The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported sports wagering adjusted gross revenue totaling just over $96 million for August as sportsbooks continued a historic summer rout of Garden State bettors.
That was good for the third-highest revenue for operators in state history, trailing the record $114.8 million established in November 2021 and the $98 million accrued last September. Six of the state’s top 10 all-time monthly operator revenue totals have come in the last 12 months of wagering, during which the house has claimed $941.9 million in revenue.
Sportsbooks statewide fashioned a collective 13.2% hold, the highest in the mobile era that began in August 2018 and one which trails only the 21.1% win rate when New Jersey launched in June of that year. It was the fourth consecutive month with a double-digit hold, furthering an unprecedented streak that began in May. Garden State sportsbooks had posted only four win rates of 10% or higher prior to this run.
Handle surged to $725.8 million, up 32.8% from the same month last year, as New Jersey became the first state in the post-PASPA era to accept more than $40 billion worth of wagers. August’s handle was up 23.6% compared to July and also lessened the decline in year-to-date handle versus 2022 to 5.7% with $6.5 billion in bets made.
The state collected $12.3 million in taxes, lifting the 2023 total to $76.6 million. That is $22.5 million ahead of last year’s pace, as operator revenue has skyrocketed 42.7% to $597.9 million in the first eight months of 2023. The hold of 9.2% in 2023, which jumped more than half a percentage point with August’s numbers, is 3.1 percentage points higher than in 2022.
A baseball mystery and another parlay pasting
22.71% handle/41.34% revenue
24.12% handle/55.45% revenue
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) September 15, 2023
An unlikely source of August’s boost in revenue came from baseball, where bettors smashed all-time in-season records in the three major categories of revenue, handle, and hold.
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The $28.8 million in operator revenue was nearly double the previous record of $14.7 million set in June, while the $288.1 million worth of wagers accepted was a 17.5% improvement on last month’s short-lived record of $245.2 million. The 10% hold marked the first time it reached double digits during the season, with the only previous occasion above 9% coming in October 2019 at 9.4%.
Since the NJDGE does not divulge handle and revenue by operator, there are few clues as to where the surge originated. One possibility is a bettor or bettors placing large World Series futures wagers, as those bets would count as revenue until paid out as a winning wager to a bettor or bettors.
If that is the case, it is possible that wager was placed through DraftKings. In the monthly tax filing submitted to the NJDGE by Resorts Digital Gaming, which is the tether to DraftKings as well as the now-shuttered FOX BET and its internal Resorts app, the entity reported a staggering $56.9 million in revenue for August.
That is more than double its previous monthly high of $25.3 million from June and the second-largest monthly haul in New Jersey history behind the $59 million accumulated among FanDuel, PointsBet, and SuperBook in November 2021.
Another possibility is that the public underestimated the struggles of the New York Mets and New York Yankees, who were a combined 21-36 in August. The Mets lost their first six games of the month, while the Yankees endured a nine-game skid from Aug. 12-22.
One source of revenue that is never a mystery is parlay wagering. Operators again ran roughshod over the betting public, fashioning a 24.1% hold to claim $39.7 million in revenue from $164.8 million wagered. It was the fifth consecutive month that the hold for parlays was 21.9% or higher, a new record, and August’s total lifted the overall win rate for the calendar year to 21.2%.
More than half of New Jersey sportsbook revenue in 2023 — $331.5 million — has originated via parlay bets.
King of the hill, top of the heap — for now
The $40 billion handle figure means New Jersey is responsible for more than 15% of the known $255.3 billion handle of the post-PASPA era that began in June 2018. The Garden State passed Nevada for the No. 1 spot in May 2021, and only New York and Illinois are gaining ground in terms of total amount wagered.
The neighboring Empire State will eventually overtake New Jersey, but at the moment, the two are separated by slightly more than $12.3 billion. New York has generated $4.8 billion more handle than New Jersey through the first eight months of 2023 and leads all states with $11.2 billion in accepted bets.