Meadowlands Sports Bettors Wagered Over $1 Million During Opening Weekend

Posted By Bart Shirley on July 18, 2018

Early results from the debut of the FanDuel Sportsbook at Meadowlands Racetrack are quite encouraging. According to NJTV, bettors placed over $1 million of wagers at the new betting facility.

The facility opened at 11 AM on July 14. Former Sen. Ray Lesniak placed the first bet, a winning World Cup bet on France.

As expected, the Meadowlands’s proximity to New York City played a huge role in the opening rush. The racetrack/sportsbook is merely 6 miles from the nation’s largest city.

20 million people live within 15 miles of the facility. New York’s sluggishness on approving its sports betting regulations has opened the door for a property on the border to claim a significant portion of the market.

Is $1 million good?

Money is a relative amount. A gain or loss of $1 million to Bill Gates means something different than the same event occurring to a schoolteacher.

So, did Meadowlands management feel positive about the handle number? In a word, yes.

“Our goal was to do over $1 million for the weekend,” Meadowlands Chairman Jeff Gural told NJTV. “I know we were at $560,000 on Saturday and before I went to sleep last night we were at $465,000 or something for Sunday, so I was very pleased.”

Roughly speaking, a half-million dollars of handle per day is a figure competitive with other New Jersey sportsbooks. Based on the handle figure, the racetrack likely won about $100,000 from the weekend.

Sports betting still in infancy in New Jersey

Still, it’s hard to draw any meaningful conclusion about the new sportsbook OR about New Jersey’s sports betting yet. The first 17 days of service in June generated a handle just under $16.5 million statewide.

Such a figure pales in comparison to an established system like that in Nevada. However, the outcome was competitive with Delaware, the other state that recently began accepting wagers.

For the new FanDuel facility, there will be growing pains for all parties. Indeed, the new sportsbook is already dealing with questions about its house advantage.

Numerous reports from opening day complained about moneylines at -115 or lower on Major League Baseball games, instead of the standard -110. Perhaps in response, the sportsbook’s lines for Week 1 NFL point spreads fell more in line with customer expectations.

Whether FanDuel was attempting to test the market’s pricing or simply made a mistake is unknown. However, these kinds of mistakes are not unusual, even for a company as experienced as FanDuel’s parent, Paddy Power Betfair.

It’s a new day in the Garden State. Four locations within the state offer sports betting.

That number will be larger by the time the NFL season begins on Sep. 5. The New Jersey Department of Gaming Enforcement reported that it received 5 new applications before director David Rebuck‘s July 16 deadline.

With so many new opportunities, the state revenue will be higher soon, too.

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Bart Shirley

Bart Shirley is a writer who covers the NJ online gambling and sports betting industries as well as a poker player from Houston, Texas. He has a master's degree in business administration from Texas Christian University and a degree in English from Texas A&M. In his spare time, Bart teaches math and business at Memorial High School in Houston.

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