Nevada Breaks Through $1 Billion Threshold in October Sports Betting Handle

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With football season well underway and fall representing the busiest part of the calendar in terms of sports action, we’ve seen record numbers across the country in sports betting handle. Nevada is the latest state to join the party, with its October report showing a record-high handle of $1.1 billion, making it the second state in the country to cross the ten-figure threshold after New Jersey. Nevada is the oldest sports betting market in the country, and it’s neck-and-neck with New Jersey for the most successful. New Jersey crossed the $1 billion threshold for the second time in October with $1.3 billion, while Nevada slides between its September and October numbers for the second-largest handle all-time in the United States.

Nevada Sports Betting Handle Spikes, Revenues Drop

October saw Nevada’s sports betting handle increase by about 40% from September’s $786.7 million, a previous record, while it increased 66.9% year-over-year from $659.2 million in October 2020. However, revenue was just $48.3 million, a 10.9% drop from September and just the sixth-best month all-time in the post-PASPA era in Nevada. Revenue increased about 14% from $42.4 million in October 2020, but the state reported a lower-than-average 4.4% hold rate that fell significantly behind its all-time rate of 6.1%. In October, Nevada collected $3.3 million in tax receipts, lifting the total to over $24.1 million year-to-date.

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Sport-Specific October Results

As we’ve seen in most states, football is the most popular sport for bettors to place wagers on. In October, Nevada bettors put $729.3 million on NFL and college football. That market alone would have been the 16th-highest reported handle all-time across the country, and November 2020 had been the prior record with $502 million. It’s important to note that October 2021 had five NFL Sundays while October 2020 had just four, somewhat explaining the 13.98% spike in football betting.

October’s football handle represented a 52.7% surge month-over-month, although revenue dipped 18% to $29.8 million with a 4.1% hold, the worst win rate since 2.64% in January 2020. Basketball was the second-most popular sport with $110.9 million in wagers with a 7.2% hold yielding $8 million in revenues. Meanwhile, the house cleaned up on parlay bets with a massive 37.7% hold on $4.3 million in bets.

Mobile Wagering Continues to Dominate

Nevada bettors have become increasingly accepting of mobile wagering as the preferred method for placing bets, and close to $704 million was wagered via mobile devices in October. That represents 64% of the total handle, slightly above the year-to-date mark of 61.4% and an uptick from the state’s all-time mark of 59.4%. However, the mobile win rate for operators was just 2.4%, the lowest since the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) began tracking those numbers in January 2020. October was also the third straight month the win rate for mobile operators was under 3.4%.

Mobile operators collected under $16.9 million in revenue in October, less than 35% of the total revenue across the state. The mobile win rate for the year in Nevada is just 4.22% for operators, and it has failed to reach the industry standard of 7% in any of the 20 months since the NGCB started tracking those numbers. On the retail side, operators collected a 7.92% hold on $396.8 million, with $31.4 million in revenue representing a drop of 16.2% month-over-month. While mobile wagering is growing in popularity, operators will need to find a way to replicate the win rate of retail sportsbooks.

I've been writing about sports for Lineups since the beginning of 2020 and on my own website since 2018. In May 2021, I graduated from the University of Michigan with a degree in sport management. As the United States embarks on an exciting journey towards the legalization of sports betting, I'm thrilled to have the opportunity to cover industry news, NFL and NBA odds, and more.

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