Sports wagering revenue in New Jersey fell back to Earth in October after experiencing explosive growth in September. But that's not bad news for gamblers.
The state's 10 licensed bookmakers reported sports betting revenue of $11.7 million in October, a 51 percent decline from September, when casinos and racetracks reported a stunning $24 million in revenue.
But the decline in sports-betting revenue does not reflect a slump in the confidence of bettors, according to a report released Thursday by the New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement. Bettors wagered $76.8 million more in October than the previous month — a 41.8 percent increase in total monthly handle from $183.9 million to $260.7 million.
Rather, bookmakers had a bad month in October, winning only 4.5 percent of the money wagered, compared with 13 percent in September.
Since sports betting launched in June, bookmakers have won 5.8 percent of the $586 million wagered.
The state reported total gaming revenue for October of $239.1 million, up 15.8 percent or $32.7 million over the same month last year.
Casino revenue, or win, for October was $200.6 million, up 8 percent over the same month last year. Internet gaming revenue was $26.8 million, up 30.1 percent. Sports wagering, which only launched in June, was $11.7 million.
Though casino revenue increased $14.8 million over last year, it was spread among two more casinos this year — the Hard Rock and the Ocean Resort opened this summer, bringing the total number of Atlantic City casinos to nine.
Of the seven casinos operating for at least 12 months, only the Tropicana reported an increase in revenue. Harrah's and Caesars reported declines of more than 21 percent, suggesting they suffered the most as the new casinos cannibalized Atlantic City's existing customer base.