Nevada October Sports Betting Handle Drops Sharply Versus 2021

Even with five weekends of football, volume in Nevada fell 16.3% year over year
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The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported a sports wagering handle of more than $921.5 million for October on Tuesday, a top-five all-time figure — but one that was sharply lower compared to last year.

At this time in 2021, the Silver State posted its first $1 billion monthly handle and joined New Jersey in a then-exclusive club. New York since joined the pair following its launch of mobile wagering in January, but Nevada has not returned to that rarified air since its all-time record of $1.11 billion wagered in January.

This October’s handle was down 16.3% compared to last year — which is a like-for-like comparison since both months had five weekends for college and pro football wagering available. It is possible the dip can be attributed to challenging economic conditions related to inflation, though this year’s handle was still a 21.1% improvement on September’s $761.1 million figure.

It was a solid month for operators, who claimed close to $56.9 million in revenue. That total ranks fourth all-time in the post-PASPA era for Nevada and marked the first time the state has recorded back-to-back months with at least $50 million in sports wagering revenue.

The October revenue was 19.5% lower versus the $70.6 million in September that was the second-highest total in state history. The 6.2% hold was more than three full percentage points lower compared to September but also the second-highest recorded this year.

The state collected $3.8 million in tax receipts for October, lifting the year-to-date total to $23.8 million. Despite a 13.9% increase in handle through the first 10 months of 2022 compared to 2021, revenue has actually dipped 1.1% to $353.2 million.

Football drives the action, as expected

Nearly two-thirds of the handle — $607.4 million — was wagered on pro and college football, with operators posting a 5.5% win rate to collect $33.3 million in revenue. The October hold was barely more than half that of September, when the house won at a 10.7% clip to claim $51.7 million in winnings.

Baseball and basketball were the other main sources of operator revenue. They collected $7.8 million in winnings from baseball wagers, posting a 6.8% hold on $114.7 million handle, and the $6.3 million in basketball revenue came from $79.2 million worth of bets that resulted in a 7.9% win rate.

The catch-all “other” category, which includes golf and soccer in Nevada, contributed $4.7 million in revenue from $72.7 million wagered. Those who tried their luck on parlays had little of it — the 38.5% hold on $10.1 million wagered meant the house kept close to $3.9 million of those bets.

The fast start of the Vegas Golden Knights, who lead the Western Conference with 35 points, was likely a contributing factor to a meager 2.4% hold on hockey wagers. Operators were limited to $888,000 in winnings from $36.8 million wagered as the Knights went 8-2-0 in October.

A nearly even mobile and retail revenue split

Mobile handle for October totaled $612.8 million, the highest since the $786.8 million generated in January. The $27.4 million in revenue marked the first time since the NGCB began breaking out monthly mobile figures in January 2020 that the Silver State had back-to-back months with at least $25 million in mobile revenue.

Retail revenue totaled $29.5 million, as brick-and-mortar sportsbooks had a solid month with a 9.5% win rate from $308.7 million handle. Though the hold was more than six full percentage points lower compared to September, it was the fifth time the retail win rate was 8.4% or better. Retail sportsbooks have an 8.6% hold for the year, with their $188.2 million in revenue accounting for 53.3% of the overall total for 2022.

Photo: Shutterstock

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