Records have been falling left and right in the legal US sports betting industry. Individual states are posting some impressive numbers in recent months led by New Jersey. The Garden State set the new record for a total monthly sports handle in August with $668 million in wagers.
It went on to shatter that record in September by jumping to $748.6 million. That number reflects an increase of 68 percent over the same month last year. This also raised the state’s total sports betting handle to $3.3 billion through the first nine months of 2020. That figure is 11.1 percent higher than the first nine months of 2019 ($2.96 billion).
The really interesting aspect of this new record is online sports betting. This accounted for 90.7 percent of all wagers according to New Jersey gaming regulators. The retail sector of casinos and racetracks took in $69.8 million in sports betting the past month.
The entire online gaming market in New Jersey is hot. Casino and poker accounted for $87.6 million in online bets. This reflects an increase of 113 percent over last September.
The start of a new NFL season along with limited college football games was the primary reason for the huge surge in the sports betting handle. The handle refers to the total amount of money bet on sports. Revenue is the sportsbook’s take on that total.
Using New Jersey gaming industry figures, the total money wagered on the NFL in September was $159.5 million. The fact that the four biggest professional US leagues were in action is another big contributing factor.
With the NBA and NHL idle and MLB games coming to a close with the upcoming MLB World Series, football is going to have to carry the sports betting industry for the rest of the year.
Normally, the new season for both the NBA and NHL would get underway in October. The fate of the upcoming college basketball season and Elite 8 betting is still taking shape.
The breakdown of sports betting volume for New Jersey sportsbooks can be somewhat hard to come by. The market leaders include:
Flutter Entertainment (FanDuel & Fox Bet)
MGM Resorts International (BetMGM)
Caesars Entertainment (Caesars Sportsbook)
A rising star in the Garden State is Lancadia Holdings II. This company trades on NASDAQ as LCA. Through a pending merger with Golden Nugget, it is poised to expand into other states such as Pennsylvania and Michigan.
Another player to watch is Penn National Gaming. As co-owners of Freehold Raceway in Monmouth County, the track started taking sports wagers towards the end of September.
Penn National also has an equity stake in Barstool Sportsbook, which could also enter the New Jersey online market through the racetrack’s sports betting license.
The next big plateau for New Jersey is to become the biggest sports betting market in the US. Nevada still holds that title for now. However, current volume trends are rapidly closing that gap.
New Jersey also has a huge advantage over the original sports betting capital of the US with its highly developed online market.