Nevada Sportsbooks Make Money Even In One Of Their Worst Football Months On Record

Written By Dustin Gouker on March 7, 2017
Nevada sports betting January

[toc]January, by all accounts, was a bad month for Nevada sportsbooks. The thing is, they still made a lot of money.

The top-line numbers for Nevada sports betting

Here is what we see from the Nevada sports betting numbers released recently by the Nevada Gaming Control Board:

  • Sportsbooks in the state won just over $7.9 million in January.
  • Despite that, books took a loss on football games during the month of more than $8.2 million.
  • Total handle came in at $454 million.

So that was a bad month for football

When the Nevada books lose significant money on a sport, that’s something that doesn’t happen very often.

The books also lost about half a million dollars on parlays in the month, another rarity.

Purdum dug into some of the reasons why the books had a bad month — and a bad season — over at ESPN.

Even during a brutal month, the books still came out on top, even if isn’t much in terms of revenue. The books did very well in basketball, winning $18.2 million from hoops bettors on NBA and college action.

From Purdum:

But don’t lose too much sleep over the books’ rough NFL stretch. Nevada sportsbooks won $91.2 million on football, both college and professional, in 2016, making it the second-most lucrative football year ever.

Handle up slightly in Nevada

The most important number in terms of the growth and future of the sports betting industry is handle.

The news there wasn’t necessarily great. Last year, handle checked in at $449 million. So handle was up only about $5 million. After a lot of months in 2016 saw large year-over-year growth in handle, that is a bit of a disappointment.

But the trend is still upwards. And before 2016, handle was significantly below $400 million.

We’ll look for where the market is headed in February when the next round of numbers come out, which include Super Bowl betting.

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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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