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
Running 2023 YTD Top 10 #SportsBetting handle by state (April in CAPS):
1 NEW YORK $6.62B
2 NEW JERSEY $3.79B
3 NEVADA $3.023B <-NEW
4 Illinois $3.018B
5 PENNSYLVANIA $2.67B
6 Ohio $2.49B
7 MICHIGAN $1.61B
8 INDIANA $1.54B
9 MARYLAND ~$1.5B
10 Colorado $1.47B#GamblingTwitter
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) May 31, 2023
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
Running April Top 10 #SportsBetting handle by state:
1 New York $1.55B 2
New Jersey ~$834M
3 NEVADA $598M <-NEW
4 Massachusetts $579.3M
5 Pennsylvania $572.2M
6 Michigan $338.1M
7 Maryland $328.5M
8 Indiana $321.4M
9 Tennessee $318.4M
10 Louisiana $209.7M#GamblingTwitter
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) May 31, 2023
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