The New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) reported Wednesday that New Jersey sportsbooks took in $385 million in handle during January, the largest number yet in any month for the state.

New Jersey sportsbooks January
New Jersey sportsbooks took in $385 million in betting handle during January 2019. (Image: Ed Scimia/

That shattered the previous best mark of $319 million that had been collected in December, despite the fact that the NFL regular season was over and the Super Bowl didn’t take place until Feb. 3.

Online Betting Dominates Market

Most of the growth is occurring thanks to the increased use of mobile and online sports betting apps. In January, nearly 80 percent of all betting came from mobile sportsbooks, dwarfing the amount of wagering that is taking place in retail locations.

That’s a situation that gives a huge advantage to FanDuel and DraftKings. It’s impossible to say exactly how much money the two daily fantasy sports giants are making in New Jersey, because revenues are broken down by licensee, rather than by each individual operator.

What we do know is that DraftKings makes up the vast majority of the digital revenue for Resorts Atlantic City, which made nearly $6.9 million in profit last month. Meanwhile, FanDuel brought in almost all of the $5.85 million in digital earnings for the Meadowlands. Resorts also works with BetStars, while the Meadowlands recently added PointsBet – but those apps have small audiences compared to the DFS operators.

Meadowlands, Resorts Jockey for Top Spot

The Meadowlands is also the king of the hill when it comes to retail operations. The live sportsbook at the racetrack earned more than $1.1 million in January. In terms of combined revenue, that put the top two license-holders in a virtual dead heat, with Resorts bringing in $7.1 million compared to the Meadowlands’ $7.0 million.

Monmouth Park also reported $2 million in total revenue, while the Ocean Resort made $1.27 million during January. Overall, every property enjoyed a profit for the month, and the industry enjoyed combined winnings of $18.77 million – slightly down from the $20.8 million they made in December despite the higher handle.

The growth in New Jersey came despite the fact that January isn’t normally one of the biggest months for sports betting. Instead, the rise in handle was due to the continued maturity of the market, as more and more operators continue to offer betting and customers become more familiar with the availability of sportsbooks in the state.

New Jersey Could Rival Nevada

In fact, there are some signs that New Jersey’s market could be on the verge of rivaling Nevada’s. While Nevada has yet to release figures for last month, the state brought in nearly $419 million in handle last January, and has never done better than $455 million in the first month of the year.

For now, however, New Jersey bookmakers will be more interested in the final numbers from February than how they stack up against Nevada’s industry. The Super Bowl will likely result in increased handle for the state, but it is already known that New Jersey sportsbooks lost $4.5 million on the Super Bowl, which could put a big dent in their monthly revenues.

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