Golden Knights’ Cup Run Puts Drag On Nevada Sportsbook Revenue For June

Hockey bettors in the state came out $6.6 million ahead last month
Nevada June 2023 revenue report

Everybody loves a champion. Except maybe the house.

The Vegas Golden Knights’ run to their first Stanley Cup title apparently put a crunching body check on Nevada sportsbooks, as the state’s Gaming Control Board on Friday reported total sports wagering revenue of just $9.5 million in June.

That total was dragged down by a $6.6 million loss from hockey wagers, with sportsbooks across the Silver State showing a collective minus-21.4% hold on $30.9 million handle. The Golden Knights’ postseason run was likely the most costly factor for operators, as their success accompanied $3 million in losses from $147.3 million handle for hockey from April through June. The Las Vegas team went 16-6 in the postseason.

It was the first time statewide sports revenue failed to reach $10 million in a month unaffected by the COVID-19 pandemic since the books claimed less than $4.1 million in July 2018. At 1.98%, the hold rate was below 2% for the first time since a 1.6% win rate was posted in December 2021.

Sportsbooks accepted nearly $480 million in wagers for June, down 2.1% from the same period last year. Revenue plunged 60.1% compared to June 2022, though last year’s hold was also below 5%. Despite the rough end to the first half of the year, sportsbooks over the six-month period had $207.5 million in revenue, a 7.3% increase versus last year. Handle in that period was down 8%, though June’s total made Nevada the fourth state to reach $4 billion handle in 2023.

Bettors succeeded beyond hockey

With light futures wagering on pro and college football as well as the NBA playoffs concluding in June, some bettors were taking time to cash in winning tickets beyond hockey. Operators paid out $1.6 million above the $4.2 million in football wagers accepted during the month, which was 7.9% higher than last year despite an 11.4% increase in handle.

The public also eked out a win wagering on hoops, claiming $328,000 on top of the $74.5 million in accepted bets. That was a swing of nearly $3.4 million to the negative for operators from 2022, with handle down 15.3% from last year.

Sportsbooks made the bulk of their revenue in June from baseball, collecting nearly $14.5 million in winnings with a 4.9% hold. The $324.7 million handle represented more than two-thirds of the overall handle for the month and was up 10.1% versus last year.

The losses in hockey made the catch-all “other” category the second-highest source of revenue, as winnings from golf, soccer, auto racing, and other sports totaled more than $3.5 million. The hold there was just shy of 5%, with $71.3 million worth of wagers accepted.

Retail retains slight edge in generating revenue

Nevada’s in-person registration, though putting a drag on mobile wagering, continues to contribute to in-person sportsbooks performing at a higher level than mobile operators. Though both struggled in June, the 3% win rate at brick-and-mortar venues was double that of mobile, which led to a gap of just $151,000 in revenue between the two sources.

For the first six months of the year, retail sportsbooks totaled $106.8 million in revenue while posting a 7.4% hold on more than $1.4 billion handle. By comparison, mobile wagering generated $100.7 million from close to $2.6 billion wagered for a 3.9% hold, and the hold failed to reach 5% in any of the first six months.

Photo: Jeff Bottari/Getty Images


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