The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement has announced sports betting numbers for the month of November and the numbers were shocking. Total sports betting handle for the month was up over $1.6 billion, which easily shattered the previous record of $1.35 million.
Things were trending in the right direction heading into the month of November as there were two straight months with a total handle of at least $1.3 million. New Jersey has reclaimed second place in terms of largest sports betting markets, but it still trails New York and it’s $2.1 billion by a wide margin.
Not all of the numbers in the report were positive though as New Jersey sports bettors were able to win a large chunk of the wagers. The hold rate for the month was just 5.9%, making it the lowest in 2023, and also well below the national average of 7%.
The shockingly hold rate in November, caused the total sports betting revenue number to sit at $95.9 million. That number doesn’t match up with the record-setting handle as the revenue was just the third highest month on record in 2023.
Sportsbooks in New Jersey are typically able to take advantage of those bettors that make parlay bets, but that wasn’t the case in New Jersey. The category of wagers that brought in the most amount of bets was the “other” category, which represents the less popular sporting events.
ESPN BET Has Arrived
It’s impossible to know just how much impact the ESPN BET app had on the massive numbers in November, but it is finally available to bettors in the state. PENN Entertainment teams up with ESPN to launch the new mobile app that became available to the public on November 14th.
With the launch of ESPN BET, bettors that were using the old Barstool Sportsbook app were simply transferred over. The group of mobile operators that PENN owns had a revenue of more than $4 million in November, while the total was just over $20 million for the first 10 months.
The new ESPN BET mobile app does help New Jersey stand apart from the state of New York as it’s not currently available in the Empire State. Since this app is expected to become one o the leaders, bettors from New York were crossing over into New Jersey to check it out.
There was a long run where New Jersey was the largest sports betting market in the country before giving up that title to New York. Earlier this year, the state of Illinois was able to fly past New Jersey, but that is no longer the case.
The total sports betting handle through November in 2023 is already and 8% jump from the 2022 numbers. Not only that, but total sports betting revenue is sitting just shy of $900 million for the calendar year.
It looked as if New Jersey was starting to see some plateauing of the sports betting numbers, but sportsbooks in the state have been able to respond in a big way.