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Nevada launched into the record-setting sports wagering state headlines this week. The Nevada Gaming Control Board proudly reported on Tuesday an October handle of $659,222,395 for the month. A new individual monthly record for the Silver State.
The handle eclipsed $614,118,812 in wagers taken during November 2019, a previous single-month record in Nevada. That indicates a 7.5% increase, up 14.7% from last month’s September’s $575.1 million.
The mobile handle in Nevada last month was $376,842,105, or 57.1% of the total. That was up from nearly 55% in September. It reached 100% when Nevada casinos were closed during the early phase months affected by COVID-19.
Despite seeing onsite/retail sportsbook locations open within the past several months, several US states are still reporting mobile/online wagering handle averaging considerably higher in the 85-90% range. With Las Vegas being a worldwide “destination” site, those numbers will change but not dramatically in the foreseeable future.
Of course, all state’s online wagering percentage (including Nevada) will be impacted should the state government again rule a complete shutdown of their casinos and sportsbooks due to COVID-19.
Also likely affecting the mobile wagering percentage, Nevada is one of the few US states that still require its residents to personally register for a new account at one of its onsite casinos.
The largest amount of October profits came from NFL and NCAA college football betting as Nevada books won $32.6 million, an increase of 24.5% from October 2019. The popular “parlay” category occupied by mostly football included a profit of $3.86 million. That figure was down 14.4% from last October but yielded almost a 40% handle of action.
Boosted by the World Series, baseball added another $5.18 million to Nevada sportsbooks, although numbers were down 54.8% from the previous October.
All NV sportsbooks reported a loss of $1.08 million on NHL hockey plus a loss of $189,000 on NBA basketball. The likely cause due to future bets and refunded wagers from extended regular seasons for both sports.
Comparing Nevada sportsbook figures to other US states including New Jersey, Pennsylvania, etc. is quite unfair. It is not an “apples to apples” example whatsoever considering each state’s population base and type of wagering scenario that exists in each individual market.
New Jersey set their own monthly record in October with $803,096,172 in wagers. That could be toppled in November. They draw a portion of sports wagering revenue from neighboring New York, which currently does not have legalized sports betting. Should that likely scenario change in the future, those figures will be affected.
Also, other large US states besides New York, including California, Texas and Florida are not into the serious legislative discussion yet. Therefore, any competitive ranking state vs state is largely immaterial.
For now, Nevada certainly has something to celebrate and build upon. A record October within their sportsbooks. America’s first destination for sports bettors to visit and legally wager.
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Larry Gibbs is both a seasoned journalist and a respected online gaming industry consultant. His wry commentary & sharp analysis have appeared in numerous top gaming and sports wagering publications. He has also served as Vice President of US Gaming Services, a marketing research organization with 15 years of experience in US online wagering. He has spoken at noted gaming industry conferences including G2E, GiGSE, and NCLGS.
Email: [email protected]
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