New Jersey Sports Betting Bounces Back in August

US Sportsbooks · Bonus Codes · Betting News · Special Update

The summer months are normally slow for legal sportsbooks all across the US market. However, this past July was especially tough for a number of state offering legal sports betting.

New Jersey would top that list as the biggest state for legal sports betting in terms of monthly handle. The betting handle refers to the dollar volume of wagers placed over a specific time frame.

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement recently released the state’s sports betting figures for August. Overall, the results for the final full month of summer were better than expected.

The total sports betting handle for the month of July sunk to $578.7 million. To put that number in perspective, New Jersey started the year with a January handle close to $1 billion. Avoiding another month-to-month decline, the August handle increased 14.9% to $664.7 million.

That has to be taken as a positive sign given the slower than expected summer months of June and July. However, the August handle was slightly lower than August of last year at $668 million.

The record monthly sports betting handle for the Garden State is $996.9 million in December of 2020. This past January was a close second.

The added betting volume in August did not add up to increased revenues for New Jersey sportsbook operators. Total revenue in July came in at $55 million. Revenue figures for August dipped 5.4% to $52 million.

The main difference was a lower hold rate for books last month. A sportsbook’s hold percentage is the difference between the money paid out on winning wagers and the money collected plus commission on losing bets.

New Jersey books posted a healthy 9.5% hold in July. That rate fell to 7.8% in the month of August. Promotional activity through welcome bonus offers has a major impact on a book’s hold. Money paid out for these types of bonus offers comes out of its overall revenue.

Nonetheless, New Jersey is poised for a major upswing in September. The return of football could drive this month’s handle over that elusive $1 billion plateau. All the top US sportsbooks such as FanDuelDraftKings and BetMGM offer mobile sports betting in the Garden State.

Industry analysts have suggested that August’s upswing could be attributed to pent-up demand for football. College football offered a limited schedule of games on the final Saturday of the month. The NFL ran its three-game preseason schedule during August.

Early indications are extremely positive for September. Through geolocation tracking, New Jersey posted 12.5 million sports betting transactions from Thursday, Sept. 9 through Sunday, Sept. 12. This time frame covered Week 1 of the new NFL season.

The transactions were tracked by GeoComply Solutions. The Canadian-based company specializes in fraud prevention and cybersecurity solutions.

According to posted data, those 12.5 million transactions reflect a 21% increase from last season’s opening weekend in the NFL. On a national scale, the same tracking data recorded a 126% increase across 18 different US markets offering legal sports betting.

Written by Dave Schwab, our US Sports Betting Industry expert. You can learn more about our author's expertise here.