The NJ sports betting market continued on a path toward normalcy in June even without major sports leagues.
Handle hit $165 million last month, up 40% from May’s total and more than triple April’s $54.6 million mark.
Even though handle fell 39.6% from last June, operators had a better month this year with revenue up 30.3% to $12.6 million, according to the state’s report. That’s good for 7.7% hold.
June’s growth looks promising for an industry that essentially halted four months ago by the coronavirus pandemic. But July and August will truly tell the story of New Jersey sports betting‘s return with the NBA, MLB, and NHL returning to play.
NJ sports betting handle dominated by ‘other’
Without major US sports leagues in action, the typically fringe sports that don’t get much betting action continue to rule the books.
New Jersey does not supply monthly handle by sport, but it does tally completed events handle by category for the entire year. The “other” category was by far the leader in growth from May to June, growing $125.8 million over May’s total.
In New Jersey, “other” means anything outside of football, basketball, and baseball. So NASCAR betting and PGA Tour betting, as well betting on UFC, clearly carried the state last month. No doubt international soccer and the pandemic-beloved table tennis took a nice slice of the “other” pie as well.
The parlay category added the second-most in the month with a $27.4 million increase, followed by baseball’s $7 million increase and basketball’s $3.2 million bump.
Can NJ market recover this year?
It’s highly unlikely the NJ sports betting market will match the $4.6 billion in handle bet last year. There are two important factors that will play into the market recovery.
First, sports actually have to start and finish their seasons. Second, sports bettors still need to have disposable income, something that might be hard to come by for some following the economic shutdown over the past few months. And no one knows what to expect from the NFL or college football at the moment either.
But New Jersey’s sports betting handle through June is just 22.4% off the $1.98 billion total at this point last year. Revenue, meanwhile, is nearly flat, down just 0.6% at $108.9 million.
The industry will soon find out just how much pent-up demand a four-month layoff from major sports creates.