New Jersey Posts Huge January - Maine House Ends Sports Betting
New Jersey sportsbooks were undaunted by the end of the NFL regular season as bettors poured more than $540 million in total bets through windows and online apps for the month of January.
The $540 million handle is a 185 percent increase from the first month of 2019, a staggering number than only Nevada can reach in terms of size. What is perhaps even more astounding is that the NFL only played for three weekends in the month, as the final week of January was used as a rest for the lead up to the Super Bowl.
For the month, sportsbooks posted gross revenues of $53.6 million, a leap of $18.8 million from January of 2019. As a result of the elevated gross revenue, the New Jersey treasury added $6.6 million in taxable revenue to their coffers.
As in past months, the FanDuel Sportsbook at the Meadowlands Racetrack is the big winner in the New Jersey betting market for January, generating $26.4 million in total gross revenue. A whopping $22.2 million of that total came from online betting, with another $4.2 million coming from their physical sportsbook.
For the wildly successful FanDuel sportsbook, the revenue figures are over four times higher than the bottom line from January 2019 when the operator made $5.8 million from online wagers and $1.16 million from the on-site location.
Out of the $540 million bets in January in New Jersey, over $471 million was placed by bettors via their online apps. The online handle represents 87.2 percent of total wagers placed for the month.
Maine House Fails to Overturn Sports Betting Veto
After a dramatic resurrection of the vetoed Maine sports betting bill by the state Senate, the state’s House of Representatives voted to hold Governor Janet Mills’ original veto by the vote of 85-57, ten votes shy of what sports betting proponents needed.
The sports betting bill was passed last year in both chambers before Gov. Mills vetoed the measure at the last minute before a January deadline. In response, the state Senate overturned her veto last week by a count of 30-10, more than needed to reach the two-thirds margin.
But lobbying by the Governor’s office plus a bid to sustain the veto by the casino industry, who want total control of sports betting. In the now-failed bill, the casinos would have had to share sports betting with other operators.
With word that the veto would hold, sponsors of the bill, including state Senator Louis Luchini, admitted to the media that there isn’t much desire from either chamber to bring a new bill forth to persuade the governor.
“The casinos have very deep pockets and they are tough to lobby against so the casinos won this one,” Luchini told the Portland Press Herald. “This was a chance for us to actually do something that we know is coming, to get ahead of the train and do this. I just hope we are not the last state to do this.”
The casino industry in Maine employs about 1,400 people, making them one of the stronger lobby groups in the state. Any future bill will undoubtedly have to pass muster with the casino industry first before reaching committees in either the House or Senate.