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Another Month, Another Impressive Record for the New Jersey Sports Betting Scene

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Another Month, Another Impressive Record for the New Jersey Sports Betting Scene
A bettor looks at the odds sheet in Oceanport, New Jersey. (Photo by DOMINICK REUTER / AFP)

The New Jersey sports betting scene, which has elevated to become the gold standard in the US, has been on quite an upward trajectory since the return of sports from their COVID hibernation. For the third month in a row, New Jersey has set a new standard as far as handles go. The state has seen a growth of the platform during a month-to-month tear and year-over-year the spikes have been even more impressive.

Traditionally, New Jersey has been one of the first legal sports betting states to report their monthly handles. The entirety of the industry in the US now waits on New Jersey’s numbers to boost the potential for numbers in other participating states. New Jersey generally sets the tone, and if their October numbers are a sign of things to come, sportsbooks and the state and local coffers that depend on their revenues are in for a good month.

Seriously Trending Up

The upward swing for New Jersey started in August, when its handle increased 111.91% over July. New Jersey took in $667,979,150 in August. It had an even better September when the total handle came in at $748,588,349, which represented a 12.07% monthly increase. Both August and September represented all-time highs for handles in participating US states.

Optimism that October could produce yet another monthly handle record was certainly high but even experts were a bit taken aback by the 7.28% increase that New Jersey’s sports betting handle experienced. According to figures released Friday by the state Division of Gambling Enforcement, for the first time in US history, a state eclipsed the $800 million mark with New Jersey’s $803,096,172 October handle – a $50 million increase month-to month.

To put it into perspective, the record handle before New Jersey’s last three months was $614 million, set in Nevada in Nov. 2019.

A Closer Look at the Figures

New Jersey’s mobile sports betting platforms continue to set the stage for the incredible numbers coming out of the state. $743,899,049 of the $803,096,172 came from internet sites, which represents a record-92.6% of the money take in.

Revenue from in-person gambling at the nine casinos on the other hand was down 8% to $186.1 million in October. Limited capacity and a lack of tourism in general to Atlantic City due to COVID are obvious reasons for that.

The year-over year growth in New Jersey is stunning. The October 2020 total of $803,096,172 was a 64.6% increase over the $487.9 million in October 2019. The year-over-year mobile handle has also shown substantial gains. It is up 78.4% from the October, 2019 total of $417 million.

Revenues for the month of October also hit new record-highs. Sportsbooks reported $58,508,647 in revenue for the month, beating the old record of $53.6 million that has stood since January. The $58 million is up 29.8% from September’s $45.1 million and up 26.1% from October 2019’s $46.4 million. Tax revenues haven’t been released but if last month’s $5.6 million is any indication, state and local coffers in New Jersey also had a good month.

Football continued to be the major money maker for New Jersey sportsbooks. Pigskin was responsible for 35% of the October handle, or around $279 million.

2020 Proving to be a Banner Year

2020 has certainly had its share of ups and downs, especially for the legal sports betting industry. The spring essentially saw three-months lost thanks to the shutdown of global sports and the shuttering of casinos across the nation.

Still, the legal sports betting industry in New Jersey sits at just over $4 billion with two months still to go. The industry generated $4.6 billion in bets all of 2019. College sports betting that is currently not permitted in the state may be coming soon as may fixed-odds horse race betting. Both would have a positive impact on the New Jersey betting scene going forward.

Now We Wait

The only other of the “Top-5” bet-friendly states to report their October numbers so far is Indiana and they, like New Jersey, posted a record month. One smaller state, Iowa has also reported a record-setting handle for October. The other state out with their sports betting numbers so far, West Virginia somehow saw a slight decrease in the amount of bets taken in.

Now we wait on Pennsylvania and Nevada, among others to see if the Country can top the more than $2.8 billion wagered in September.