New Jersey sports betting revenue is down

  • In April, New Jersey sportsbooks experienced their lowest month of revenue ($2.6 million) ever.
  • New Jersey also saw its second-lowest month of betting handle ($54.6 million).

ATLANTIC CITY, N.J. – After a less-than-stellar take-home in a pandemic-shortened March, New Jersey sportsbooks experienced their lowest monthly revenues ever in April.

New Jersey handled only $54.6 million in sports wagers for the month, collecting a meager $2.6 million in sports betting revenue – a hold rate of 4.82%.

That handle total is the second-lowest full month on record, behind only July 2018, New Jersey’s first full month with legal sports betting.

April’s revenue total was by far the lowest ever. In terms of year-over-year change, handle decreased by 83% from April 2019 and revenues decreased by 87%.

The FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racing led the way, accounting for $1.6 million (62%) of total statewide revenues.

Sports betting in New Jersey has been limited to online-only betting since all casinos in the state were forced to close because of the Coronavirus on March 16.

If the widespread lockdown and shelter-in-place orders have been detrimental to New Jersey sportsbooks, they have been downright catastrophic to the casino industry in general.

According to the American Gaming Association, Atlantic City casinos are losing $540 million a month because of the virus.

When Will New Jersey Sportsbooks Recover?

New Jersey is better positioned than most states to maintain some consistent revenues despite the shutdowns due to the Coronavirus.

All residents of New Jersey can freely register online betting accounts without having to visit a brick-and-mortar casino, and there are many different online betting options to choose from.

Even prior to the Coronavirus, online betting accounted for well over 80% of New Jersey’s sports betting handle. The issue with recovery will not be the availability of sports betting, but on the presence of sports themselves.

All major American sports leagues that would normally be playing their seasons—the NBA, NHL, MLB and MLS— are shut down right now. The UFC is still holding fights, but these are far too sporadic to be a consistent source of revenue.

Recovery to pre-pandemic revenue levels is going to be impossible until major sports leagues resume their seasons. MLB and MLS have already approved plans to return under an altered format, but each league still faces potential roadblocks on the horizon.

The NBA, easily the most popular professional sports league to bet on during the summer, still has not announced a plan to return in 2020.

In a recent conference call, top players in the league affirmed that they still wanted to finish the season, but public health challenges could make that infeasible.

Even once sports resume, New Jersey sportsbooks will have to contend with the economic downturn that has left over 30 million Americans unemployed. Many people who might bet on sports recreationally under normal circumstances will instead try to limit nonessential expenses.

The situation likely won’t get worse than it already is for the New Jersey sports betting industry, but it also doesn’t look likely to get significantly better for a long time.

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