NJ Sports Betting Takes A Step Back In May With $766 Million In Bets

Written By Chris Imperiale on June 17, 2022

New Jersey sports betting didn’t have the best month of May. The Garden State’s sportsbooks accepted slightly over $765 million in bets, which is around $160 million shy of April’s production.

Unfortunately, this might just be the start of things to come based on where we are at with the yearly sports calendar.

May’s handle also came up a little short of last year’s. Based on the latest report released Thursday by state regulators, it fell about $48 million, or 6%.

Overall, it wasn’t a poor showing for NJ sportsbooks, though. They managed to generate more than $61 million in revenue, topping both last month and May 2021.

The profits beat out April by over $11 million, while they grew by 16% year-over-year.

Naturally, basketball featured the majority of the betting attention. The sport increased its lead in this department for the year, now with around $2.2 billion of handle in 2022.

May NJ sports betting results

The Meadowlands Racetrack continues to dominate the Garden State market thanks to its partnership with FanDuel Sportsbook.  While FanDuel accounts for the bulk of the $35.5 million in revenue,  PointsBet NJ and SuperBook also contributed to the performance.

Resorts Digital (DraftKings Sportsbook and Fox Bet) finished a distant second with $11.3 million.

Here is a closer at how all 12 NJ sports betting license holders and their online partners fared during May.

Licensee Online Brand(s) Handle Revenue Hold Taxes
Meadowlands FanDuel | PointsBet | SuperBook $422,668,527 $35,530,451 8.4% $4,979,756
Resorts Atlantic City DraftKings | Fox Bet $138,826,476 $11,084,715 8.0% $1,605,733
Borgata BetMGM | Borgata $105,700,077 $6,446,540 6.1% $1,084,428
Freehold Barstool | PlayUp | betParx $31,121,070 $2,594,596 8.3% $363,700
Monmouth Park PlaySugarHouse | Caesars | theScore Bet $23,570,946 $2,009,206 8.5% $269,768
Hard Rock Atlantic City Hard Rock | bet365 | Unibet $16,211,324 $1,355,962 8.4% $182,553
Tropicana Atlantic City Caesars $14,444,762 $1,214,122 8.4% $168,269
Bally’s Atlantic City EEG $7,596,337 $806,569 10.6% $78,639
Golden Nugget Atlantic City Golden Nugget | TwinSpires | Betway $2,365,392 $208,281 8.8% $2,604
Caesars Atlantic City WynnBet $1,631,599 $134,866 8.3% $18,993
Ocean Tipico | Caesars $1,546,776 $131,296 8.5% $16,496
Harrah’s Atlantic City $729,065 $77,412 10.6% $2,120
$766,412,352 $61,594,016 8.0% $8,773,059

NY sports betting launch not impacting NJ

Despite slight setbacks like showcasing a lower handle in May than in the previous month or a year ago, the NJ market is in solid shape. This is especially true after seeing minimal impact from the launch of sports wagering in New York.

Of course, the large quantity of people who travel over to NJ from the Empire State to place wagers has been reported in the past. That came to a halt in Jan. 2022, when the NY market went live.

Still, NJ books appear to be just fine. Through the first five months of the year, they took over $5.1 billion in bets, which is over $1 billion more compared to this time last year.

This is a jump up of nearly 25%.

The fact that NJ is thriving proves that sports betting is still becoming more popular, even in places where sportsbooks have existed for some time.

NBA Playoffs provide enticing markets

Although the end of the spring is typically when sports betting figures begin to dip for the summer, the NBA Playoffs helped out. With both the Brooklyn Nets and Philadelphia 76ers in the mix, NJ bettors had an added interest.

Brooklyn, following a poor regular season, got bounced in the opening round. However, the Sixers entire series with the Miami Heat took place in May. After tying the series up at two games apiece with a couple of home victories, Philly lost the next two.

Still, the six contests provided plenty of betting opportunities for Sixers enthusiasts who live in NJ.

Basketball accounts for exactly $2.2 billion in wagers year to date. This is currently $1 billion more than any other sport category so far this year.

That will change fairly quickly to football once the fall arrives.

Are NJ bettors using retail sportsbooks?

May’s report suggests that a decent amount of NJ residents are still using their closest retail sportsbook to place wagers. Even though May had a bad performance in retail handle, betting in person is trending upward in 2022.

NJ’s on-site books saw about $58 million in May handle, whereas April was closer to $64 million. Retail options accepted almost $80 million in May 2021, but that wasn’t the usual case.

After five months, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks have taken just over $425 million in bets in 2022, when last year was at only $350 million through May.

This is a difference of 21%.

It’s possible more people in the state are feeling comfortable about health restrictions in the area and are back watching games at sportsbooks. This goes for others from outside the state deciding to travel on vacation, as well.

Looking ahead at NJ sports betting

As mentioned, this past report is probably a sign of more declining months ahead. There isn’t anything NJ can do as an individual market, as the entire country should see a similar drop.

The NBA Finals are just about finished, while the Stanley Cup Finals are underway now, too. Once they both are completed, there isn’t much left in terms of American sports until NFL and NCAA Football start back up.

MLB betting is always around, along with some of the bigger tennis and golf tournaments. These markets don’t attract nearly the same betting figures, though. Baseball is responsible for an average of about $187 million in handle per month so far, compared to basketball at $447 million.

So, expect sports betting to continue to reduce for a few months going forward.

Photo by AP Photo/David Zalubowski
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Chris Imperiale

Chris Imperiale covers legal sports betting and casino gambling in New Jersey and Pennsylvania. He has a journalism degree from Rutgers University and was formerly on staff at Bleacher Report.

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