with an impressive hold percentage of 19.1%. Every month in 2019 hovered around a 13% hold for parlays.
The $540.1 million handled by New Jersey sportsbooks in January 2020 represents a 40.2% increase over January 2019, while the $53.6 million in revenue was a 185.2% year-over-year increase.
March Madness is rapidly approaching and two New Jersey-based programs (Rutgers and Seton Hall) look poised to potentially make a run in the tournament for the first time in years. Major programs in New York appear to be out of the tournament picture at this point. Unfortunately, bookmakers likely won’t be able to see this momentum carry into March, as New Jersey prohibits the acceptance wagers on collegiate teams from New Jersey or any collegiate event taking place within New Jersey.
With a dual background in English and sports performance and business analytics, Carter aims to write stories that both engage and inform the reader. He prides himself on his ability to interweave empirical data and traditional narrative storytelling. When he isn’t keeping readers up to date on the latest sports betting legal news, he’s banging his head against a wall regretting his decision to be a Tampa Bay Buccaneers fan.