Mixed Results For Nevada Sports Betting, Revenue In May With No Mega-Fight

Posted on June 30, 2016

[toc]Sports betting handle in Nevada took a dip year-over-year in May, but the state’s sportsbooks posted strong numbers given the absence of a marquee fight like May of last year.

The top-line Nevada sports betting numbers

Total handle in the month came in at $312.5 million, which was less than May of 2015, when $315.8 million flowed through the state’s sportsbooks.

The big reason for that dip — or why the number was inflated last year — appears to be the boxing match between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Manny Pacquiao. That fight, one of the biggest in the recent history of the sport, sent people to the betting windows in droves.

Las Vegas had no huge fight to drive people to the sports books this May. Last year, boxing and sports other than basketball and baseball accounted for more than $80 million in handle. This year, that figure was over $27 million.

Sportsbooks won just $5.9 million in May, down from the nearly $20 million won last May.

Numbers still good in baseball, basketball

Despite the overall drop in handle mostly due to boxing, numbers were up for the other two major sports that Nevada takes action on in May:

  • Baseball betting accounted for $185.2 million in wagers, up almost $40 million from a year ago.
  • Basketball wagers almost reached nine figures ($99.7 million), up from $87 million in May 2015.

Most of the sportsbooks’ win was on basketball ($4.7 million) as opposed to baseball ($2.9 million). Books also paid out $2.4 million on old football wagers.

May a speed bump for record start to 2016

The overall trend for the year has been a big increase in the amounts wagered in the state. Over the course of April and March, sportsbooks took in $90 million more in wagers than in the same months in 2015.

So while the numbers were down for May, that seems to be a minor hiccup. June saw a seven-game NBA Finals between the Cleveland Cavaliers and the Golden State Warriors that attracted a lot of betting interest, so expect June numbers to fall in line with the first four months of the year.

Don Mammoser / Shutterstock.com

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Dustin Gouker

Dustin Gouker has been a sports journalist for more than 15 years, working as a reporter, editor and designer -- including stops at The Washington Post and the D.C. Examiner.

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