3 Key Takeaways From NJ Sports Betting’s Massive, Record-Setting August

Remember when we were scraping at the bottom of sports barrels in March and April? When there were no major sports to bet on, New Jersey was in shutdown mode and casinos were locked up tight for three-plus months?

Well, that’s all in the past. And let’s just say it’s great to be betting on sports in New Jersey once again.

NJ sports betting hit a few crazy totals in August, not the least of which was the handle of $667.9 million. It was an all-time high in more ways than one. But we’ll get into that in more detail later.

That handle coupled with $39 million in NJ sports betting revenue for online and retail sportsbooks means that sports betting is back in a big way.

Let’s look at a few takeaways from August’s sports betting numbers, keeping in mind that the best may be still to come.

NJ sports betting posts a record in the US

Mark August 2020 down as NJ sports betting’s biggest month of all time.

The eye-opening handle came in at $667.9 million, with 90% of the wagers via sportsbook apps. By the way, “all time” isn’t just referring to the Garden State.

The previous all-time high of $614.1 million was set by Nevada back in November 2019.

That means NJ sports betting hit a record not just for the state, but for the US as a whole.

FanDuel Sportsbook + Meadowlands Racetrack = domination

In terms of individual operators and license holders, it’s the same old story. Meadowlands Racetrack reported $21.1 million in revenue.

FanDuel Sportsbook and PointsBet NJ both operate under the license, but NJ Gambling Sites understands that the former accounts for the majority of the revenue.

And of that total, $17.5 million came via online wagering.

But what makes the number stand out even more is that the eight Atlantic City license holders reported a combined $16.5 million in revenue.

And the bulk of that number ($10 million) is from Resorts Digital. DraftKings Sportsbook, Fox Bet NJ and the Resorts-branded app combined for those results.

But even so, Meadowlands and its partners beat out the competition in a big way.

Is retail sports betting in NJ dead?

The short answer is no. The long answer is no, with a few “buts.”

While only $66,036,664 of the total bets came via retail locations, there is an extremely good reason for that.

Up until last week, several of the Atlantic City sportsbooks were still temporarily closed. The sportsbooks at Bally’s and Harrah’s, for instance, didn’t reopen until last week, as rebranded William Hill locations.

Plus, with COVID-19 guidelines in place, public spaces at Atlantic City casinos are limited to 25% capacity, which means reduced seating at every sportsbook. And several are offering limited food and beverage service.

Now that the spaces are opening back up for NFL betting season, time will tell if land-based sports wagering business will pick up the pace.

After all, casinos running at 25% capacity won’t last forever. We hope.

What’s next? NFL + US Open sets table for September

Here is an intriguing question: Could the September handle possibly shatter the $667.9 million record?

Think about it. There are three full weekends of NFL games combined with the start of college football betting.

Plus, the US Open, the second of three majors on the PGA Tour, gets underway on Thursday. This event typically takes place in June

And by the way, the NBA and NHL playoffs are getting closer to crowning their respective champions. This is typically considered the preseason time of year, but it’s 2020 and everything is topsy-turvy in sports.

The MLB will finish up the last of its 60-game season and roll right into the playoffs.

Put it all together, and it’s the first September in sports betting history with all four major sports leagues playing meaningful games.

So it’s very possible New Jersey bettors are gearing up for another record-breaking month.

About the Author

Bill Gelman

Bill Gelman is a veteran sports writer based just outside of Philadelphia and not too far from the Jersey Shore. Bill spends time in Atlantic City writing about casino openings and expansions, special events and world championship boxing at Boardwalk Hall. He is now adding NJ sports betting and online gambling to the mix.