New Jersey, a frontrunner in the legalization of online sports gambling in the United States, continues to reap major monetary benefits of being out front, breaking out of its holiday slump to begin 2019 with a bang.
According to the Division of Gaming Enforcement, the state of New Jersey set a new record for handle in a single month, breaking its previous record by a whopping 16 percent.
New Jersey operators accepted $385,279,662 in wagers last month, which shattered the previous record of $330,748,563 from November 2018. Specifically, online bettors accounted for $304,973,986 of the January handle, with basketball alone accounting for $135,581,120 of such a figure.
Prior to December’s dip in handle, New Jersey had encountered five consecutive months of significant increases in handle. Online sports gambling only became legal in the state of New Jersey back in June 2018, and last year saw New Jersey handle a total of $1,247,290,341 in wagers.
Despite the fact that January’s handle set a new benchmark for New Jersey, January’s revenue actually fell to $18,774,940, which was a 9.6 percent drop-off from December 2018’s mark.
According to the aforementioned report, the win from the industry at large clocked in at a whopping $177.3 million, compared to $162.4 million from January 2018, which amounts to a 9.2 percent increase. Online gaming notably accounted for $33,594,391 in January, compared to just $22 million in December.
The state’s total gaming revenue for the month of January amounted to $229,645,329, a significant 24.6 percent increase from the $184.3 million that January 2018 brought.
"January has historically been considered part of the offseason in Atlantic City, but the crowds in the city's sportsbooks on NFL Sundays suggest otherwise," Steve Ruddock, analyst for PlayNJ.com, recently said, via PRN Newswire. "In addition to creating jobs and a new revenue stream for the state, sports betting is helping transform Atlantic City into a year-round destination."
However, despite the fact that NFL Sundays seemed to rule in terms of ramping up January’s handle, thanks to a little help from the annual postseason buzz no doubt, February might not be on track to break the newly set record.
Even with the Super Bowl kicking off the month of February, it appears as though Super Bowl LIII did not necessarily exceed expectations – both on and off the field apparently.
"Super Bowl betting didn't quite reach expectations, but there were definitely some positives," added Dustin Gouker, lead sports betting analyst for PlayNJ.com, via PRN Newswire. "The NFL Playoffs generated significant action in January, and anecdotal evidence suggests visitation to Atlantic City for the weekend of the Super Bowl was way up. All in all, it was a successful first season of the NFL for New Jersey's sportsbooks.”
Nonetheless, New Jersey’s online sports betting industry will most definitely help carry the state going forward, with continued success both in terms of overall handle and revenue surely on the immediate horizon.
"New Jersey's online gambling industry grew nearly 22 percent in 2018 and has grown 50 percent since 2016, and that growth will continue," Ruddock added.