New York’s sportsbooks saw patrons wager over $631 million more than in New Jersey during January – the first month that online and mobile sports betting was legal in the Empire State – according to new gaming figures.
January numbers published Feb. 16 by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement show that patrons wagered $1.34 billion at New Jersey’s internet and in-person retail sportsbooks. But in New York, patrons wagered $1.98 billion, most of it via online and mobile apps, according to figures released earlier this week by the New York State Gaming Commission.
“New York will definitely take a bit of steam out of New Jersey’s numbers,” said Joe Lupo, president of Hard Rock Atlantic City, as well as the gambling trade group the Casino Association of New Jersey. “I don’t think there’s any concern. It is what it is.”
“Can you blame somebody in Manhattan not [wanting] to drive across the river” to New Jersey, he continued in an interview.
New York’s sportsbooks are split among Caesars, DraftKings, FanDuel and Rush Street Interactive, and have been operating across the Hudson River since the greenlight for remote sports wagering came on Jan. 8.
GeoComply Solutions, a tech company based in Vancouver, Canada, reported on Jan. 18 that 1.76 million new accounts have been created in New York since the start of online sports betting, with most users trying it for the first time.
New Jersey spent years as a national leader in sports betting, since a 2018 U.S. Supreme Court decision that banned the practice in all but a handful of states.
The state set a national record in total monthly wagers in October with $1.3 billion, but that was beaten by New York last month. New York is likewise poised to overtake New Jersey in terms of the number of wagers placed on the Super Bowl over this past weekend.
“You have countless folks who literally had been crossing the George Washington Bridge, placing a bet inside the four walls, maybe at the Meadowlands or in their car online and going back to New York. Presumably a good amount of that traffic will cease,” Gov. Phil Murphy said during a COVID-19 press briefing on Feb. 7. “That does not mean that we still won’t have a very good book of business.”
FanDuel runs the retail sportsbook for the Meadowlands Racetrack just down the road from the Lincoln Tunnel, which lets out in Midtown Manhattan.
“No retail operator in New Jersey will be impacted more by New York’s sports betting expansion more than FanDuel’s Meadowlands sportsbook,” said David Danzis, an analyst at PlayNJ.com.
“FanDuel has dominated both the online and retail markets since the beginning, in part, because of its close proximity to New York City. For the first time since New Jersey launched sports betting, FanDuel’s market supremacy in the state is threatened.”
FanDuel was not available for comment for this story.
Jane Bokunewicz, coordinator at Stockton University’s Lloyd D. Levenson Institute of Gaming, Hospitality and Tourism just outside of Atlantic City, nonetheless pointed out that New Jersey’s sports betting business has shown no signs of slowing down. Last month’s handle was among the state’s highest in a single month, she noted.
“As the nation moves from a pandemic to endemic posture regarding COVID-19 there is reason to hope for a strong spring and a surge in in-person wagering come summer 2022,” Bokunewicz said on Wednesday.
With the Super Bowl – where New Jersey patrons wagered nearly $144 million – regular NFL football games, expanded playoffs and college football, January’s numbers were notably robust. And March Madness is just around the corner.
As Lupo characterized it, January marks “some of the busiest times of sports betting.”