Nevada Finally Clears $1 Billion In Handle With Record October

Nevada joins New Jersey in the billion-dollar club, but bettors fared well
Nevada October 2021 revenue report
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Nevada became the second state in the post-PASPA era to clear $1 billion in monthly sports wagering handle after the state’s Gaming Control Board reported Tuesday that more than $1.1 billion worth of bets were placed in October.

The Silver State joins New Jersey, which accomplished the feat for the second straight month with more than $1.3 billion wagered in October, as the only states to reach the billion-dollar mark. Nevada’s October handle was enough to slot between New Jersey’s September and October handles to rank second all-time nationally in the post-PASPA era that started in May 2018.

Nevada’s handle spiked nearly 40% compared to September’s short-lived record of $786.7 million, and was a 66.9% improvement year-over-year stacked up against the $659.2 million wagered in October 2020.

Despite the dramatic upswing in handle, sportsbooks collected less money compared to September, as bettors had another largely successful month and limited the house to a 4.4% win rate. While the $48.3 million in revenue ranks sixth all-time in the state in the post-PASPA era, it was still a drop of 10.9% compared to September. The figure, though, was a 14% improvement versus last year’s October haul of $42.4 million, as the larger handle absorbed the hold being more than two percentage points lower this year.

The state collected nearly $3.3 million in tax receipts, lifting the total for the year to more than $24.1 million. Nevada has cleared $6 billion in handle for the year, and the $357.2 million in revenue is the most claimed by operators in a single year since sports betting became legal on a state-by-state basis, topping the $329 million won in 2019.

Football leads the way to a record handle

Mirroring the nationwide trend that has seen nearly $11 billion in wagers in state-by-state revenue reports for September and October, NFL and college football wagering helped Nevada reach new heights for handle. The $729.3 million wagered on the sport — the NGCB does not break out handle by pro and college — would have ranked 16th all-time nationally on its own.

While football handle surged 52.7% month-over-month, aided by 10 weekend days in October versus eight in September, sport-specific revenue dipped 18% to nearly $29.8 million, as the hold plunged from 7.6% to 4.1%. It was the worst win rate for the house since posting a 2.64% mark in January 2020.

Basketball was the other primary source of revenue for operators, as they collected just shy of $8 million on $110.9 million wagered for a 7.2% hold. Third place in terms of category came from parlays, where the house took nearly $3 of every $8 wagered while collecting close to $4.3 million. Baseball revenue was nearly $4.2 million, while hockey revenue totaled almost $1.1 million.

Bettors also fared well in the catch-all “other” category, limiting operators to a 1.2% hold and barely more than $1 million in revenue on $84.5 million wagered, as it appears many rode Tyson Fury’s knockout of Deontay Wilder to various-sized paydays.

Bettors also dominate mobile wagering scene

For the first time since the NGCB began providing a breakout of mobile wagering in terms of handle and revenue, the handle cleared half a billion in powerful fashion, as close to $703.8 million was wagered via smartphones and computers. That represented nearly 64% of the total handle, slightly above the year-to-date mark of 61.4% and an uptick from 59.4% all-time.

The phenomenon of mobile bettors outperforming their retail counterparts against the house continued, as the mobile win rate for operators was a paltry 2.4% — the lowest since the NCGB began tracking those numbers in January 2020 and the third straight month it was under 3.4%. Operators collected less than $16.9 million in revenue from mobile wagers, which represented nearly 35% of the overall total. The mobile win rate for the year in Nevada is 4.22% and has failed to reach the industry standard of 7% in any of the 20 months the NGCB has furnished figures.

Not that operators did all that great on the retail side in October, posting a 7.92% hold on $396.8 million in wagers to collect more than $31.4 million. That was a drop of 16.2% month-over-month, as the hold plummeted more than five percentage points from the 13% recorded in September.

Photo by Atsushi Hirao via Shutterstock

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