FanDuel reported losses of $5 million on Sunday’s Super Bowl—suggesting the first big test of New Jersey’s nascent sports-betting business was better for customers than bookies.
More than 75% of the money was bet on the favored New England Patriots, which beat the Los Angeles Rams in the lowest-scoring Super Bowl ever. Many customers also took advantage of an introductory offer that gave them favorable odds. But if you took the 53-1 they offered on either team, the payoff was in store credit.“ All of this combined to leave New England as the big loser for the FanDuel Sportsbook,” the company said. “Very big in fact.”
A U.S. Supreme Court ruling last year that allowed sports betting outside Nevada has set off a gold rush among casinos, online betting companies, and sports teams. Eight states now allow sports betting, a number that could double this year, according to industry estimates.
The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement said Monday its casinos and horse tracks lost $4.5 million on $34.9 million in wagers from the game.
DraftKings, which parlayed its leading role in fantasy-sports betting to the top position in New Jersey, paid out $11 million to online bettors. It didn’t offer results from the New Jersey and Mississippi casinos where it operates. The company lost a “relatively small” amount, according to Johnny Avello, sportsbook director.
“Overall, the players had the best of it,” he said in an interview. “They picked the winning side.”
What of Nevada?
The expansion of gambling to other states may have an impact on Nevada, which has long had the lock on legal sports betting. William Hill, one of the top players there, said its business was “slightly up” in the state, after a difficult 2018.
Overall, wagers fell 8% to $145.9 million, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Customers won $10.8 million, a significant increase from last year.
The low-scoring game Sunday also meant there were likely fewer in-game bets, such as points scored each quarter, according to Dominic Mansour, chief executive officer of Bragg Gaming Group, a sports-betting news site in the U.K. Such bets can make up as much as 70% of the total betting.
“When a game is that boring, it’s bad for the sport-betting sites,” he said.
FanDuel, which merged last year with Irish bookmaker PaddyPower Betfair, operates the closest sportsbook to New York, at the Meadowlands Racetrack in East Rutherford, N.J.