New Jersey’s January Sports Betting Revenue Beats Nevada’s

New Jersey’s January Sports Betting Revenue Beats Nevada’s

New Jersey surpassed Nevada in sports betting revenue for January 2019, marking the first time Nevada has ever failed to be the top revenue-generating state pertaining to legalized sports betting.

Nevada sportsbooks won $14.6 million from bettors in January, according to the monthly report released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. That trailed New Jersey sportsbooks collecting $18.8 million in winning from bettors for the same timeframe, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement.

Hold Rate Holds Nevada Back

Nevada sportsbooks set a monthly record with $497 million wagered on sports in January. A subpar hold rate, however, of just under 3 percent accounted for why Nevada trailed New Jersey, which had its bettors wager $385 million on sports.

Nevada sportsbooks had a hold rate of 7.8 percent in December 2018; the average hold rate is 4.8 percent, according to the UNLV Center for Gaming Research.

Historically, January is a slower month for sportsbooks due to fewer professional and college football games, following a fall stretch that is typically among the busiest of the year. That again was the case for Nevada sportsbooks, but it also continues an overall downturn in gaming within the state.

Nevada casinos had a 3-percent year-over-year decline in winnings in January, collecting $984 million compared to $1.015 billion won in January 2018. According to the NGCB, Nevada casinos lost $1.2 billion during the last fiscal year.

New Jersey sportsbooks, however, did not experience a similar collective downturn in January compared to those in Nevada. That growth is attributed, in part, to the gaming industry continuing to expand in the Garden State following the state legalizing sports gambling last spring. New Jersey was the first state to legalize sports betting beyond Nevada after the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 in May.

Sportsbooks are also now operational in Delaware, Mississippi, New Mexico, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, and West Virginia, with several states considering passing legislation to legalize sports betting, though none have come close to surpassing either New Jersey or Nevada.

Of the almost 80 percent of the handle collected by New Jersey sportsbooks in January the two leading sportsbooks were again DraftKings (Resorts Atlantic City) and FanDuel (Meadowlands Racetrack). DraftKings collected $6.8 million in winnings, while FanDuel collected $5.85 million.

Super Bowl Still a February Disappointment

And in perhaps a preview of how New Jersey and Nevada sportsbooks fared in February may be gleaned from how each did in Super Bowl wagering.

New Jersey sportsbooks collectively took a hit, losing a total of $4.6 million on $34.9 million wagered on the NFL championship game between the Los Angeles Rams and New England Patriots, according to the NJDGE.

That the game failed to be a money generator for the state was unexpected considering it was the first Super Bowl bettors could legally wager on in New Jersey since the Supreme Court’s ruling.

The loss in revenue for New Jersey is widely attributed to a Super Bowl matchup that had far less scoring and a wider margin of victory than the majority of oddsmakers projected. The Patriots 13-3 win over the Rams fell well below the mid-50s over-under most sportsbooks had listed before kickoff, with New England also being a 2.5-point favorite.

Nevada sportsbooks had no issue coming out ahead on Super Bowl-related wagering. Bettors in the state wagered nearly $150 million on the game -- the second-most dollar amount wagered on a Super Bowl -- with sportsbooks winning $10.7 million, according to the NGCB.