New Jersey’s online casinos surpassed $2bn in lifetime revenue in July with another record month as sportsbooks accelerated their COVID rebound by posting the best month since February according to PlayNJ analysts.
Ultimately with Atlantic City casinos reopening, as well as baseball and the NBA restarting their seasons, July represented a return to something more resembling normal for the Garden State gaming market.
“It will take some time before Atlantic City rebounds from the closures of the last few months, but we have at least turned a corner in the market with the return of the retail sector,” said Dustin Gouker, lead analyst for PlayNJ.com. “However, online casinos and sportsbooks should drive the overall market as long as the pandemic continues. A big month for both in July only emphasizes that reality.”
With just a week of the baseball season and two days of NBA action, the state’s online and retail sportsbooks collected $315.1m in wagers in July, up 91% from $165m in June. It is the most substantial handle since sportsbooks produced $494.8m in February, and up 25.3% from $251.4m in July 2019.
Gross revenue rose 65.2% in July to $29.6m from $17.9m in July 2019. The “win” yielded $3.7m in state taxes.
Despite the surge, sportsbooks were still off by $150m from the $465m in wagers a typical July might have attracted, according to PlayNJ which estimated that, in all, the shutdown of major sports since March has cost New Jersey sportsbooks about $1.6bn in bets.
August will likely end the streak of subpar months, though. Assuming a full schedule of baseball, the NBA, and NHL – basketball hit $18m in wagers and baseball attracted $2.7m – sportsbooks will offer far more to bettors than in a typical August.
“August should be an unusually busy month for sports betting, and that will help make up a bit of the $1.6bn in wagers that have been lost so far,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com. “The leagues have to stay healthy, though, or we will be right back to where we started.”
Even as Atlantic City casinos reopened in July, online sportsbooks took in 93.9% of the state’s July handle. FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet was again the market leader with $12.2m in gross revenue, up from $6.2m in July.
In-person sportsbooks drew $19.3m in bets, an expectedly tepid restart for Atlantic City after being shuttered since March. FanDuel Sportsbook at The Meadowlands led the market with $1.9m in July.
“As long as major sports are played, online sportsbooks will make up for much of what is lost in the retail sector,” Gouker said. “But with the college football season very much in doubt, and the NFL season facing significant hurdles itself, the fall offers a lot of uncertainty at this point.”