New Jersey’s sports betting market shook off its summer lethargy in August, while Iowa’s nascent betting market posted solid numbers in its first two weeks of operation.
Figures released last week by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement showed the state’s licensed bookmakers handled wagers worth $293.6m in August, more than $42m higher than July’s handle, despite the month’s traditional lackluster sports calendar ahead of the return of the National Football League.
Online and mobile channels continued to dominate wagering activity, accounting for 84.9% of August’s total handle. August’s sports betting revenue hit $25.2m, a significant improvement over July’s $17.9m and nearly three times August 2018’s $9.2m.
As ever, the betting market was dominated by the Meadowlands/FanDuel/PointsBet combo, which claimed nearly $11.9m of August’s revenue, of which $9.3m came via digital channels.
Resorts Digital Gaming, which includes DraftKings and The Stars Group’s BetStars brand – the latter recently replaced with the new Fox Bet imprint – ranked a distant second with $6.7m. Resorts Casino Hotel’s land-based sportsbook added another $527k to its August total.
The Monmouth Park racetrack was an even more distant third-place finisher with nearly $2.1m, two-thirds of which was generated via digital devices. Monmouth’s digital partners William Hill and PlaySugarHouse were joined last month by sports media operator theScore’s new Thescorebet digital wagering offering.
The rest of the market finished as follows: Ocean Casino Resort ($1.27m), the Borgata ($931k), Bally’s ($619k), the Golden Nugget ($444k), the Tropicana ($324k), Hard Rock Atlantic City ($298k) and Harrah’s ($156k).
In addition to theScore, August welcomed another significant new entrant in UK betting giant Bet365, while the Kindred Group’s Unibet brand made its betting debut earlier this month. As well, the Roar Digital joint venture of MGM Resorts and GVC Holdings rebranded its playMGM offering as BetMGM.
IOWA BETTING OFF TO SOLID START
Meanwhile, the first 16 days of legal wagering in Iowa generated betting handle of $8.6m, from which operators collected revenue of $2.2m. However, the Iowa Racing and Gaming Commission counts money placed on futures wagers as revenue, so take that impressive hold percentage with a grain of salt.
Digital wagering claimed $3.7m of the initial 16 days’ handle total, a significantly smaller percentage than New Jersey’s digital activity, but Iowa’s betting regulations require mobile bettors to register in-person at a land-based gaming venue. That in-person registration requirement is scheduled to expire by the end of 2020, by which time digital wagering will likely have eclipsed its land-based counterpart.
The Prairie Meadows casino led the state’s debut handle chart with $3.4m — $2.3m via digital – while the Ameristar property’s retail-only wagering operation ranked second with $1.36m.