Opinion

Competition and remote registration key growth drivers

New Jersey’s $803m in sports-betting handle in October is the clearest sign that competition and a strong product range generate volume and activity.

The figure was a $50m rise on the previous record set only the month before.

With 93% of the bets placed online, operators in the Garden State recorded a 26% rise in revenues to $58.5m. This compares with $45m in September.

New Jersey sports-betting has recorded more than $4bn in bets to-date in 2020 compared with $4.6bn for 2019.

Meadowlands and its betting ‘skins’ FanDuel and PointsBet lead the state with close to $30m in revenue.

They are followed by Resorts Digital and its partners DraftKings and FOX Bet on $14.6m. 

BetMGM and the Borgata recorded $4.3m. Monmouth Park and William Hill, theScore Bet and PlaySugarHouse were fourth with $4m.

Mobile rise

The rise of online and, in particular, the mobile channel is of course due to the pandemic.

Social distancing measures and the closures of casinos have led to players betting remotely.

Remote registration has also become a key feature. It enables punters to open accounts and operators to keep recording all-important revenues.

Illinois has proved the point. 

The feature wasn’t due to come into effect for 18 months after regulation in March this year.

But as the pandemic struck Gov. JB Pritzker introduced remote registration by executive order to enable state residents to bet safely.

He is expected to renew it in the next few days.

Sportsbooks in Illinois took $285m in handle in September, their third full month of activity.

Competition is intensifying as DraftKings, FanDuel and Pointsbet look to catch up on the early leader BetRivers has taken in the Land of Lincoln.

Figures for October have not yet been published by the Illinois Gaming Board. 

The fact that Illinois is the sixth most populous state in the country demonstrates the importance of having a large audience and a strong local sports scene. 

Michigan next  

Neighbouring Michigan is expected to be another important and competitive state for operators. 

Chad Beynon, analyst with Macquarie Research, said he expected Michigan to be a “major success”.

He added that a successful launch in Michigan would “help other legislators legalize internet gaming in their states”. 

Michigan is the 10th most populated state in the country.

Operators are expecting similar growth levels to Illinois and are waiting on the top states like New York or Texas to go live. 

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Jake Pollard

Jake Pollard is an experienced journalist and editor who has covered the online gaming and betting industry for many years. He has written for the leading media outlets as well as operators and suppliers in the igaming space. His current areas of focus are wide-ranging and include regulatory developments in the US, emerging markets in South America and how European countries are adapting to a decade of igaming regulation.

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