Nevada Sports Wagering Handle Fell Just Shy Of $600 Million For April

While down from March, betting activity was up slightly year over year
Nevada April 2023 revenue report

The Nevada Gaming Control Board on Wednesday reported sports wagering handle of $598 million for April, a slight year-over-year increase that also reflected the expected dip in betting activity that comes in spring.

Handle was down 28% from March’s total of $830.5 million, but it was enough to lift the overall total above $3 billion for the first four months of the calendar year. The amount wagered in April was 1.5% higher versus 2022, while year-to-date handle in Nevada is 9.1% off the $3.3 billion in accepted wagers for the same four months in 2022.

Operator revenue in April totaled $32.4 million, which was 27.8% higher than April 2022 since the 5.4% hold was more than one full percentage point higher than last year. Revenue for the first four months of the year in Nevada is $168 million, 17.8% higher than the same period in 2022.

The state received $2.2 million in tax receipts, lifting the total for the calendar year above $11.3 million. Tax revenue from sports wagering is running $1.7 million ahead of last year’s pace.

Baseball handle jumps compared to 2022

The start of the baseball season proved an attractive draw for Silver State sportsbooks. The $224 million handle in April was up 19.4% compared to April 2022, when the MLB season started a week late due to a lockout. Operators had a modest 4% baseball hold last month, collecting slightly more than $9 million in revenue.

Basketball was the month’s top revenue generator, with nearly $15.2 million, as operators nudged the win rate just over 7% with $216.3 million handle. The catch-all “other” category, which includes golf, tennis, soccer, boxing, MMA, and auto racing in Nevada, produced almost $9.9 million thanks to a robust 11.7% hold on $84.9 million.

Wagering on hockey also picked up as the Vegas Golden Knights finished their regular season and began their playoff run to the Western Conference title. The $66.8 million handle was 7.3% higher compared to April 2022, and hockey revenue more than doubled to $3.3 million as the 4.9% win rate was nearly one full percentage point higher versus last year.

The public continued to cash winning football tickets as the house paid out $4.9 million above the $5.9 million handle generated. That gap was $8.5 million less than March, when sportsbooks paid out $13.4 million more than the $3.7 million in accepted bets. The public also eked out a small victory in an unlikely area — parlays. Granted, the handle of nearly $98,000 pales in comparison to other large-market states, but the public won $106,000 on top of that for their first monthly win since coming out $9,000 ahead last July.

Revenue is up, but with lower hold rate than other states

The preference of single-event wagering versus parlays is a key reason Nevada — despite year-over-year revenue up $25.4 million in terms of dollars — remains a place where bettors are holding their own. In the last nine-plus months, the national hold outside the Silver State is 9.6% — well above the accepted 7% industry standard — on nearly $77.3 billion handle. Nevada operators have a more modest 5.7% win rate on more than $7.3 billion.

As a point of comparison, the gap in win rate for the first half of 2022 was more narrow while lower on both sides. Nevada had a meager 4.4% hold on almost $4.4 billion wagered in that span while operators across the rest of the country combined for a win rate of nearly 6.9% on $42.3 billion handle.

Mobile wagering accounted for 66% of total Nevada handle in April, the highest percentage to date in 2023. Those bettors fared reasonably well, limiting operators to a 4.7% hold and $18.6 million in revenue. In-person sportsbooks posted a 6.8% win rate, raking in the remaining $13.8 million. Despite accounting for only 37% of the handle this year, retail books have accounted for 53.3% of revenue.

Photo: David Becker/Getty Images


Related Posts