New Jersey Sports Betting Handle Totals $16M in First Two Weeks, Atlantic City Gaming Win Increases

New Jersey sportsbooks printed $16.4 million worth of betting slips during the state’s first two weeks with the gambling activity legalized.

New Jersey sports betting Atlantic City

New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy placed the first legal sports bet in the state at Monmouth Park. Thousands followed his lead. (Image: Noah Murray/AP)

The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement (DGE) reports that the sportsbooks at Monmouth Park, Borgata, and Ocean Resort won nearly $3.5 million on the total handle in June. Oddsmakers kept 7.8 percent of the $15.36 million bet on events that were completed before the month’s end.

However, the state regulator cautioned that over $1 million, or six percent of the total handle, were futures bets. That money is being counted as a win for now, but will be reduced when the wagers pay off.

Regardless, it was a strong debut to New Jersey’s entry into sports betting.

We’re off to a great start,” William Hill US CEO Joe Asher told the Associated Press. “We always knew there was a big appetite for legal sports betting during the years of litigation, and now it is being proven.”

William Hill has been waiting patiently for years to open its sportsbook at the Monmouth Park Racetrack. On June 14, the facility was the first in New Jersey to take a sports bet in wake of the Supreme Court’s May repeal of the longstanding federal prohibition. Borgata opened its sportsbook a half-hour later.

Sports betting contributed almost $300,000 in taxes to the state during the two-week period.

Atlantic City Benefits

Monmouth Park dominated sports betting in June, with the sportsbook reporting revenues of $2.28 million. Borgata was a distant second at $986,000, and Ocean Resort, which was open for just two days, reported a win of $192,000.

Though the vasty majority of bets were placed some 70 miles north in Oceanport, Atlantic City presumably welcomed new visitors who ventured to the beachfront gambling mecca to place their first legal sports bet in the Garden State.

The highly anticipated openings of two new casinos, Hard Rock and Ocean Resort, had the town bustling during the last weekend of the month. Both properties commenced business on June 27.

Total land-based casino win jumped 5.1 percent to $207.5 million, a $10 million premium on June 2017. Add in sports betting and online gambling revenue, and Atlantic City casinos saw their bottom lines climb 7.3 percent.

Year-to-date, however, total gross gaming revenue remains down 2.3 percent, or $30 million.

Critical Months Ahead

June was a smashing success for New Jersey’s gambling industry. Atlantic City was packed, with resorts charging premium overnight rates as crowds flooded the Boardwalk to check out the new resorts.

Market analysts are hoping Hard Rock’s continual hosting of A-list acts (Carrie Underwood and Pitbull did the grand ceremony honors) continues to bring new visitors to town.

But in his most recently national gaming industry review, respected analyst Ken Adams predicts the two new casinos will poach from existing floors. “There is no white knight on the horizon for Atlantic City casinos,” he opined.

The DGE’s June GGR report shows that three casinos, Bally’s, Harrah’s, and Resorts, reported lower revenue last month.

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