Nevada Sports Betting Handle Rebounds, But Still Down 30% In July

About a week of MLB helped Nevada sportsbooks turn in a solid July given the circumstances, but handle was dwarfed compared to New Jersey's.
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A rough month for Nevada sports betting?

On paper, yes. However, the industry is coming back.

According to figures from state regulators made public Wednesday, the Nevada sportsbooks handled $163.5 million in bets during July, down more than 30% compared to the $235.6 million in wagers during July 2019. The $163.5 million was also just a little more than half of what New Jersey’s sportsbooks handled in July ($315.1 million).

The Silver State’s online/mobile books handled $112.8 million of the total.

The retail and online/mobile Nevada books won nearly $6.3 million from gamblers last month, down 40.2% year-over-year. The win percentage was just 3.8%, compared to 4.4% a year prior.

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The $163.5 million in handle was Nevada’s best sports betting month since the pandemic struck.

In June, the books handled just $77.9 million.

Baseball leads the way

The Major League Baseball season resumed on July 23, and Nevada books handled more than $65.3 million in bets on the sport during the month.

The books handled $174.8 million in baseball bets in July 2019.

From the $65.3 million last month, Nevada books won more than $4.3 million, for a hold of 6.6%.

The books won $8.6 million on baseball bets in July 2019, a hold of 4.9%.

In other words, the books had a better July in terms of their ability to win against baseball gamblers (non-parlay bets). Also, the handle per day was up significantly.

In the nine days of baseball last month, the books averaged about $7.2 million in handle per day, compared to $5.6 million as the daily average in July 2019. It looks like there was some pent-up demand.

The “other” category, which includes MMA, golf, car racing and everything else besides the big four sports (football, basketball, baseball, and hockey) generated about $5.4 million in revenue for the industry.

The winnings were up more than 31% year-over-year.

The handle on the “other” category was about $80.3 million last month, up nearly double compared to the $42.6 million in those wagers during the same month last year.

That also speaks to a pent-up demand for gambling on sports after a long break this spring.

Why was New Jersey so much higher?

The Garden State actually also had more betting handle in July 2019 than did Nevada. New Jersey sportsbooks handled more than $251.3 million, compared to the $235.6 million in Nevada, so the markets were close. Last month, New Jersey was miles ahead.

New Jersey has a much more robust and competitive online/mobile sports wagering market and the state is located near popular baseball markets such as New York City and Philadelphia. Las Vegas doesn’t have an MLB baseball team and is hours by car away from one. New Jersey overtook Nevada as the nation’s sports betting leader last summer, but Nevada returned to the top during football months.

That could change this year due to the pandemic.

Another important factor is that Nevada’s online/mobile books are prohibited from remote account registration, while New Jersey players can download, sign up, fund their accounts, and bet all from home.

Overall Nevada revenue

Nevada casinos began reopening in June, and it’s been a hard adjustment.

Casinos statewide won nearly $756.8 million from gamblers last month, a decline of more than 26% from July 2019.

That is much better than June’s $566.8 million, a drop of 45.5% year-over-year.

For the 12 months prior to Aug. 1, the Nevada casinos won just over $9 billion, a 24% decline.

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