Nevada Sports Betting Handle Grows For August, But Only Slightly

Posted on September 29, 2016

[toc]The dog days of summer saw a relatively stagnant month for Nevada sports betting, as bookmakers saw just a slight increase in handle year-over-year, and not much revenue, in August.

The latest numbers from the Nevada Gaming Control Board are hardly anything to worry about for sportsbooks, as August is one of the slowest months of the calendar as far as athletic contests to bet on.

The top-line Nevada sportsbook numbers

In August, Nevada saw bettors wager more than $188 million. Last year, that figure was about $185 million for August.

That’s just a gain of $3 million in handle for the sportsbooks year over year, which is relatively little growth given how quickly the market has grown for much of 2016. (That is other than May, another slow month for betting with mixed results.)

However, in August of 2015, handle was actually down about a percent, YoY, from 2014. So any growth this year is an improvement over the previous time period.

The win for the sportsbooks — or how much revenue they generated — stood at just $1.9 million. That’s down from $4.8 million last year.

Sport-by-sport in Nevada

August is not a big month for sports betting outside of Major League Baseball.

The vast majority of the handle was made up of bets on MLB: about $149.5 million. That’s down just slightly from last year. Win was just under $1 million, or half of the sportsbooks’ revenue. Win last year surpassed $3 million on baseball.

The books made most of their money on preseason NFL games, with $18.4 million in handle and $3.1 million in revenue.

Sportsbooks lost money on both basketball and wagers on “other” sports, which would include the Summer Olympics this year. Those losses totaled more than $2.2 million.

September should be a big month for Nevada

After the relative slumber that is the summer at Nevada sportsbooks, things should ramp back up in September.

This month, the NFL and college football started in earnest, and historically it is one of the biggest months for handle.

And as more and more books have rolled out mobile wagering this year, the books likely expect to see an uptick in money wagered YoY, when the numbers come out for September.

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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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