New Jersey Handle Barely Misses Record; Online Rises Again

New Jersey Handle Barely Misses Record; Online Rises Again

New Jersey posted another exceptionally strong handle figure to close out 2019 in near-top form at $557.8 million for December according to the latest report filed by New Jersey’s Division of Gaming Enforcement.

That amount was just a few million dollars short of November’s record handle in the state, which was $562.7 million. That near-miss by less than 1 percent bodes well for the top New Jersey sportsbooks as the calendar year closes for reporting purposes and the new one begins.

Mobile betting gained popularity yet again, totaling $488.9 million compared to $68.9 million reported by retail locations. That number – a slight increase over November’s total of $486.8 million – was another huge boost for those subscribing to the theory that more mobile betting equals better overall markets.

In fact, New Jersey’s exceedingly impressive 87.6% of the total betting action in the state during December came through one of its 14 online sportsbooks.

Bettors fared well compared to November; sports wagering revenue for the month was $29.4 million for December, around 10% less than the $32.9 million reported for November.

New Jersey Sports Betting Revenue, Dec. vs. Nov. 2019

Dec. ‘19Nov. ‘19Change
Net Revenue$29.425M$32.895M-10.5%
Total Handle$557.786M$562.675M-0.87%
Online Handle$488.931M$486.785M+0.44%

December 2019 vs. December 2018

As would be expected after such a stalwart end to the year, December 2019’s totals easily bested last year’s marks across the board compared to the same reporting period. The 2019 monthly total was up nearly 75% higher in total handle compared to the $319.2 million posted in December 2018.

The online handle was up even more from December 2018, rising nearly 103% over the $241 million during the final month of 2018. Additionally, sports wagering revenue also saw a sharp increase, rising 41% over December 2018’s $20.8 million.

New Jersey Mobile Betting Key Driver

New Jersey now has a full calendar year of data after taking its first regulated bets in the state in June 2018. That came a little less than a month after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the decades-long federal ban on sports gambling, ruling on a case which New Jersey spearheaded.

New Jersey Sports Betting Revenue, Dec. 2019 vs. Dec. 2018

Dec. ‘19Dec. ‘18Change
Net Revenue$29.425M$20.814M+41.4%
Total Handle$557.786M$319.174M+74.8%
Online Handle$488.931M$241.043M+102.8%

The new annual benchmark for the state appears to be incredibly high but it isn’t difficult to envision it being even higher next year. For 2019, the total handle was a staggering $4.58 billion, about 83% of which came via its vast array of online sportsbooks.

The total online sports betting handle for 2019 was $3.83 billion, as online betting in the state continued to trend upward through the year, from around 80% at the beginning of 2019 to the nearly 88% seen over the final 31 days of the year.

New Jersey Biggest Winners and Losers for December

New Jersey state regulators don’t include financial breakdowns for each specific sportsbook operating in the state. Rather, sports betting revenue is reported for each of the licensed casino entities from which the various sportsbooks operate.

The biggest winner over the last month was Borgata casino, which saw a 9% rise in monthly revenue over November. However, Meadowlands continued to be the biggest earner overall at $14.5 million in December, or 2% less than what it reported in November.

The biggest sports betting revenue losers were Resorts, Hard Rock and Harrah’s, all of which reported huge losses compared to the prior month as bettors cashed in. Resorts saw losses total $406,493, while Hard Rock posted a loss of $345,624 and Harrah’s was $107,646 in arrears.

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