New Jersey Sportsbooks Surge To Close Out Record-Breaking 2020

New Jersey sportsbooks crept ever closer to the first $1 billion handle month in the history of the US sports betting industry in December.

The December numbers released by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show New Jersey sportsbooks taking $996.3 million in wagers in December. Of that total, $929.3 million came from online bets, representing 93% of overall handle.

Bolstered by mobile apps, New Jersey’s sports betting industry reached unprecedented heights in 2020. End-of-year handle went over the $6 billion mark, as the COVID-19 pandemic that forced retail casino shutdowns didn’t affect the state’s online sportsbooks.

New Jersey’s retail and online sportsbooks brought in $398.5 million in revenue for 2020. Led by powerhouse brands like FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook, the Garden State stands as the gold standard in the domestic sports betting industry.

Mobile wagering accounted for just under $360 million of total sports betting revenue.

Sports Betting Boom Offsets Casino Slump

Hampered by the conditions of the COVID-19 crisis, Atlantic City took an expected dip in annual revenue. Retail casinos shut down from mid-March through the beginning of July, and even then could only allow 25% capacity through the remainder of 2020.

Retail casino win, which represents combined revenue from slot machines and table games, ended up at $147 million for 2020. That marks a 29.5% decline from 2019, in which casino win finished at $208.5 million, with casinos operating at full capacity for the entire year.

The COVID-19 paradigm of the current era makes 2019 seem like a distant memory, however. Atlantic City casinos will likely stay at less than full capacity for the foreseeable future.

New Jersey’s total gaming revenue for 2020 ended up at $2.881 billion for 2020, and that number factors in all forms of casino gaming and sports betting, both retail and mobile. Compared to the 2019 mark of $3.469 billion, total gaming revenue dropped 16.9% year-to-year.

Combined online and retail sports betting revenue climbed 33.1% year-to-year. New Jersey’s online casinos closed at $970.3 million in 2020 revenue, a 101% increase over 2019.

Keeping Up With The Neighbors

This record-breaking month for New Jersey comes at an interesting time. New York, amid New Jersey’s hug sports betting success, is just kickstarting the process to legalize mobile sports betting. Much of New Jersey’s sports betting revenue comes from New York bettors making the trip across the border.

New York Governor Andrew Cuomo recently reversed his stance on mobile sports betting, giving New York betting enthusiasts a glimmer of hope. However, Cuomo wants a Lottery-run sports betting monopoly. New York lawmakers, however, want to take a different approach. State Senator Joseph Addabbo and Assemblyman Gary Pretlow introduced a bill that would authorize a casino-based sportsbook model.

It’s yet to be seen how New York online sports betting will take shape. Given New Jersey’s success, though, the Empire State will have some catching up to do.

About the Author

Geoff Fisk

Geoff Fisk is a San Diego-based freelance writer, specializing in the poker and gambling industries. He’s written for numerous platforms and has traveled the globe as a live poker tournament reporter. Geoff’s interests include the legal online poker industry in the U.S. and abroad.

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