Sports Betting Slows In April, But Still Tops $925 Million
Sportsbooks and online casinos post impressive year-over-year growth even as industry faces economic headwinds
(ATLANTIC CITY, N.J.) — Wagering at New Jersey’s online and retail sportsbooks slowed in April to $927 million, marking the first month of an expected seasonal ebb in sports betting. But year-over-year gains in sports betting remained high while online casinos continued their momentum in April, a sign that the digital industry continues to fare well despite economic headwinds that are beginning to affect brick-and-mortar casinos, according to Play NJ, which tracks gaming developments in the state.
“So far the national economic headwinds do not appear to be taking a significant bite out of the gaming industry,” said David Danzis, an analyst for play-nj.com. “But it is entirely possible that as everyday costs increase, people will begin to curtail their betting. Time will tell, but it is a concern for the industry.”
New Jersey’s online and retail sportsbooks generated $926.9 million in bets in April, which is still up 23.9% from $746.8 million in April 2021, according to official reporting released Monday. April’s handle was down 17.3% from $1.1 billion in March, and was the lowest since $664.7 million in bets were made in August 2021.
While year-over-year growth remained significant, April marked the first month this year with a year-over-year gain of less than 31%.
April’s bets produced $50.3 million in operator revenue, which was down 8.2% from $54.7 million in April 2021, and down 24.2% from $66.4 million in March. March’s win yielded $7.1 million in state and local taxes.
Basketball betting — which included the Final Four and the NBA Playoffs in April — buoyed sportsbooks by generating $323.4 million in straight wagers. That was up 83.6% from $176.2 million in April 2021. Basketball has now generated $2 billion in wagers over four months of 2022. Baseball attracted $177.9 million in straight wagers, up from $154.9 million in April 2021.
“The popularity of the NBA has always buffered the state from a more dramatic spring slowdown,” Danzis said. “Having the Sixers and Nets in the early rounds of the NBA Playoffs this year certainly doesn’t hurt either. The market will continue to cool in the coming months as NBA games become less frequent and baseball and other sports such as golf take center stage.”
Online sportsbooks attracted $863.1 million in wagers, or 93.1% of April’s handle, and won $46.3 million in revenue on those bets.
FanDuel/PointsBet/SuperBook topped the online market with $29.2 million in gross revenue, down from $33.7 million in March. DraftKings/Fox Bet was second with $7.4 million in revenue.
Meanwhile, retail sportsbooks won $4.0 million on $63.8 million in bets. Meadowlands/FanDuel topped the market with $4.1 in revenue.
“While volume is expected to remain relatively low over the summer months, sportsbooks have been successful over the years in generating significant revenue with baseball parlays and major golf tournaments,” said Eric Ramsey, an analyst for the PlayUSA.com Network, which includes play-nj.com. “Those bets have less favorable odds for bettors than straight wagers, and help ensure operators remain profitable.”
Online casinos and poker
New Jersey’s online casinos and poker rooms generated $136.9 million in revenue in April, the third-most over a single month behind only March’s record $140.7 million and January’s $137.8 million. Averaged out per day, though, revenue was up to $4.6 million over the 30 days in April, topping the previous record of $4.5 million per day in March.
April’s win was up 27% from $107.7 million in April 2021, and generated $20.5 million in state taxes and fees.
“We keep looking for the ceiling in the online market, but New Jersey still hasn’t hit it,” Ramsey said. “With inflation eating away at discretionary income, though, it wouldn’t be surprising to finally see a leveling off in the coming months after nearly 10 years of constant growth. But online gaming could also benefit if customers choose to stay home rather than travel to an Atlantic City casino.”
Other highlights from April report:
- Borgata led the state with $39.9 million in casino and poker revenue. Golden Nugget was second with $38.1 million and Resorts Atlantic City was No. 3 with $29.1 million.
- Online casino games produced $134.6 million in revenue, up 27.8% from $105.3 million in April 2021.
- Online poker generated $2.3 million in revenue, down 6.3% from $2.4 million in March 2021.
For more information and analysis on regulated sports betting and online gaming, visit play-nj.com/news. Contact: Zack Hall, Catena Media, [email protected]