Nevada Sportsbooks Post Small May Gains Despite Drop In Handle

Mobile wagering in Nevada tops $10 billion since 2020, but online bettors continue to fare well
Nevada May 2022 revenue report

The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported that sportsbook operators claimed just shy of $27 million for the month of May, a small month-over-month gain despite the cyclical drop in sports wagering handle and an increasingly competitive public.

May’s revenue represented a 6.4% increase from April’s total of nearly $25.4 million, while handle dipped 4.8% to $561.3 million. The win rate improved to 4.8%, but it was also the sixth consecutive month where it was below 5%, the longest such streak in the 48 months of wagering in the post-PASPA era that began in 2018.

The overall win rate for Silver State sportsbooks through the first five months of the year is below 4.4%, more than two full percentage points lower compared to the same time period in 2021. It is also easily the lowest of the 21 states and jurisdictions that conduct commercial wagering and have reported revenue figures through May. Nevada’s all-time hold has dropped nearly one-quarter of a percentage point to under 5.7% based on operator performance thus far in 2022.

The improved performance by bettors has contributed to a small decline in year-over-year revenue, with the $169.6 million claimed by operators thus far 4.7% less than the nearly $177.9 million in 2021. However, that drop, though small in actual dollars, becomes glaring considering year-to-date handle has surged 40.1%. The nearly $3.9 billion bet for the first five months of 2022 versus last year is a difference of more than $1.1 billion.

The state collected more than $1.8 million in tax receipts for May, and the $11.4 million that’s flowed into state coffers in 2022 is approximately $560,000 less compared to 2021 numbers.

Mobile milestone as bettors shine online

The $397.8 million wagered online on sports in May represented nearly 71% of the overall handle, and it also pushed the overall mobile handle dating back to January 2020 — when the Nevada Gaming Control Board began providing the specific breakout for mobile handle and revenue — to more than $10 billion. In that span, the monthly mobile win rate has never reached the overall industry standard of 7%, and bettors maintained the status quo in limiting the mobile house to a 4.1% win rate.

That percentage, though, actually represents an improvement for operators, as the overall hold on the year for mobile wagering is a paltry 2.6%, with slightly less than $170 million in revenue claimed from close to $2.7 billion wagered. The monthly mobile win rate has not cleared 5% for 10 straight months since a 5.6% hold last July.

Operators did not fare much better on the retail side, posting a 6.5% hold on $163.5 million wagered in May. The house has a far more respectable 8.3% win rate for those making in-person wagers, with the $99.3 million in revenue for 2022 representing close to 60% of the overall revenue.

May big for baseball; football payouts continue

Taking center stage in May as the NBA and NHL playoffs moved into later rounds, baseball wagering was the primary driver of handle with close to $245 million worth of bets. That is the second-highest monthly total reported by the NGCB, trailing only the $277.6 million bet last August. The $12.1 million in operator revenue paced all categories and represented a 70% increase from April despite a sub-5% hold.

The only other sport with a nine-figure handle was basketball, as the $178.4 million wagered pushed the year-to-date handle to nearly $2.1 billion. (By comparison, close to $2.7 billion was bet on basketball in all of 2021.) Operators posted a 5.4% hold, reaping nearly $9.6 million in winnings.

Football payouts again created a drag on overall revenue, as the house paid out $2.6 million more than the $2.3 million accepted in wagers. A common occurrence in the offseason, Nevada sportsbooks have paid out $30.4 million in winning tickets over the last three months compared to $6.1 million in accepted bets.

The catch-all “other” category — which includes golf, boxing, and MMA — was the best performer for the house, with operators claiming nearly $6.4 million in revenue from $76.7 million bet, resulting in an 8.3% hold. Bettors again gave the house a hard time in hockey, losing barely more than $1.5 million from nearly $60 million wagered. The monthly win rate in hockey has been 2.6% or lower in five of the last eight months, with the public claiming wins in December and January.

Photo: Shutterstock


Related Posts