New Jersey Sports Betting Hits $1 Billion In Wagers, DFS Rivalry Heats Up

Posted on January 17, 2019

The New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement‘s monthly revenue report for December 2018 shows that New Jersey sportsbooks have already collected more than $1 billion in wagers since sports betting began in June. As it turns out, daily fantasy sports (DFS) rivals DraftKings and FanDuel are competing for the lion’s share of the pot.

NJ sports betting in December 2018 — at a glance

As it happens, the billion-dollar mark sailed past without too much difficulty. Officially, New Jersey sportsbooks collected $1,247,290,341 in their inaugural year of service.

The month of December itself proceeded at a similar rate to November. December monthly handle was just over $319 million, and the sportsbooks themselves kept $20.8 million in revenue.

By comparison, November 2018 featured $330 million of wagers and $21.2 million in revenue. It is unknown if this level of wagering represents a sustainable trend for NJ sports betting. There is also no way to tell how profoundly football season contributed to these numbers.

One part of the report that looks to be a trend, however, is the popularity of online sports betting in the state. Garden Staters wagered nearly twice as much money online as they did in brick-and-mortar sportsbooks last month.

This development is not terribly surprising, given the level of convenience and the remote location of the physical sportsbooks. The shocking part is how quickly that sector took over the market. After all, online sportsbooks did not even exist until early August.

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FanDuel and DraftKings continue their endless war

Perhaps the most surprising story about the nascent NJ sports betting market has been the emergence and dominance of FanDuel and DraftKings. The two upstart sportsbooks, whose previous claim to fame was the daily fantasy sports niche, have commandeered both the digital and retail market in a very short period of time.

DraftKings, which was the only online sportsbook on the scene for nearly three weeks, remained on top of the digital market. The company in black and green reported online revenue of just under $6.7 million for the month.

That figure topped its perennial rival’s online performance by just over $1 million. However, FanDuel’s stellar performance in the retail market, which accounted for over $3.5 million in additional revenue, propelled the company into the market lead for the first time.

In fact, the two DFS veterans combined to claim $15.8 million of the state’s $20.8 million in revenue. In other words, DraftKings and FanDuel enjoy a combined market share of 76 percent.

It would seem that the two companies’ fates are destined to be intertwined. However, DraftKings suffered a hiccup this past weekend that might lead to a FanDuel surge.

DraftKings is still dealing with the fallout from its Sports Betting National Championship fiasco. The incident, which may end up costing the company more than a million dollars, is a black eye for a company that had not stumbled before.

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer and poker player from Houston, Texas. Bart writes about the NJ online casino industry and US online poker. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M.

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