- FanDuel has overtaken its chief rival in New Jersey’s sports betting marketplace.
- DraftKings operates the second-most-popular NJ sportsbook.
- Strong marketing and a physical sportsbook are key to online wagering adoption.
Atlantic City, N.J. – With New Jersey’s April revenue numbers in, FanDuel is maintaining its lead atop the market.
When New Jersey launched online sports betting in August 2018, DraftKings was first to market and was the dominant brand. Since then, however, FanDuel has slowly taken over.
This is the opposite of where these brands stand in the daily fantasy sports (DFS) industry, where DraftKings is the clear leader.
But just as clearly, FanDuel has a knack for sports betting, and it’s shown in the brand’s growth. The following timeline shows each brand’s New Jersey sports betting market share. Revenue numbers are in parentheses.
- August 2018* – FanDuel: 33% ($3.1m) DraftKings: 32% ($3m)
- September 2018 – FanDuel: 30% ($7.2m), DraftKings: 35% ($8.5m)
- October 2018 - FanDuel: 30% ($3.5m), DraftKings: 44% ($5.1m)
- November 2018 - FanDuel: 33% ($7m), DraftKings: 34% ($7.2m)
- December 2018 - FanDuel: 44% ($9.1m), DraftKings: 32% ($6.7m)
- January 2019 - FanDuel: 37% ($7m), DraftKings: 37% ($6.9m)
- February 2019 - FanDuel: 63% ($8.1m), DraftKings: ($3.7m)
- March 2019 – FanDuel: 55% ($17.5m), DraftKings: 23% ($7.3m)
- April 2019 – FanDuel: 53% ($8.8m), DraftKings: 29% ($4.8m)
*During August, FanDuel did not yet have its online sports wagering product up and running. Sports wagering was limited to The Meadowlands’ physical venue.
How Did FanDuel Execute Such A Big Takeover?
FanDuel’s edge over DraftKings is not due to the fact that their sportsbook product is any better than their rival’s. Instead, it seems to be an issue of marketing and footprint.
FanDuel has regularly made headlines, paying out erroneous lines and grading losers as winners when controversy strikes. The company even paid out Alabama NCAA championship futures as winners ahead of the Tide’s lopsided loss to Clemson in the title game.
However, it’s not all marketing. FanDuel has something in New Jersey that DraftKings does not: a physical betting venue.
Yes, online betting accounts for 80 percent of all wagering handle in New Jersey. But the fact that FanDuel has a physical presence in the state seems to be a huge advantage. And it certainly doesn’t hurt that FanDuel’s lounge is at The Meadowlands.
DraftKings operates a popular online book in New Jersey, but the company has no retail location. Online betting is convenient, but a brick-and-mortar presence is crucial for spreading the culture of a product to a community.
For its part, DraftKings seems to understand how important a retail betting space is. In neighboring New York, the del Lago Casino has officially begun construction of their on-site DraftKings sportsbook.
Granted, the potential market in upstate New York is limited (especially without online betting), it shows that DraftKings has wised up in the region.
Going forward, in states where they can swing it, expect both book operators to establish both land-based and USA online sportsbooks.
And you should probably expect DraftKings to kick off a few more promotions, as they did for “Free to Bet Day” on May 14.
Benjamin joined the USAOnlineSportsbooks team in 2017, but has been a published writer for years. What started out as a hobby with his own blog turned into a professional career. We can rely on Benjamin to know which horses to keep an eye on when it comes to horse betting, but he also has an in-depth knowledge of baseball and other popular categories as well.