To no one’s surprise, the month of March was a bad one for New Jersey casinos in terms of sports betting revenue. As of March 12th, professional sports leagues across the planet started to suspend their schedules until further notice due to the coronavirus pandemic. Among many of the side effects of that are the sports betting revenues for all sportsbooks vastly dropping. March was certainly a sign of things to come for as long as the pandemic lasts, as there was only a period of about two weeks where sports were being wagered on. Let’s take a look at the numbers.
New Jersey March Sports Betting Revenue Report
Some March numbers from the NJDGE:
|Sports Betting Handle||Monthly Handle||YTD Handle|
|Retail Sports Betting||$18,459,502||$145,745,458|
|Online Sports Betting||$163,449,027||$1,071,090,330|
With just about two weeks of major professional sports to wager on, the March sports betting handle came in at $181.9M, a massive drop off from February where the monthly betting handle totaled a massive $494.8M. Of course, that includes the biggest sporting event of the year in the Super Bowl, but nonetheless. A $313M drop month-over-month is not good, but very expected with the coronavirus concerns. As for the total revenue for the month, the number came in at just over $13M, which was also a drop from February but again…expected. For a month expected to have massive volume due to March Madness, the COVID-19 pandemic caused the opposite.
No March Madness Hurts New Jersey Sportsbooks
Here's the big story in the NJ March Sportsbetting Revenue Numbers:
While they were only open for the first two weeks of March, out of the 11 retail sportsbooks in NJ, only 2 had a positive gross gaming revenue. 👀
9 of 11 retail books lost money booking sports in March!
— Captain Jack Andrews (@capjack2000) April 15, 2020
In 2019, March Madness contributed to a betting handle that brought in over $370M in New Jersey. That was in the very beginning of sports betting in New Jersey as the first March Madness where sports betting was legal. In 2020, it was expected to be massive. With only a handful of sportsbooks and limited awareness in 2019, $370M was a record at the time. 2020 March Madness revenue would have likely brought the sports betting handle close to or more than $500M again, similar to February even with the Super Bowl.
A Look Ahead at April Sports Betting Revenue
The NFL draft is a relatively new ancillary offering for regulated betting markets but this year it has become an industry focal point
Will you bet the NFL draft?
— Todd Fuhrman (@ToddFuhrman) April 13, 2020
March was certainly bad, but April will likely be much, much worse. The only saving grace is the NFL Draft, which will certainly be the biggest betting market to happen in April. Yes, there are NFL futures and other futures to bet on, but the action always follows the events that will happen in the current month. The NFL Draft will be a key asset in any potential revenue for New Jersey sportsbooks in April, as there is likely zero professional sports to be played in America. You can bet on some global sports and eSports, but not the NFL, NBA, NHL, MLB, MLS, and more.