ports betting volume at New Jersey’s sportsbooks grew to more than $664 million in the month of August. The state could become the first to reach $1 billion in wagering over a single month, as a surge is expected to take place this fall.
Moreover, New Jersey’s online casinos posted a near-record month, drawing closer to becoming the first US state to generate $1 billion in annual Internet gaming revenue, according to PlayNJ, a PlayUSA branch that tracks the state’s online gaming and sports betting markets.
Online and retail sportsbooks took in a total $664.7 million in bets in August, down 0.5% from August 2020 while up 14.9% from the slow $578.7 million month of July 2021. Sportsbooks have generated so far $6.1 billion in wagers throughout the year, topping $6.0 billion handle posted in all 2020.
Gross gaming revenue (GGR) in August grew 31.7% to $52.0 million, up from $39.5 million in August 2020. It did, however, slide 5.4% compared to $55.0 million in revenue in July. Throughout the month of August, operations reported $7.9 million in state and local taxes.
“The state’s online casinos continue to churn out $100 million-plus revenue months, month after month, and August’s growth shows just a hint of what is to come for sports betting,” said Eric Ramsey, analyst for the PlayUSA Network. “Now the state’s sportsbooks and online casinos are both poised to reach heights that not long ago were thought to be impossible.”
Baseball was the main sporting event to draw wagering, a total $248.0 million, up from $195.4 million in July. In comparison, football only drew $27.5 million in bets, an expected figure as it was a slow month in terms of games.
However, as September features a full slate of college football games and the first weeks of the NFL season, sportsbooks could break records, pushing toward $1 billion in wagering for the month.
No state has reached $1 billion in wagering over a single month yet, although NJ did get close in December 2020, with bettors placing a total $996.3 million in wagers in the last full month of regular-season NFL games.
“With only a few college and NFL preseason games, August still showed the outsized effect football has on the sports-betting industry,” said PlayNJ analyst Valerie Cross. “Even if September falls short of $1 billion in wagering, we will likely get there before the end of the year.”
Most of wagers in August were made online, with Meadowlands, FanDuel, PointsBet, and SuperBook leading this segment with $23.6 million in gross revenue. Meanwhile, retail sportsbooks attracted $51.8 million, with Meadowlands and FanDuel also topping this market at $3.2 million in revenue.
Online casinos and poker rooms generated $113.2 million in GGR in August, up 29.0% from August 2020, while down from record $118.7 million in July. They have produced a total $866.1 million in revenue so far in 2021, on pace to surpass $1 billion annual revenue for the first time. As it stands, this year’s revenue could end up nearly tripling that gained in all of 2019.
“The behavior change we saw last year appears long-lasting, and perhaps even permanent,” predicted Ramsey. “While there are some bumps in the road ahead for sports betting, including increased competition from neighbors, it appears there is not much that will slow down online casinos.”