No MLB, NBA and NHL betting, no problem for New Jersey sportsbooks. According state gaming figures for June, the total sports betting handle in the Garden State topped $165 million last month. This figure is even more impressive since it reflects a 40 percent increase over May’s sports betting handle and sportsbooks such as BetMGM, William Hill, and SugarHouse are part of the success.
Ever since mid-March, the sports betting industry, in general, has been scrambling to fill the void. The books turned to international table tennis, esports, and anything else they could think of to fill their betting boards.
It now appears that New Jersey sportsbooks did a much better job of filling that void. Even the total handle in April came close to the $55 million mark.
June’s total sports betting in New Jersey was down 39.6 percent from the same month last year. However, operator’s revenue came in at $12.6 million. This reflects a hold percentage of 7.7 and a healthy 30.3 percent increase over the same month last year.
Last month’s revenue increase is a boost to an industry that has been hit hard by the current situation. With the promise of MLB, NBA and NHL games in the near future, the summer months should paint a much clearer picture of where the NJ sports betting industry is headed.
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The state gaming figures do not break down the monthly handle by sport. Those numbers are separated out on a yearly basis. Looking back at June’s total handle, the ‘other’ category took in the lion’s share of the action. This includes any action outside of football, basketball, and baseball.
Major contributors over the past two months have been NASCAR and UFC. The PGA Tour restarted its weekly schedule of tournaments in June. You could also consider international soccer as an important betting sport over the past month.
Also buried in the numbers is a continued interest in betting on table tennis. Although, New Jersey just banned betting on Ukrainian table tennis events over match-fixing concerns.
The total sports betting handle in the New Jersey for last year topped $4.6 billion. Making up the losses from the shutdown will be hard to do. First, major betting sports still need to resume and play out their schedule. Second, the current impact on disposable income used for betting sports remains a concern. This makes it even tougher for smaller books like Superbook to meet their bottom lines.
The two big wild cards in the picture are the NFL and college football as the two biggest betting sports in New Jersey and in other sports betting states such as Colorado and Indiana. The NFL remains confident a full 16-game schedule will kickoff in early September as planned. Yet, not all football insiders see this taking place.
There is growing concern that the 2020 college football season could be in jeopardy. The lack of a centralized authority could cause splinters among individual conference plans.
Through June, New Jersey’s total handle is off 22.4 percent against a six-month total of $1.98 billion in 2019. That is not too bad in light of the situation. However, matching the remaining $2.62 billion that was taken in over the last six months is a whole other story.