Sports betting in New Jersey slipped in April to its lowest level since last summer, as the calendar of sporting events began to cool off.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported Monday that the state’s sports-wagering handle for April was $926.9 million, down from $1.12 billion for March but up from $748 million a year earlier.
April's handle for New Jersey's retail and online sportsbooks was the lowest since August of 2021, when wagering added up to $664 million. The last time the state's handle fell below the billion-dollar mark was in February when bookmakers took $985.6 million in bets.
At least some of the dropoff in April could be chalked up to the slowdown on the sports calendar.
The NCAA college basketball tournament, one of the most popular events of the year for bettors, wrapped up at the start of the month. Meanwhile, the only professional football was that of the upstart USFL.
Bookies did get some relief, though. The NBA playoffs tipped off in April and the NHL season continued, albeit with the New Jersey Devils nowhere close to being in contention.
Another factor that could have cost New Jersey bookmakers some handle in April is the legal launch of online sports betting in New York, which is regularly racking up billion-dollar wagering months. Still, the fact New Jersey’s handle was a good deal higher year-over-year suggests Garden State sportsbooks are weathering the competition well.
The bulk of sports betting last month in the Garden State was online, as internet-based wagering amounted to $863.1 million. New Jersey sportsbooks have now taken more than $4 billion in bets overall in 2022, with year-to-date handle as of the end of April approaching $4.4 billion.
Sports-betting gross revenue in New Jersey last month was $50.3 million, which was down by 8.2% compared to a year earlier. It was also below the $66.4 million in revenue reported for March 2022.
Based on their monthly receipts, the hold for New Jersey sportsbooks in April was 5.4%. That was lower than the win rates reported for April 2021 and March 2022, which were 7.3% and 5.9%, respectively.
The top sports-betting licensee in New Jersey in terms of revenue was Meadowlands Racing and Entertainment. The racetrack and its online sportsbook partners — FanDuel, PointsBet, and SuperBook Sports — generated $33.3 million in receipts for the month.
New Jersey sportsbooks will have their work cut out for them to claw their way back above the billion-dollar mark in the months to come. Summer is traditionally a slower season for the books.
State lawmakers could also be considering limits on sports-betting ads over concerns a deluge of marketing may increase gambling addiction.