New Jersey fell just short in December of becoming the first state to accept $1 billion in sports bets in a single month, but still extended a streak of record-setting months while reaching a record $6 billion in wagers for the year. This while online casinos and poker continued to stem the millions in revenues losses by retail casinos, according to PlayNJ.
“A unique set of circumstances, most notably a once-a-century pandemic, sent online sports betting to these previously unfathomable highs,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com. “The pandemic has had a diametrically opposite effect on New Jersey’s online and retail markets for both sports betting and casino games. But the growth of online betting was crucial in making up for at least some of the losses in revenue at Atlantic City casinos and certainly continue to steady the entire gaming industry.”
New Jersey’s sportsbooks collected a record $996.3 million in December wagers, according to official data released Wednesday. That surpassed the record $931 million bet in November, and marked the fifth straight month the state has set an all-jurisdiction record.
December’s bets generated a record $66.4 million in revenue. Year-over-year, handle was up 78.6% from the $557.8 million bet in December 2019 and revenue was up 125.6% from $29.4 million in December 2019. December’s bets produced $8.3 million in state taxes.
For all of 2020, New Jersey’s retail and online sportsbooks produced:
“Even when post-pandemic life returns to normal, online sports betting won’t likely give up its gains from this year,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com. “The silver lining for the industry was that this year was an opportunity for online operators to focus heavily on their products and build their customer base, using a combination of technology improvements and aggressive promotions. That has matured the market far more quickly than was projected.”
Online betting generated 93.3%, or $929.3 million, of the state’s total handle in December. FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet topped online operators with $29 million in gross revenue.
Retail sportsbooks generated $67 million in bets, down from $75.9 million in December 2019. For the year, retail books generated $38.6 million in revenue, down from $54.9 million in 2019.
“The race for market share seems to be frozen in place,” Gouker said. “An expected launch of Penn National’s Barstool-branded sportsbook in 2021 could shake things up, but as of yet no operator has really eaten into the market share of FanDuel or DraftKings.”
New Jersey’s online casinos and poker rooms generated a record $99.5 million in revenue in December, up 101.6% from $49.3 million in December 2019. The month produced $14.9 million in state taxes.
Online casinos tallied $970.3 million in revenue in 2020 — a 101% gain from $482.7 million in 2019 — and produced $145.7 million in state taxes. With revenue at retail casinos down $1.2 billion year over year, the rise in online gaming revenue was critical.
“It’s scary to think of where New Jersey’s gaming industry would be without online casino gaming,” Ramsey said. “Every dollar of revenue gained and tax dollar generated from online gaming proved desperately needed.”
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