New Jersey sports betting handle figures continue to skyrocket, going from $96 million in August to $184 million in September to $261 million in October, as the state Division of Gaming Enforcement announced on Thursday.
But surprisingly, brick-and-mortar facilities already seem to be finding a maturing market just a few months in. Two racetracks and seven Atlantic City casinos have only jumped in combined handle — that is, the amount wagered — from $74 mm in August to $79 mm in September to $86 mm in October.
Online sports betting is a far different story, with exponential jumps from $22 mm to $79 mm to $174 mm in the past three months as more online brands have come along and as consumer awareness of the option has grown.
September featured five full weekends, which of course is the peak of the football schedule for NCAA and NFL. There were only four weekends in October, so that online boost came in spite of that hurdle.
The vastly differing revenue paths underscores the fact that other early-adapting states such as Delaware and Mississippi are leaving a vast amount of money on the table by only offering a brick-and-mortar sports betting option.
Bettors ride a hot streak
Handle figures tell part of the story, but a different story is told by revenue numbers. October served as “revenge of the bettors,” who, after a September in which operators won $24 million, wound up down just $11.7 million in October — and that’s in spite of the significant increase in handle.
Brick-and-mortar operators took the brunt of the beatings. The Meadowlands Racetrack dropped from $4.38 mm in gross revenue in September to $1.14 mm in October, while Borgata plunged from $2.39 mm in September to just $120,288 in October.
Like Borgata, Golden Nugget saw its sports betting revenues nearly disappear, from $499,000 in September to $46,000 in October. Monmouth Park also took a hit, going from $2.14 mm in September to revenues of just $607,000 in October.
Online books not spared
The damage was less severe in the online/mobile space, but the bettors still improved on their September success rate.
The Meadowlands’ online partner, FanDuel, saw its revenues slip modestly, from $2.85 mm to $2.43 mm.
“Demand for the FanDuel Sportsbook continues to outpace our expectations, with online handle 2.5 times higher than September and continued double-digit growth in retail handle,” said FanDuel spokesman Kevin Hennessy in a statement. “It was an exciting month for bettors who won at a high rate on football and benefited from our industry-leading pricing and odds boosts. “
The biggest fish of all, DraftKings, couldn’t avoid the plunge, either. After a booming September of $8.51 mm in revenues for DK and fellow Resorts Digital property BetStars combined (with DraftKings believed to account for more than 95% of that), that figure dropped to $5.09 mm in October.
Resorts’ land-based book was an outlier in seeing gross revenues go up in October — but only by about $3,000, to $97,313.
How did the bettors do it? Look no further than parlay figures. Through September, operators were earning a healthy 13.7% return on $35.8 mm in such multi-game bets. But after a big October, the win percentage has dwindled to 8.5% on $79.5 mm worth of parlays.