The start of the NFL and NCAA football seasons nearly tripled sports wagering revenue for New Jersey sportsbooks in September after a slow start following legalization in the state over the summer. The amount of money being wagered on sports nearly doubled.
Sportsbooks brought in $24 million in revenue from Garden State bettors in September, with wagers placed online representing more than half of that total, according to the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. That's up from just $9 million in revenue for August. The amount bet nearly doubled to $184 million from $95.6 million in August. From football alone, sportsbooks in New Jersey took $88.6 million in bets.
"We beat all of our expectations by far," said Matt Kalish, chief revenue officer for DraftKings, a daily fantasy sports operator which opened an online sportsbook in the state. Kalish added that despite knowing New Jersey's market for sports wagering was large, he expected bettors to slowly adopt their product. Instead, Kalish said, "people are moving quickly from black market sports betting options to legal and regulated options like DraftKings."
Gov. Phil Murphy signed into law a bill legalizing commercial sports betting in June following the U.S. Supreme Court's decision to overturn a federal ban on the practice. Delaware, Mississippi and West Virginia have since authorized sportsbooks as well. New Jersey's sportsbooks grossed little more than $7 million in revenue over June and July, largely because the online betting infrastructure was not ready then.
In-person sports betting also reached new heights in September. Meadowlands Racetrack made almost $4.4 million in revenue from sports wagers, while Monmouth Park Racetrack and the Borgata Casino each earned more than $2 million in gross revenue in September, according to the gaming report.
DraftKings, the first online sportsbook for New Jersey bettors, opened on Aug. 1. A slew of other online sports betting options soon followed, and to date, more than $336 million in sports bets have been placed using New Jersey sportsbooks, with $126.5 million of those bets placed online.
Throughout August and early September, playMGM, SugarHouse, FanDuel, BetStars, 888Sportsbook and William Hill also entered the New Jersey sportsbook market, leading to a significant uptick in sports wagers placed in state. A statement from FanDuel revealed that the company "brought in over $175 million in handle and entry fees" from New Jersey sports bettors alone.
DraftKings' success in the New Jersey market coincides with the company's first-ever Sports Betting National Championship, which will take place in Jersey City, New Jersey, in early January.