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Take it to the bank New Jersey. Though the Garden State could not get past the billion-dollar wagering threshold they came so close to accomplishing in December 2020, New Jersey achieved a much more important victory to celebrate in breaking a new monthly revenue record for sports betting.
New Jersey’s total sports wagering handle was down slightly 3.8% in January at $958.7 million compared to their record $999.3 million the previous month. The much more significant news was that revenue soared from $66.39 million to $82.64 million, reflecting an increase of 24.5%.
The increase in revenue was attached to an above-average hold percentage of 8.7%.
Looking at a year comparison, January 2021 was a 77.1% increase over the January 2020 New Jersey handle of $540.1 million. It is evident that has been accomplished through a significant number of new customers signing on plus the effect of legal sports wagering’s new exposure both locally and nationally.
Within the individual sports offered by operators, basketball handle poured in $320.2 million in January with football second at $201.7 million according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming report. Also, the NFL had no games scheduled during the last weekend of January in preparation for the Super Bowl during the first weekend of February.
As found in all US states with legalized sports wagering available, the parlay, co-joining two or more teams together in a bet proved to be a dominant force. In January parlays had a handle of $220.26 million, and “other” had a handle of $214.35 million. The football hold (revenue) was 6.2% with basketball at 4.8%, In a note to bettor’s – sportsbook operators collected a noticeable higher hold of 19.8%.
The attraction for parlay betting is akin to lottery wagering for a sports bettor in risking a smaller amount to obtain a larger payout. The more teams or bets involved increases the potential payoff but also significantly increases the odds. With most sports bettors making smaller wagers, it has risen in popularity, reflecting the largest profit opportunity for operators and the state to achieve these record results.
In January, online wagering continued to dominate the balance of wagering action in New Jersey, contributing over 92% of wagering action. That unusually high number accounts for restrictions upon casinos and racetracks, where government mandates limited onsite visitation due to COVID-19.
The Meadowlands in northern New Jersey along with their partner FanDuel topped all others significantly with $46.8 million in a handle, an increase of $20 million compared to January 2020. plus $5 million in revenue for the month.
New Jersey continuing to make headlines reporting record revenue for sports wagering will likely accelerate neighboring New York into taking quicker legislative action this year to move their state agenda along. Especially because the Meadowlands in Northern NJ, bordering New York City is performing so well, diluting necessary tax opportunities the state needs to receive.
Look for another excellent February report from New Jersey including Super Bowl numbers, followed by more legislative action from New York gaining support.
Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
Email: [email protected]
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