Sports betting revenue solid for Monmouth, Delaware

By: Tom LaMarra

Posted: Oct. 15, 2018

Two Mid-Atlantic Thoroughbred racetracks with sports betting operations generated a combined $4.3 million in revenue in their first full month from on-site wagering on NFL games, according to statistics released in October.

Monmouth Park, which launched sports betting in June, reported gross revenue of $2.13 million for September—its best month thus far—according to New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement figures. For roughly the same period, Delaware Park generated $2.16 million in revenue, also its best month.

For bets made on site at its William Hill Sports Book, Monmouth pays a state tax of 8.5%, and it splits revenue with William Hill, which manages the operation. Year-to-date statistics show gross revenue at Monmouth through September totaled $6.17 million; after taxes, the partners split $5.64 million before expenses.

New Jersey’s sports betting law doesn’t include a dedicated percentage of sports betting revenue for purses, but Darby Development, which operates Monmouth on behalf of the New Jersey Thoroughbred Horsemen’s Association, has said some of the proceeds will be used to hike purses or add racing days.

The Asbury Park Press reported Oct. 15 that Monmouth has applied for 71 racing programs—20 at Meadowlands—for 2019 pending approval of legislation that would award it $10 million a year from the state general fund over a five-year-period for purses. The bill was sent to the Senate Budget and Appropriations Committee, which as of Oct. 15 had not scheduled the bill for consideration.

The NJDGE reported September sports betting “handle” of $183.9 million for a total of $333.6 million in only fourth months. Meadowlands, which is much closer to the New York City market than Monmouth, registered gross revenue of $4.37 million on site in September, plus another $2.85 million from its mobile sports betting component operated by FanDuel.

In Delaware, where full sports betting is offered at three racetracks and only parlay-card betting at about 100 retail establishments, Thoroughbred purses earn 9.6% of net proceeds. For September, $208,131 at Delaware Park alone was generated for purses, according to the Delaware Lottery.

State officials have noted that parlay wagering at the retail outlets has remained fairly strong; net proceeds in September totaled $2.81 million. The tracks also get 9.6% of that revenue for purses, which meant an additional $180,000 for Thoroughbreds, according to the Delaware THA.

Purses at Dover Downs and Harrington Raceway receive 10.2% of sports betting revenue, but overall net proceeds on site are much lower than that of Delaware Park. For September, net proceeds totaled $607,000 at Dover and $378,000 at Harrington, according to state statistics.

For calendar year 2018 through September, $795,844 was generated for purses for both breeds in Delaware from sports bets.

The state’s share of revenue from sports betting is 50%, while track operators get 40.2%. The tracks continue to also offer parlay-card sports betting, which began at Delaware racetracks in 2009 and expanded to bars and taverns in 2012.

(THA photo)