The “handle” — that is, the amount of money bet on sports — tends to get most of the publicity when a state like New Jersey releases its monthly figures as it did on Wednesday.
But in January, the real news was the eye-popping gross revenue figure of $53.6 million, easily a new record for the burgeoning industry.
That came on handle of $540.1 mm, meaning that the sportsbooks landed a rate of return of nearly 10%.
Compare that to just one month earlier, when a slightly larger handle — $557.8 mm — produced only about half the revenue, $29.4 mm.
The only other month with NFL games that came close for the sportsbooks was October, with a then-record $46.4 mm revenue on $487.9 mm in bets on all sports.
The January windfall for the operators was nearly triple what it achieved the previous January, when $18.8 mm in revenue was accumulated off $385.3 mm in bets.
The big handle in January 2020 capped a massive football season, with $2.59 billion wagered in those five months and football leading the charge.
And what does this do for New Jersey taxpayers? The state collected a record $6.6 million in tax revenue in January, a big boost from $3.7 million a month earlier.
The Super Bowl factor
A professional sports bettor known as “Captain Jack Andrews” on Twitter, however, provided a caveat to the apparent windfall because of the timing of Super Bowl Sunday.
The state Division of Gaming Enforcement, which issues the monthly numbers, provided a post-Super Bowl update last week of $54.3 mm in bets on The Big Game — and a loss of $4.3mm for the books.
Andrews estimates that roughly $31 mm would have been wagered the Super Bowl in New Jersey by Friday, Jan. 31, all of it contributing to that huge revenue number.
“It’s going to be hard for New Jersey to avoid its first losing month in February,” Andrews told NJ Online Gambling. But he pointed out that the state’s sportsbooks also lost more than $4 million on last year’s Super Bowl and still came out ahead for the month. “They dug out of a deeper hole last year, so maybe they can do it again,” he said.
Mobile percentages keep increasing
While the volume of sports betting on mobile devices in New Jersey continues to inch toward a half-billion dollars per month, the numbers at eight Atlantic City casinos, the Meadowlands Racetrack, and Monmouth Park have been leveling off.
After $71.3 mm was bet at those sites in September 2019, the figures moved only slightly each month after: $71 mm, $75.9 mm, $68.9 mm, $69 mm.
But each of the more than a dozen mobile sportsbooks are affiliated with one of those operators, so the casinos and tracks benefit from the big online sports betting numbers.
Nearly half of January’s sportsbook revenue, $26.5 mm, flowed through the Meadowlands, which in addition to its brick-and-mortar FanDuel sportsbook has online partnerships with FanDuel and PointsBet fueling the big numbers.
Resorts Digital’s affiliation with DraftKings helped it place second at $15.9 mm, and Monmouth Park achieved $3.2 mm. Big players on the casino front included Borgata at $3.2 mm and Ocean Casino at $2.3 mm.
And the Oscar goes to …
Sunday night’s Academy Awards produced $380,424 in wagers at New Jersey sportsbooks, according to preliminary data posted by the DGE.
Bettors cashed $340,702 on those bets, leaving the industry with a win of 10.4%.
This article is a reprint from NJOnlineGambling.com. To view the original story and comment, click here.