Key Takeaways from NJ’s January Sports Betting Report

Key Takeaways from NJ’s January Sports Betting Report
© PA

New Jersey's total sports wagering handle was down slightly in January month-over-month and did not reach the $1 billion benchmark, but the nearly 25% increase in revenue to set a national record stands out from the state figures.

The New Jersey handle for January, both online and retail, was $958.72 million, a decrease of 3.8% from December’s all-time U.S. monthly record of $996.3 million. In a year-over-year comparison, January 2021 was an improvement of 77.5% over January 2020's $540.11 million.

But though the handle dropped, New Jersey sportsbook operators saw a substantial revenue increase. In the revenue column, New Jersey’s sportsbooks earned a record $82.64 million for January compared with $66.39 million (the previous record) in December; that was an important increase of 24.5%. That revenue jump came with a hold percentage of 8.7%.

New Jersey Sports Betting, January vs December

Total handle Mobile handleRevenue
January $958.718M $886.656M $82.641M
December $996.301M $929.332M $66.387M
Change Down 3.8% Down 4.6% Up 24.5%

Basketball Rules

Among individual sports, basketball had a handle of $320.27 million for January followed by football with $201.77 million, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming report. And the NFL had no games the last weekend in January as action paused the weekend before the Super Bowl.

Parlays, where the individual sports involved are not broken out, had a handle of $220.26 million, and “other” had a handle of $214.35 million. The football hold was 6.2% and basketball was 4.8%, but, as usual, the bookmakers did well on the parlays that bettors find so tempting with a hold of 19.8%.

Tax collected from sports wagering, retail and online, was $10.36 million with the bulk of the collections coming from the 13% levy on the Internet side ($9.64 million).

Comparing sports bettor participation online versus retail, more than 92% of the handle was online, in part a reflection of restrictions placed on casino and race track visitation as well as public concern because of the COVID-19 pandemic.

New Jersey Sports Betting, January 2021 vs January 2020

Total handle Mobile handleRevenue
January 2021 $958.718M $886.656M $82.641M
January 2020 $540.113M $471.149M $53.562M
Change Up 77.5% Up 88.2% Up 54.3%

Will Bettors Return to Casinos?

So far, the magic 10-figure sports betting handle number of $1 billion remains elusive but should casino restrictions be eased and the public become more comfortable with in-person visits to casinos and racetracks, retail handle will surely rise. And not to be forgotten is the potential impact of college basketball’s March Madness on bettor enthusiasm.

Overall, New Jersey gaming revenues for all gambling activity in January was $346.4 million compared to $300.7 million in January 2020 for an increase of 15.2%.

Online casino gambling gets credit for that improvement with $103.8 million in January, which represented nearly 30% of all gaming revenues in the month, and nearly double the same period last year. In January 2020, the online revenues were $55.1 million. Clearly, online wagering helped offset the drop in live casino win from last year, which was down 16.7%.

Betting News Articles