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New Jersey Continues National Sports Betting Dominance With March Handle Haul

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New Jersey Continues National Sports Betting Dominance With March Handle Haul
A general view of Prudential Center on January 24, 2021 in Newark, New Jersey. Bruce Bennett/Getty Images/AFP

There are few “sure things” in the world of legal sports betting but New Jersey topping the nation in terms of its monthly wagering handle is one. The Garden State has risen to become the undisputed “King of the bet-friendly States” and March’s figures will keep them in that position, at least for the time being.

March Madness provided a spark to the New Jersey legal sports betting scene after the industry experienced a predictable and tangible handle slump during the month of February. While not quite at record levels, March’s sports betting totals were an improvement over February’s and further proof that the Garden State wagering industry is as strong as ever as we head toward NBA and NHL playoff season and get further into the MBL campaign.

Diving Into the Figures

According to figures released Friday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, its state’s sportsbooks took in $859.6 million in bets for March 2021 which represents at 15.7% increase from the $742.9 million wagered in the state during February.

Sportsbook revenues in New Jersey followed suit. $60.8 million was made by books in the state in March thanks to a decent 7% hold. It is a 31.5% spike from the $46.2 million in profits seen in February. The profits led to about $7.8 million in tax contributions to state and local coffers.

It was New Jersey’s mobile sports betting apps that dominated the conversation again in the state. 90.8% of the bets taken in during March, or $780.1 million came from mobile apps. That also represents an increase of 13.2% from February’s $689.2 million.

Year-Over-Year Spikes

It is worth taking a peek at the year-over-year spikes in the Garden State’s legal sports betting scene, but it is important to remember that March 2020 was the first month that COVID-19 put a stop to the global sports betting landscape, forced the cancellation of the 2020 NCAA Basketball tournament and shuttered casinos across the country.

March 2021’s $859.6 million handle is a 372.6% increase from the March 2020 when New Jersey reported a $181.9 million handle. Revenues spiked 360.9% year-over-year from March 2020’s $13.2 million in profits to the $60.8 million sportsbooks made in March 2021.

New Jersey’s mobile betting handle last month was $780.1 million, a whopping 377.7% higher than that figure in March 2020 when apps were responsible for $163.4 million of the state’s overall sports betting take.

Year-to-Date Figures

Betting activity has been strong to say the least in New Jersey throughout the first three months of this year. January, February and March of 2021 have resulted in over $2.5 billion in bets placed in the Garden State and $189 million in profits for the state’s sportsbook, thanks to an average 7% hold rate over that span.

New Jersey sportsbooks took in an incredible $6 billion in bets during a crazy 2020 and figures over the first three months of 2021 prove that the state is on track to at least match but likely eclipse those impressive numbers.

The Sports that Have Driven the New Jersey Scene

Obviously, basketball was the biggest contributor to the New Jersey sports betting scene last month. March Madness was a massive part of basketball providing more than $434 million to the Garden State’s March betting totals with no other sports even close.

Year-to-date, basketball has been responsible for $1.087 billion of the more than $2.5 billion New Jersey sportsbooks have taken in, football contributed $269 million, baseball $4.5 million, other Sports (Golf, Tennis, etc.) $641 million and parlays $560 million.

In the End

New Jersey remains the hottest and most reliable legal sports betting market in the country. March’s numbers point to a national handle that could eclipse the $4 billion mark once again after failing to reach that mark in February.

We are still waiting on Nevada‘s March figures, which are expected to show a February spike, and Pennsylvania, which is also a reliable Top-5 betting state has already reported a nearly 10% increase from their February sports betting total.

It all adds up to a nice bounce back month for the US legal sports betting scene with New Jersey still King and no foreseeable threat to their crown on the horizon.