Nevada Sports Betting Handle Tumbles To $553.8M For February

Nevada failed to avoid the natural dip in sports betting handle that comes in the shortest month of the year
Nevada 2021 February handle
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Nevada did not escape the nationwide dip that takes place in the sports betting market that comes with the shorter month of February, as the state’s Gaming Control Board reported a handle of more than $553.8 million on Thursday.

After a record-setting January across the U.S. in which the Silver State contributed nearly $647 million of the $4.36 billion wagered, February’s handle was a 14.4% decline from January and the lowest since the full sports schedule returned following the COVID-19 pandemic in September. On the flip side, it was still a 12.6% increase in handle compared to February 2020 — the last full month before COVID shuttered most of the nation and sports wagering options.

The win rate of 5.75% also contributed to a decline in revenue for February, which totaled $31,846,000. It was 39.2% lower than the nearly $52.4 million reported in January that was  the third-highest total recorded in the post-PASPA era dating to July 2018. With the hold nearly 2 full percentage points lower compared to February of last year, revenue dipped 16.3% versus 2020.

The Super Bowl accounted for nearly 25% of the handle reported by sportsbook operators.

A mobile milestone

The mobile handle of $316.3 million accounted for more than 57% of the overall amount, enabling the state to clear the $3 billion mark since the Nevada Gaming Control Board began reporting that figure in January 2020. Mobile wagering has accounted for nearly 56.6% of the handle since that breakout has been provided, but the $3.1 billion reported is less than half of New Jersey‘s total ($7.1 billion) in that span.

February’s mobile handle also lagged significantly behind Pennsylvania ($469.7 million) for the month while edging out Michigan‘s $301.9 million in its first full month with mobile sports wagering available.

Bettors also fared significantly better wagering online, as the win rate was just 3.23% and generated slightly more than $10.2 million in operator revenue. The retail sportsbooks posted a 9.11% win rate while generating more than $21.6 million in revenue.

Super Bowl revenue provides cushion

Slightly more than half of the $12.6 million operators generated with Tampa Bay’s Super Bowl victory over Kansas City went back to bettors elsewhere in the sport, as sportsbooks finished slightly less than $6.3 million ahead in wagers on football. Basketball provided the bulk of operator revenue in February with more than $19.2 million on nearly $326 million wagered.

The catch-all “other” category, which includes boxing and MMA among other sports, provided nearly $4.1 million in revenue. It was a rare off-month for the books when it came to parlays, as only $112,000 in revenue was generated on slightly more than $1 million wagered, a win rate of 11.17%.

Parlay bets, though, are nowhere near as popular in Nevada as in the rest of the nation. For example, bettors in New Jersey have wagered nearly $300 million on parlays in the first two months of the year.

Is March when New Jersey will pass Nevada in post-PASPA handle?

Speaking of the Garden State, the $189.1 million gap in handle in February reduced Nevada’s overall lead between the two states in the post-PASPA era handle to $275.3 million. Both states will surpass $14 billion next month thanks in part to March Madness, but given New Jersey has already outperformed Nevada by $501.1 million in bets placed to start 2021, those respective reports could result in a flip of the top two spots for all-time handle during the nearly three years since sports wagering expanded on a state-by-state basis.

Photo from Shutterstock

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