New Jersey Sets Record For Monthly Sports Betting Handle

No group of people have ever bet more on sports in a one-month span than New Jersey gamblers did in August.

According to data released Monday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement, Garden State sportsbooks, both online and retail, accepted $668 million worth of sports bets, a new record for monthly handle. New Jersey pummeled the previous record of $562 million, also set by New Jersey, in November 2019.

$601.9 million of those bets were placed online. Year-to-date, New Jersey sportsbooks have accepted $2.537 billion in bets, with $2.306 billion in wagers made via the internet.

Bettors had plenty to gamble on as it was the first time there was a full month of baseball, as well as playoff basketball and hockey games. September could be even better for the state with football underway as it is the first time in history that all four major American sports leagues are playing games at the same time.

Operators reported gross revenue of $39.5 million on the record handle. Gross gaming revenue for the state in August was $326.3 million, marking a 7.5 percent decrease year-over-year, but up significantly against July’s $248.7 million.

Gov. Phil Murphy allowed casinos to reopen at limited capacity July 2, but after banning indoor dining until recently, the state’s highest-grossing casino, Borgata, decided to stay closed until nearly the end of the month. August was the first full month of gaming in New Jersey since the COVID-19 pandemic secured a foothold in the United States in March.

Despite reclaiming its spot as the highest-grossing property in Atlantic City, Borgata struggled to generate the revenue it had grown accustomed to. Borgata won $64.78 million from gamblers, which was a 19 percent drop year-over-year.

Bally’s, Caesars, Harrah’s, Resorts, and Tropicana all experienced year-over-year drops of at least 21.3 percent. Golden Nugget and Ocean Casino were the only two properties to have a small increase in year-over-year revenue at 2.5 percent and 3.7 percent, respectively.

Online casino revenue continued to keep the market afloat. Gamblers lost $87.7 million betting online, which just barely set a new record for the third consecutive month.

In July, online casinos brought in $87.5 million in revenue, besting the initial record set in May when those companies won $85.9 million.

The robust online gaming market in New Jersey is keeping the state’s numbers up even as the major gambling tourist destinations are struggling to attract customers because of COVID-19.

Las Vegas is in a similar situation as Strip casinos are struggling while tourism numbers are down, but the state’s online options are limited to just a handful of virtual sportsbooks and one online poker site.

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