New Jersey sportsbooks fell short of the first $1bn wagering month in the US in March, despite it recording its largest retail handle in more than two years, according to PlayNJ.
The month of March saw New Jersey’s sportsbooks accept $859.6m in wagers, the state’s highest monthly handle which saw no football during the period, and a sharp contrast from the $181.9m handle in the same period in 2020, a month marred by pandemic-related shutdowns.
“March represents a much-needed bounce back after a somewhat disappointing February,” said Dustin Gouker lead analyst for PlayNJ.com. “It will probably be until football season before the state gets that first $1bn month, but New Jersey’s online market has made a habit of outperforming expectations. Longer term, though, New Jersey’s market faces serious challenges, most notably New York’s expected launch of online sports betting later this year.”
Along with March’s handle, New Jersey posted the eighth highest-volume months in US sports betting history.
March’s wagers produced $60.8m in revenue, up 360.9 per cent from $13.2m in March 2020, and up 31.5 per cent from $46.2m in February. March’s win also resulted in $7.7m in taxes for the state.
Fueled by March Madness, basketball accounted for $441.7m of the state’s handle in March, up from $320.3m in January and $325.8m in February. Retail sportsbooks generated $79.5m in bets, the highest volume for retail books since January 2019.
“The popularity of college basketball is what led to the resurgence of retail sportsbooks, good news for a segment that hasn’t seen much over the last year,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com. “If New Jersey allowed betting on in-state college teams, the run by Rutgers could have given them an additional boost. Regardless, it was an excellent month for sportsbooks.”
Alongside sportsbook, online casino games and poker generated $113.7m, in March revenue, representing a US record.
Up $64.8m in March of last year, revenue topped the previous record of $103.8m set in January. The result for the state was $17.1m in taxes.
Borgata’s record $36.2m in March revenue marked the first time in years the Golden Nugget, which generated $31.8, in March, was not the market leader.
“Borgata’s increasing focus on and success in the online market shows how the pandemic changed the dynamic for online casinos,” Ramsey continued. “Even when we get past this pandemic, I don’t think gamblers will log into online casinos any less. Instead, this year-long surge points to a long-lasting market shift.”