New Jersey and Pennsylvania posted record gaming revenues for October 2021. New Jersey’s sports betting revenue came in just under $84.2 million, a 43.8% increase since October 2020. So, sports betting contributed to the state’s record year-to-date gaming revenue of $3.9 billion.
Pennsylvania’s total gaming revenue was record-setting, too. In October 2021, Pennsylvania recorded $425 million in gaming revenue, a 33% increase since last October. However, its sports betting revenue fell 36% from $36.8 million in October 2020 to $23.5 million in October 2021. Retail casinos reopening after the pandemic and iGaming growth fueled Pennsylvania’s revenue increase.
Pennsylvania’s growth pattern offers clues to New Jersey about how it can shield itself against sports betting losses from New York mobile sports betting. New York will eat into New Jersey’s sports betting revenues. However, New York’s impact on New Jersey and Pennsylvania will likely be less dramatic than previously feared.
New Jersey iGaming’s Two Saving Graces
FanDuel has previously reported that 20% of New Jersey’s sports betting revenue comes from New Yorkers. Traveling to New Jersey is faster for many New Yorkers than driving to one of the state’s casinos. So, when New Yorkers don’t have to make a special trip to New Jersey, New Jersey will see a decrease in sports betting revenue. However, iGaming will buffer New Jersey against sports betting losses from New York competition in two ways.
First, iGaming is more profitable for New Jersey than sports betting anyway. Internet gaming generated $127 million in revenue in October 2021 while sports betting only generated $84.2 million. Further iGaming growth could make up for decreases in sports betting revenue resulting from competition in New York.
Second, iGaming operators can convert iGaming customers to sports betting customers. BetRivers Sportsbook operates under the PlaySugarHouse brand in New Jersey. It could offer sports betting promotions to complement its iGaming site. These promotions could transition iGaming customers between its online casino and online sportsbook products. This could further lessen the impact of New York’s mobile sports betting market.
While New York will be a competitive presence for New Jersey, it’s not going to kill New Jersey’s iGaming or online sports betting industries. New Jersey will remain competitive, and New Jersey, Pennsylvania, and New York will be a competitive trifecta of online sports betting markets in the Northeast.