New Jersey Sports Betting October Handle Totals $488M, Atlantic City Casinos Enjoy Strong Month

Posted on: November 15, 2019, 01:00h. 

Last updated on: November 14, 2019, 06:48h.

New Jersey sports betting handle has once again hit an all-time high, as oddsmakers said they took $487.9 million in wagers last month.

New Jersey sports betting casino
New Jersey sports betting delivered casinos a major score in October. (Image: NJTV)

October’s record sports betting handle eclipses the previous high of $445 million set in September 2019. The first legal sports bet in New Jersey was placed in June 2018.

Of the $487.9 million risked, oddsmakers kept $46.4 million – a hold of 9.5 percent.

New Jersey sportsbooks have surpassed Nevada’s in recent months, and it continues to show significant promise for the gaming industry,” Casino Association of New Jersey President Steve Callender told the Press of Atlantic City.

New Jersey and Nevada have been battling for the top spot in terms of monthly sports betting handle, the two states going back and forth this year. The Silver State was No. 1 in September with $546.3 million in wagers.

Nevada sportsbooks took nearly $530 million in October 2018 wagers. The state hasn’t yet released October 2019 figures.

Neighbors With Benefits

New Jersey sports betting is prospering for several reasons, none more so than favorable market conditions.

Garden State residents can make in-person bets at Atlantic City casinos, as well as at the state’s two horse racetracks – Meadowlands and Monmouth Park. They can also place a bet online from anywhere inside the state, and that’s the preferred method. Through October, 82.6 percent of all bets have been facilitated via the internet.

Favorable tax rates – 13 percent on mobile bets and 8.5 percent in-person – have also created an environment where sportsbook operators can thrive.

That isn’t the case in neighboring Pennsylvania, which in addition to a $10 million licensing fee, taxes sportsbook revenues at 34 percent. Former NJ Gov. Chris Christie opined recently that PA bookmakers can’t offer the same incentives due to what he believes is an excessive money grab by Keystone State lawmakers.

As a result, Christie said Pennsylvanians are driving across the PA-NJ border to New Jersey rest stops to make their wagers on their mobile phones.

New York is also doing plenty of favors for New Jersey sports betting. New Yorkers currently must travel upstate to the four commercial land-based casinos to make a wager. Residents in New York City subsequently have been flooding the Hoboken, New Jersey, train terminal to place their sports bets on their mobile devices.

October Casino Win

Sports betting played a critical role in the success of Atlantic City casinos in October. The nine casinos saw their gross gaming revenue (GGR) climb nearly 14 percent.

Brick-and-mortar GGR rose by only 0.8 percent. But with sports betting and $45.2 million in online casino win, the nine operators posted a strong October result.

October revenue increases demonstrate the ‘shoulder season’ is growing the gaming market for Atlantic City — a positive indicator indeed,” said Rummy Pandit, executive director of the Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism at Stockton University.

Total gaming revenue (land-based, internet, and sports betting win) was in the black for seven of the nine casinos. Only Bally’s (-6.2 percent) and Tropicana (-8.9 percent) were in the red.