Early Sports Betting Numbers Suggest Monmouth Park Is Where The Action Is

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Gov. Phil Murphy placed the ceremonial first sports bet at Monmouth Park in Oceanport, New Jersey on June 14. It was an occasion that was nine years in the making.

New Jersey gets its first look at how legalized sports betting is benefitting the state. This week, the Division of Gaming Enforcement released June’s sports betting revenue numbers.

Understanding sports betting revenue

New Jersey tallies sports betting revenue as it happens. For example, futures bets count as revenue in the month the bets are placed and are calculated as a loss when the winning ticket is paid.

In interpreting revenue, the difference between handle and revenue often gets confused. Here is the breakdown:

Handle = Total amount of all sports bets

Revenue = Handle – winning ticket payouts + unsettled futures bets + unclaimed winning tickets

For June 14 – June 30, 2018, the total revenue for legalized sports betting was $3,458,668 with a handle of $16,409,619.

The state of New Jersey taxes land-based sports betting revenue at a rate of 8.5 percent. As a result, the state collected nearly $294,000 in the first few weeks.

Currently, there are no mobile sports betting revenues to report. The New Jersey law required a 30-day waiting period before the launch of online sports betting.

The waiting period is now over, and operators can accept mobile and online sports bets. Look for digital sports betting activity to start soon.

When mobile sports betting comes online, it is likely to produce the majority of revenue. At a tax rate of 14.25 percent, this is good news for the state.

Monmouth Park comes out on top

The revenue data is broken down by each of the three operators.

Ocean Resort Casino officially opened its doors on June 28 and only offered sports betting during the last few days of the month.

Monmouth Park jumps out to an early and commanding lead in the sports betting market. Their revenue is double that of Borgata and Ocean Resort combined.

Monmouth Park expected to post great numbers, but the amount of the lead is somewhat surprising. Borgata is an established casino with a record of being at the top of revenue in land-based gaming. It appears Borgata has its work cut out for it, especially as more sportsbooks plan to open.

Dennis Drazin, president and CEO of Darby Development LLC, which operates Monmouth Park said the following to the Asbury Park Press:

We are extremely pleased with our numbers. We think they show there is a huge appetite for sports betting. To be generating these numbers early, and it’s not even football season yet, speaks enormously of the potential for when football season comes around. So we’re thrilled by the early numbers.”

Major League Baseball is the sports bet of choice

New Jersey sports betting handle is broken down by sport:

  • Major League Baseball: $10.1 million total, $130,177 futures
  • Soccer: $2.2 million total, $500,247 futures
  • National Football League: $280,611 futures

MLB comes out on top with a 5:1 lead over soccer. Another surprising number considering it is the height of World Cup fever. Of course, World Cup doesn’t have as much of an impact in the U.S. as it does globally.

The futures bets numbers provide a bit of insight into how strong NFL sports betting will be when the season gets underway. With futures bets over half of the soccer futures which is scheduled will wrap up this weekend, it’s no wonder Drazin is looking forward to football season.

William Hill US CEO Joe Asher also has high hopes for football season. William Hill US operates the sports book at Monmouth Park and Ocean Resort. In a press release discussing the first sports betting revenue numbers, Asher said:

While it’s still early, we’re obviously off to a great start. We always knew there was a big appetite for legal sports betting during the years of litigation, and now it is being proven. We are proud to be creating new jobs in New Jersey and bringing excitement to our customers. We can’t wait until football season.

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Sports betting is looking bright in New Jersey

With mobile sports wagering on the horizon and new casinos confirming entry into the market, look for revenue numbers to continue to climb.

Taking the two weeks of revenue data for June and normalizing it to represent a 30-day month, the total numbers are:

  • Handle: $28,958,151
  • Revenue: $6,103,532
  • Taxes: $518,801

When July 2018 revenue numbers are released there will be at least one new operator in the mix, Meadowlands Racetrack, which opens on Saturday, July 14. FanDuel will transition from daily fantasy sports to sports betting when it opens the FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands on Saturday.

During its recent grand opening, Hard Rock confirmed it plans to open a sportsbook. Also coming on board is Resorts, Golden Nugget, and Caesars. The timing on these new entries is unknown.

After years of fighting to get sports betting in the state, New Jersey is off to a solid start.

Photo by Cheryl Ann Quigley / Shutterstock.com

About

Kim Yuhl is a freelance writer and blogger who writes about poker culture and the online gambling industry. A part-time member of the poker media since 2013, Kim recently sold her marketing business to write full-time while traveling around the world. You can learn more about her work and travels at kimyuhl.com.