Stories Shaping Sports and Business: May 15th
New Jersey Sportsbooks See 68% Drop in Revenue
Sports gambling revenue and handle for the month of April are trickling in from around the country. As expected, without sports the revenue was a fraction compared to this time last year.
New Jersey revenue on sports gambling for the month of April fell 68% according to the Garden State’s Attorney General’s office. Last year in New Jersey there was $265 million in sports gambling revenue. This year it was $82.6 million. This is despite sportsbooks seeing five times more bets on the NFL Draft compared to 2019.
MLB Owners Petrified of Potential $4 Billion Loss
During an appearance with Anderson Cooper on CNN, Major League Baseball commissioner Rob Manfred said the coronavirus impact on the MLB is "devastating."
Manfred said the outbreak came at the worst possible time for pro baseball as the season was about to start just a few weeks after the NBA, NHL and NCAA all postponed or canceled their season.
The MLB commissioner told CNN that while baseball is a "big business" they are a "seasonal business..and unfortunately this crisis began at kind of a low point for us in terms of revenue. We hadn't quite started our season yet. And if we don't play a season the losses for the owners could approach $4 billion.”
As Sports Illustrated and TheStreet reported yesterday, MLB team owners agreed on a shorted 82-game season instead of their full 162 games and are proposing a 50-50 revenue split with the players. However the MLB Player Association has not signed off on the proposal. Yesterday we mentioned Rays pitcher Blake Snell blasted the MLB owners for even suggesting the players take a pay-cut since they would be the ones "risking their lives by playing."
Daily Business Update
There are nearly 4.5 million cases of the virus worldwide, with over 304,000 deaths. The U.S. has 1.4 million of those cases, with over 86,000 deaths. Russia has over 262,000 cases. The U.K. has over 238,000 cases and 34,000 fatalities. Let’s take a look at the retail numbers.
Retail sales dropped a record 16.4% in April, almost doubling March's 8.7% decline, which was the steepest month-on-month drop since 1992 when record-keeping began. They were expected to have a 12% drop. Even sales at the gasoline pumps registered declines, reflected in a 16.2% drop in core retail sales, which strips out more volatile auto and gas sales.
TheStreet's Katherine Ross contributed to this report.