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NJ Sports Betting Licensees Report “Stunning” September Handle, Revenue
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement reported that the state’s 8 licensed sportsbooks took in a “stunning” (depending on who you ask) $183.9 million in bets during the month of September, nearly double (+92%) the amount wagered in August; the start of the NFL season ($90 million wagered on league games) and the launch of several new mobile sportsbooks (see: Caesers/Bally’s, Paddy Power/FanDuel, SugarHouse/Golden Nugget) are responsible for driving the growth. Online/mobile wagering has already surpassed the state’s retail business, as 56.5% ($104 million) of all sports bets placed were made through those channels. The $23.9 million (+166% MoM) held by the state’s bookmakers, after bets were paid out (except for futures), represented just shy of 8% of the total handle. The state was entitled to keep $2.6 million in tax revenue from sports betting operations.
Howie Long-Short: DraftKings and FanDuel sportsbooks are taking in 2/3 of all New Jersey sports betting revenue and nearly 90% of all the revenue generated from online/mobile applications. Resorts Digital (DraftKings’ license holder, privately held) reported 35% ($8.5 million) of the state’s Sept. revenue, while competitor Paddy Power (FanDuel’s license holder, PDYPY) posted 30% ($7.2 million); no other licensee did more than 10.5%. It’s worth noting that while most DraftKings revenue comes from its online/mobile applications, just 39% ($2.8 million) of FanDuel’s comes from those channels; the majority of their revenue ($4.4 million) comes from their Meadowlands retail location.
As for the state’s other retail locations, The Borgata (a MGM Resorts International property) reported the most sports betting revenue ($2.39 million) amongst all land based casinos; while the William Hill (WIMHY) sportsbook at Monmouth Park racetrack kept $2.2 million, up from $900K in August (+144%).
Fan Marino: Expect October’s handle to exceed September’s strong result. In addition to a full slate of NFL and CFB games (as we had in September), the MLB postseason began on October 1st, the NHL season started on October 3rd and the NBA season will get started this evening.
Modell Law, Haslam Group Likely to Keep Crew in Columbus
A consortium that includes Browns owner Jimmy Haslam is closing in on a pact with MLS that would keep the Crew in Columbus, current owner Anthony Precourt had intended on moving the team to Austin. The announcement comes after the Columbus Partnership (local group opposed to the move) sued Precourt and MLS to prevent/stall the plans, claiming they violated the “Modell Law”; an Ohio ordinance that requires pro sports teams playing in taxpayer funded venues to give 6 months’ notice prior to any proposed relocation and to offer local buyers the opportunity to keep the franchise in the city. The proposed agreement, which includes plans for a new downtown soccer stadium in Columbus, gives Precourt the rights to the Austin market (largest without an MLS team) and the promise of an expansion franchise by 2021; the Austin city council has already approved plans to build a new $200 million stadium at McKalla Place.
Howie Long-Short: Should the deal be completed, it’s likely that the Haslam Group will purchase the rights to operate the Crew franchise from MLS, while Precourt maintains his equity stake in the league and Soccer United Marketing (the league’s for-profit arm).
Precourt wanted to move the club from Columbus because without a new stadium and a larger season ticket base, he didn’t believe the franchise was financially viable; so, plans to build a new venue in Columbus solves half the problem. The other half won’t be as easy, as Columbus ranks dead last (23rd) in league attendance (12,120) and they’re not within 2,000 fans of the 22nd ranked Chicago Fire (14,516). You can’t blame the apathy on market size either (though they are amongst the smallest in the league), FC Cincinnati (joining MLS in ‘19) plays in a smaller TV market (32 v. 34), against lesser competition and averages over 25,000 fans/game; a figure that would place them 4th in MLS (behind just Atlanta, Seattle and Toronto).
Fan Marino: It’ll be ironic if the “Modell Law”, named after Art Modell (the man who moved the Browns to Baltimore in ’96), is responsible for keeping the club in Ohio.
While Modell is most often associated with the franchise relocation to Baltimore, he was one of the NFL’s most influential owners. It was Pete Rozelle, Gene Klein and Modell that struck a deal with TV execs in ’62 changing the league’s fortunes forever; he also served on the committee that negotiated the AFL-NFL merger, pushed for revenue sharing in the league’s early days, worked on the first MNF contract and hired the league’s first African-American GM.
What is JohnWallStreet?
JohnWallStreet, located at the intersection of sports and finance, is a destination for the educated sports fan.
While we won’t be publishing “hot takes” on LeBron’s relative greatness to Jordan, we will be offering up the most relevant sports related business news, in easily digestible bites, with commentary from both the sports money and sports fanatic perspectives.
We’ll cover publicly traded professional teams & stadiums (MSG, RCI, BATRA, MANU), television networks (DIS, FOXA, CMCSA, CBS, TWX, MSGN), apparel & footwear companies (NKE, UAA, ADDYY, FL, LULU), equipment companies (GOLF, ELY, FIT), ticketing companies (EBAY, LYV) content and facilities providers (CHDN, DVD, ISCA,TRK, LMCA). If it trades on Wall Street, and has a sports angle, it’s in our wheel house.
Howie Long-Short and Fan Marino will be providing their expert opinions on each story. They have slightly different areas of expertise. Fan Marino is a firm believer that the SEC is the premier football conference. Howie Long-Short knows it as the Securities & Exchange Commission. Fan Marino lives and dies with the college selection of 5 star, blue chip recruits. Howie Long-Short spends his days analyzing blue chip stocks. Howie Long-Short knows that Black Monday occurred on October 19th, 1987. Fan Marino swears it happens every January after Week 17. You get the point.