New Jersey sportsbooks surged, including the largest retail handle in more than two years, but fell well short of the first $1 billion wagering month in U.S. sports betting history, according to PlayNJ.
“March represents a much-needed bounce back after a somewhat disappointing February,” said Dustin Gouker lead analyst for PlayNJ.com. “It will probably be until football season before the state gets that first $1 billion month, but New Jersey’s online market has made a habit of outperforming expectations. Longer term, though, New Jersey’s market faces serious challenges, most notably New York’s expected launch of online sports betting later this year.”
New Jersey’s sportsbooks accepted $859.6 million in wagers in March, according to official data released Friday. That is the state’s highest monthly handle in a month without football, and a sharp difference from the $181.9 million handle in March 2020, a month marred by pandemic-related shutdowns.
Including March’s handle, New Jersey has posted the eight highest-volume months in U.S. sports betting history.
March’s wagers produced $60.8 million in revenue. That is up 360.9% from $13.2 million in March 2020, and up 31.5% from $46.2 million February. March’s win resulted in $7.7 million in taxes for the state.
Fueled by March Madness, basketball accounted for $441.7 million of the state’s handle in March, up from $320.3 million in January and $325.8 million in February. Retail sportsbooks generated $79.5 million in bets, the highest volume for retail books since January 2019.
“The popularity of college basketball is what led to the resurgence of retail sportsbooks, good news for a segment that hasn’t seen much over the last year,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for PlayNJ.com. “If New Jersey allowed betting on in-state college teams, the run by Rutgers could have given them an additional boost. Regardless, it was an excellent month for sportsbooks.”
Online betting accounted for 90.8%, or $780.1 million, of the state’s handle in March. FanDuel Sportsbook/PointsBet topped the online market with $28.5 million in gross revenue.
Meadowlands/FanDuel led retail books with $2.8 million in revenue.
“New York’s decision to create a closed market was good news for operators who are heavily vested in New Jersey,” Gouker said. “By closing the market, the select few operators that will operate in New York will have to focus on profitability just to meet the state’s high revenue split. That will leave a window open for some operators to offer more competitive products and promote more aggressively than any operator in New York.”