Sports Betting Doubles New Jersey with $95 Million Bet in August
Sports betting handle more than doubled in New Jersey in August to about $95.6 million as the number of sports books continued to expand, including online sports books.
The influx of sports betting helped Atlantic City casinos post $304 million in revenue for August, an almost 24 percent increase over last year.
The $95.6 million in sports betting easily topped the about $40 million bet in July despite the fact that the August sports calendar is still considered a slow time of year for sports betting. Still, the market has been buoyed by the number of sports books that were launched in August in anticipation of the start of the NFL season. There are now eight live sportsbooks in the state along with seven online portals.
The August report covers all eight live sportsbooks in the state and three online outlets that launched during August.
According to an analysis by the Associated Press, about $74 million was wagered at on-site betting windows in August and $21.7 million was bet online or on mobile phone apps. Those sports books brought in about $9.1 million in gross revenue. That’s up from about $3.8 million in July.
Though actual win revenue was relatively low for Atlantic City casinos, the introduction of sports betting is clearly providing a bump for the resort.
“With the new casinos that opened in June and the addition of sports wagering options, including online alternatives, the gaming industry has experienced growth rates in July and August that have not been achieved in years,” said David Rebuck, director of the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement in a press release. “It is an exciting time for Atlantic City and we look forward to continued revenue growth going forward.”
According to the AP, the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford led the market with just over $3 million in sports betting revenue in August. Monmouth Park racetrack in Oceanport won just under $900,000.
Among casinos, Resorts Digital took in $2.97 million. The company is partnered with DraftKings, which launched the first online app in the state early in the month.
For other casinos, the Borgata casino won just over $855,000; Ocean Resort Casino won nearly $520,000; Harrah’s won nearly $300,000; Bally’s won nearly $270,000; Golden Nugget won over $215,000, and Resorts casino won just over $98,000.
All told, sports betting has brought in $16.4 million since launching in June and about $8 million for Atlantic City casinos. New Jersey regulators report future bets—such as what team will win the World Series—as part of regular handle and the revenue from wins in the month the contests are decided. The companies retained about 5 percent of the amount bet on completed events for the month.
The revenue report from the state Division of Gaming Enforcement included overall revenue for Atlantic City, which was up about 24 percent to $304 million for August compared to 2017. That brought total gaming revenue for the year in the resort to about $1.86 billion through August, an increase of 3 percent compared to 2017.
Online casino and poker sites brought in $24.8 million, down more than a million from the state record set in July, but still up 16.6 percent over August 2017.
For the resort’s newest casino properties, Ocean Resort reported total gaming revenue of $20.5 million and Hard Rock Atlantic City reported total gaming revenue of $31.25 million. Results for the city’s seven remaining casinos again showed that the two new casinos are cannibalizing at least part of the market.
According to the Press of Atlantic City, the Borgata brought in $76.4 million while Bally’s, Harrah’s, Resorts and Tropicana Atlantic City all saw total gaming revenue and casino win decrease. Tropicana was the second-highest revenue generating property in August, reporting $35.8 million in total gaming, but that represents a 4.5 percent decrease from August 2017.
Only Golden Nugget Atlantic City increased year-to-date total gaming revenue, bolstered by a 49.5 percent increase in online gaming revenue year-to-year, which resulted in a 15.3 percent total gaming revenue increase, the Press reported.
888, Tropicana Enter Sports Betting Market
Meanwhile, two new online sports books have been launched in New Jersey. 888 Holdings is focusing on its operations in New Jersey to spearhead an expansion into the U.S. market, and BetStars, the sports betting division of PokerStars, launched under the Resorts Atlantic City license.
PokerStars has been operating its online poker room in New Jersey since 2016, but results have lagged even with the intra-state compacts between New Jersey, Delaware and Nevada. PokerStars now holds second place in the New Jersey market behind Caesars, which is the only company that can take advantage of the compacts because, along with 888, it’s the only poker room legal in all three states.
The Stars Group, parent of PokerStars and BetStars, recently concluded a deal with Mount Airy casino in Pennsylvania to offer sports betting there, and also was approved to buy Sky Bet, the most successful online sports betting site in the UK.
The arrival of the 888sport brand in the state brings another major international player into the market. 888 already runs an online poker and casino site in the state through a partnership with Caesars Entertainment.
Yaniv Sherman, a senior vice-president and head of commercial development for 888 has relocated to the company’s New Jersey office after the launch of the 888sport brand the company said in a press release.
The launch marks the first sports betting venture into the U.S. market for 888, and CEO Itai Frieberger called the move a “major milestone” for the company.
“This provides 888 with a unique and truly multi-product proposition in what is currently the largest regulated U.S. state,” Frieberger said in the release. “888 has been committed to developing its position in the U.S. since launching in Nevada, the first regulated U.S. state, nearly six years ago and today we are the only operator with a presence in all three regulated US states.
“We now have our sport, casino and poker products all operational in the U.S. and are continually developing our proposition, brands and technology to ensure that the group remains exceptionally well positioned to capture the potentially significant future growth opportunities as new regulation allows,” he said.
888sport is partnered with Kambi, the company’s sportsbook provider across international markets.
Tropicana Atlantic City also announced that William Hill U.S. will operate a live sports book at Tropicana Atlantic City, joining its sports books at the Ocean Resort casino and Monmouth Park racetrack. William Hill has also launched an online app in the state.
William Hill will also now operate three separate live sports books in the state when the Tropicana sports book launches. The casino is in the process of being sold to Eldorado Resorts, which had previously announced it was partnering with William Hill for sports betting across its properties.
The announcement confirms that the Tropicana will open a sports book. Hard Rock Atlantic City has also said it will open a sports book meaning that all nine Atlantic City casinos are now expected to include sports betting. Six have already opened, with Caesars Atlantic City sharing a temporary sports book with Bally’s Atlantic City.
In the announcement of the partnership between Eldorado and William Hill, the companies said their initial focus would be on properties in New Jersey, Iowa, Mississippi and West Virginia.
Tropicana said it is still creating a sports betting venue inside the casino with wagering kiosks located throughout the property, but did not announce a potential launch date.
Eldorado has received a temporary approval to own the Tropicana Atlantic City from the New Jersey Casino Control Commission. The casino is part of an $1.85 acquisition of Tropicana Entertainment. The company must still gain full licensing from the commission.
Eldorado officials said they are entering the Atlantic City market with optimism.
“We’re coming in eyes wide open that we’re going to have to fight for our position in this market,” Thomas Reeg, the company’s president told the commission at a hearing on the temporary approval. “We expect a fight for market share and we’re prepared to get involved. We’re buying an asset that we hope is standing and competing 50, 100 years from now.”
Meanwhile, a report from Eilers & Krejcik Gaming is predicting that New Jersey’s sports betting market could top Nevada’s market by 2021.
The report notes that delays for legalizing sports betting in neighboring New York could speed New Jersey in overtaking Nevada. Also, only two casinos in neighboring Pennsylvania have applied for sports books.
Chris Grove, managing director of sports and emerging markets for Eilers & Krejcik Gaming, said New Jersey could have as many as 20 online sports wagering sites by the end of the year
Grove told CDCGamingReports that the prediction was not a criticism of Nevada’s sport betting market.
“New Jersey is almost five times bigger by population and remains a significant tourist destination, despite Atlantic City’s struggles,” Grove said. “Our numbers also call for a significant amount of growth in Nevada’s sports betting market.”
The report also says that New Jersey casinos and racetracks seem to be making smart moves in entering the sports betting market including building “sportsbook facilities that will draw consumers interested in the atmosphere and experience.”
Eilers & Krejcik projected New Jersey’s revenues from sports betting will reach $35 million by the end of 2018 and jump to $221 million in 2019. The analysts expect the market to double to $442 million in gaming revenue by 2021.
Nevada’s sports betting revenues, meanwhile, have grown by nearly 23 percent since 2013. Last year, the state’s sports books took in $4.87 billion in total wagers and collected $248.8 million in revenue on those bets, both records.
Eilers & Krejcik projected Nevada’s sports betting revenue would reach $279 million in 2018 and $410 million by 2021.
Finally, the New York Post reports that the NFL’s New York Jets have been negotiating with several New Jersey sports book providers for a possible sponsorship deal.
The Jets play in the Meadowlands sports complex, which already has a live and online sports book through a partnership with the Meadowlands Racetrack and FanDuel Group.
The Post, quoting unnamed sources, said a sponsorship deal could be for about $750,000 to $1 million a year.
The move comes after the NFL began allowing casino advertising at its stadiums. The Dallas Cowboys last week announced a first-of-its-kind partnership with WinStar World Casino of Oklahoma.
The Jets organization declined to comment on the report.