September marked the start of the NFL season and its potentially massive online and mobile sports betting market. For the NJ sports betting industry and the Atlantic City casino industry, online and mobile wagering will shape up to be very important.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement released September’s total gaming revenue figures Oct. 12 showing the industry posted $281.7 million in earnings compared to $235.8 million in September 2017. This 19.5 percent increase can be attributed to a 26.3 percent increase in online casino gambling revenue, which is up to $25.8 million. Plus, $24 million in sports betting revenue that did not exist last year.
Casino revenues and sports betting
Casino revenues reached $232 million for the month, representing an increase of 7.7 percent from the same month last year. However, the additional revenue stream that sports betting represents is clearly having an increasing impact on total gaming revenue growth.
The reason? The NJ sports betting market went through a major change in September.
NJ mobile sports betting apps had to wait until 30-days after physical sportsbooks operations opened up to launch in NJ. The waiting period for most has come and gone, and there are now eight online and mobile sports betting operations in the state.
In fact, in September, the amount of money bet through various online and mobile sports betting channels surpassed that of physical sportsbooks for the first time.
The impact of online-mobile betting
Close to $105 million was bet through online and mobile sportsbooks in September, compared to just under $80 million at physical sportsbooks. That translated into NJ sports betting apps and websites reporting $12.5 million in revenue throughout the month, compared to $11.4 million from sportsbooks at NJ casinos and racetracks.
Resorts Casino Hotel has only a small temporary sportsbook location. However, the combination of the daily fantasy sports giant DraftKings Sportsbook and PokerStars NJ sister BetStars NJ, operating under the Resorts license, has helped it become the top-grossing sports betting operator in the state.
It has recorded $11.85 million in revenue reported since launch, $8.5 million of which came from DraftKings and BetStars in September alone.
Mostly due to its proximity to New York City, the FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack continued to be the top-grossing physical sportsbook in the state last month, posting $4,377,474 in revenue.
However, there are signs that NJ mobile and online sports betting may soon widen the gap.
The NJ online and mobile sports betting market
In October, Apple gave clearance to iOS versions of the BetStars, 888 Sport, and playMGM apps. This means Apple users can now download and bet via the apps, creating an opportunity for more NJ mobile sports betting revenue.
The BetStars, 888 and MGM entry make a total of eight NJ sports betting apps now available for Android and iOS devices.
The other five are:
- DraftKings Sportsbook
- FanDuel Sportsbook
- SugarHouse Online Sportsbook & Casino
- William Hill NJ
- Caesars online sportsbook
Golden Nugget is reportedly preparing to launch a mobile sports betting app, as is Resorts.
Tropicana opened its temporary sportsbook on Oct. 25, and Hard Rock Atlantic City plans to launch its sportsbook by the end of the year. In the meantime, the eight other physical sportsbooks open and operating in NJ are:
- Borgata Race & Sports Bar
- Resorts Sports Book
- William Hill Sportsbook at Ocean Resort
- Monmouth Park Sports Book by William Hill
- FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands
- Harrah’s Resort Sportsbook
- The Sportsbook at Golden Nugget
- Bally’s Wild Wild West Sportsbook
Casinos owe mobile and online sports betting a debt
Total gaming revenue figures are on the rise in New Jersey thanks, in part, to sports betting. As mobile and online sports betting begin to dominate the NJ sports betting market, it has an enhancing impact on the bottom line.
DGE Director David Rebuck knows where the industry’s bread is being buttered right now. He said in a release that the impact of NJ sports betting has been significant and it’s still growing:
“Driven by the explosive growth in sports wagering and continuing improvements in internet gaming and brick-and-mortar casino win results, the gaming industry produced another month of superb revenue increases. The revenue results point to a strong finish for New Jersey’s gaming industry in 2018.”
After a decade of declines, the Atlantic City casino industry has posted modest gains the past two years. This is partly thanks to the rise of legal and regulated online gambling.
Total NJ gaming revenue is already at $2.14 billion for the year, so another year-over-year revenue increase seems inevitable. When the industry ultimately looks back on 2018, it’ll likely have mobile and online sports betting to thank.
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