March Madness a Boost for New Jersey Sportsbook Revenues
New Jersey sportsbooks have the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament to thank as the state’s sports betting industry bounced back from a downswing in February to posting its second-highest monthly total.
March Madness Prompts Monthly Revenue Rebound
According to a report released April 13 by the state Division of Gaming Enforcement, $372.5 million was wagered in New Jersey in March. That surpasses February’s total of nearly $320 million, a figure that was lower than anticipated coming off a record $385 million in January.
New Jersey sportsbooks took in $1,078,059,828 in wagers for the first three months of 2019.
According to the DGE, New Jersey reported $293,967,694 in total gaming revenue for March, a 34.5-percent increase from March 2018. For the 2019 first quarter, New Jersey collected $764,783,813 in total gaming revenue, a 28.6-percent increase from the first quarter in 2018, as legal college basketball betting action took hold.
The boost in total gaming revenue in New Jersey happened because the state opened operational sportsbooks. And this March represented the first time New Jersey’s thriving sports gaming industry could accept wagers on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, the most lucrative sports betting event in the United States, according to a study commissioned by the American Gaming Association before this year’s tournament.
New Jersey’s decline in gaming revenue for February coincided with the state having nearly $5 million in combined losses on Super Bowl LIII, dropping revenue to $12.7 million after it hit $18.8 million in January. Sportsbooks in the state paid out roughly $39.5 million on nearly $35 million in bets on the Super Bowl.
Online Sports Wagering Hot in New Jersey
The top revenue-generating sportsbook in New Jersey was operated by FanDuel, accounting for $17.6 million of the roughly $31.7 million revenue retained by sportsbooks in March. DraftKings was second-best, bringing in $7.3 million in revenue.
Both Fan Duel and DraftKings provide both in-person wagering – at Meadowlands Racetrack (FanDuel) and Resorts Atlantic City (DraftKings) – or online using their apps. Largely thanks to this mobile wagering option, New Jersey is far and away the most successful of the seven states that have opened operational sports since last May, when the U.S. Supreme Court struck down a federal ban on legalized sports betting outside of Nevada.
Only Nevada and New Jersey have the option to place a wager online out of the eight states that legalized sports betting. West Virginia initially offered sports betting via an app, though that option is currently unavailable due to what is called a temporary “interruption in service.” Pennsylvania is expected to launch its mobile platform by the end of the year.
“The FanDuel Sportsbook continues to be the top operator in the New Jersey market both in mobile and retail,” FanDuel publicity director Kevin Hennessey said statement. “There was incredible excitement for March Madness, noted by record-breaking revenue numbers for the FanDuel Sportsbook, which had the biggest revenue month for any operator since the launch of legalized sports betting in New Jersey last June.”
For March, the state’s “Casino Win” was $597.1 million, up 13.7 percent from the prior period, while “Internet Gaming Win” increased 50.3 percent to $104.5 million.