The beginning of the 2021 National Football League (NFL) season and the marketing blitz that accompanied it boosted New Jersey sports-betting handle to a U.S. record $1.01bn in September, according to figures released on Monday.
The state had come close to cracking the barrier at the end of last season, posting $996m in handle last December while U.S. culture remained somewhat sheltered by the coronavirus pandemic and online gaming revenues benefited from the lack of alternative entertainment options available.
The September handle included just over $400m in settled wagers on football games, as well as an additional $200m in completed parlays, which are not broken down by sport in the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement’s monthly report.
Many of the state’s largest grossing sports-betting operators heavily promoted parlays, including both DraftKings and FanDuel offering “risk-free” same-game parlays for NFL games throughout the month.
Although last month’s handle total broke records, the state did not eclipse its previous record in headline sports-betting revenue, bringing in $82.4m in gross revenue, including some $15.6m in unsettled bets. The figure represents almost an 83 percent increase over September 2020’s $45.1m revenue but fell just short of topping the $82.6m brought in by sportsbooks in total gross revenue in January 2021.
Revenue from completed events settled at $66.8m for the month.
Flutter-owned FanDuel continued to reign as the state’s market leader, with the Meadowlands license it utilizes along with PointsBet, and as of September, SuperBook, bringing in about half of the state’s monthly headline revenue at $41.2m, which is also bolstered by the land-based property being by far the closest land-based sportsbook to New York City.
BetMGM was also bolstered by its land-based property, as the Borgata license it utilizes surged past the Resorts Digital license to be the second highest-grosser for the state overall. Borgata and BetMGM brought in about $13.4m in total land-based and online revenue, an almost threefold increase over 2020 when land-based betting was still largely hampered by the pandemic.
The Resorts Digital licensees, which include DraftKings in addition to Fox Bet and Resorts’ own skin, remained the second-highest grossing online performer, but fell to third overall at $13.1m.
Last year, the state saw sports-betting growth in all four months of the NFL regular season, but those results are somewhat colored by the effects of the pandemic.
In addition, operators have already showed some signs of at least temporarily slowing the full-scale advertising blitz that aided September’s numbers, as Sportico reported on Monday that both FanDuel and DraftKings cut their weekly spending on NFL in-game television ads in half last week.
Elsewhere, New Jersey's online casino gaming market posted its own record month, recording $122.6m in total revenue for an almost 40 percent increase over September 2020.
BetMGM and its affiliated skins accounted for slightly over 31 percent of total internet gaming revenue, almost 6 percentage points ahead of Golden Nugget and its four affiliated skins including FanDuel, with Resorts Digital along with DraftKings and PokerStars capturing a 23.2 percent share.