As the biggest market in the US for legal sports betting, New Jersey’s monthly betting handle continues to push its way towards the $1 billion-dollar milestone. This state has come close more than a few times since August of last year.
Each month, the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement releases the state’s gambling numbers for the previous month in terms of total money wagered as well as total revenue. The sports betting handle for May totaled $814.3 million which was a gain of 8.9% against April’s $748 million betting volume.
This was the third biggest month of the year for sports betting and the fifth largest overall. The state record for sports betting volume in a single month stands at $996.3 million which was set last December.
The biggest month this year topped $958.7 million in January. March posted the second biggest handle at $859.6 million. May’s volume shows just how healthy the sports betting industry is in the Garden State.
Football fueled the betting volume last December and this January while the annual NCAA Tournament for men’s college basketball was the main reason for March’s high volume.
As expected the majority of sports bets placed in May were online through mobile betting apps. The mobile handle was $734.7 million to account for 90.2% of the month’s betting volume. Collectively, the sportsbooks posted revenue of $52.9 million on May’s total handle.
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May’s total sports betting revenue was actually down 3.5% from April’s $54.8 million in revenue. The book’s hold in May was 6.1% verse a hold of 7.3% in April. A book’s hold percentage is the difference between the money paid out on winning bets and the money plus 10% commission (or juice) collected on losing wagers.
Playoff action in the NBA with the Brooklyn Nets and New York Knicks both in postseason play gave May an added push. So did the New York Islanders in the NHL playoffs. The MLB regular season in full swing also helped drive the betting volume.
Adding in New Jersey’s nine land-based casinos in Atlantic City plus a strong market for online casino gambling, the state’s total gaming revenue for May reached $374.2 million. This was 6.2% higher than the total gaming revenue in April ($352.2 million).
New Jersey’s total revenue for May from iGaming was $108.1 million which was a slight increase from April’s $107.7 online gaming win.
Interestingly enough, neighboring Pennsylvania sportsbooks saw May’s total sports betting handle decrease 6.7% from the previous month to $447 million.
On the legislative front in New Jersey gaming, a bill to allow betting on in-state college sports is making its way through the legislative process. In mid-June, the New Jersey Assembly Appropriations Committee voted unanimously (11-0) in favor of Senate Concurrent Resolution (SCR) No. 133. This would change the current law which prohibits sports betting on in-state college athletics within the Garden State’s borders.
A full vote on a similar bill in the state’s Assembly is expected later in June. A few of the biggest colleges in New Jersey include the Big Ten’s Rutgers Scarlet Knights and the Big East’s Seton Hall Pirates.