U.S. sports betting is doing better, but still not great as it tries to make a comeback from coronavirus pandemic lows in April and May. Nevada, the Mecca of sports betting, is starting to see numbers improve as mainstream sports comeback into play.
Nevada sportsbooks brought in over $163 million in bets in July, which was a significant jump from the $78 million they saw in June. Thanks to the return of the NBA and MLB in July, Nevada saw over $80 million wagered on basketball and baseball alone for the month, according to the revenue report.
The state had a negative revenue stream for June (not good), but it did rebound in July to hit over $6 million (good). People are going back into the casinos and sportsbooks as well as mobile betting is starting to decline as the number of bets placed on mobile devices dips below 70 percent.
The betting handle in July 2019 was $235.6 million, and although the numbers are still down, they are rebounding in the right direction.
Thank You, Baseball and Basketball
This probably does not come as a surprise, but baseball led the betting handle for July. The MLB returned on July 23, and although Nevada only had nine days of MLB action in the month, that is better than nothing all things considered.
In those nine days, sportsbooks saw $65 million bets on early-season baseball, averaging $7.2 million per day. They did win over $4 million in baseball bets, which is nice for the ailing industry.
Nevada also took a decent amount of bets on basketball thanks to the return of the NBA. What is most impressive about those numbers is that the NBA only played eight games in July. The sports saw $16.3 million wagered on games in just a day and a half of basketball.
There was a lot of pent up demand for mainstream sports. Although July only had a limited amount of games to work with, the numbers show that sports betting is hearing in the right direction despite the circumstances.
Sports like NASCAR, Golf, and UFC all helped the industry in July as well. In terms of the other “category,” the handle hit over $80 million for the month.
NASCAR, golf and UFC have been highly bet sports during the shutdown. Bettors had flocked to these sports because they returned before team sports came back in the U.S. This could also help those sports in popularity if bettors find joy and see value in the lines Nevada is posting for them, which will then help sportsbooks get more action.
Sports Betting Moving Forward
July is showing a recovery in the sports betting industry in Nevada. Although the numbers are still down under normal circumstances, mainstream sports are playing a big part in the return to betting action.
Look for August to have better numbers as sportsbooks will have a full month of NBA, NHL, and MLB to play. Based on the daily wagering averages of MLB and NBA betting, while also including the NHL, Nevada could see its August betting handle hit close to $600 million for the month.
Football will return in September as the NFL remains on schedule for its September 10 kickoff along with some major college football expecting to be played in the ACC, Big 12, and SEC this year. The recovery will continue for sportsbooks, and most likely will not get to normal until the pandemic is over.
However, recovery is happening, and sportsbooks should be happy in the direction the sports betting industry is going.