Handle for Nevada sports betting is up $100 million over three years
Legal Sports Report

Nevada Sports Betting Hits New March Madness High With $475 Million In Handle

NCAA March Madness betting
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March Madness didn’t disappoint for Nevada sportsbooks, as casinos set a new record for March.

Solid revenue and handle figures come on the heels of a similarly good February for the books.

March at a glance for Nevada sports betting

Sports betting handle for March surpassed $475 million, according to figures from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

That’s easily the most ever wagered on Nevada sports betting for the month. It’s up $16 million from March of last year.

Even more impressively, sports betting handle in March 2014 was just $372 million. That means handle has increased more than $100 million in the past three years. Ten years ago, handle for the month was less than a quarter of a million dollars.

Basketball betting leads the way

Not shockingly, betting on basketball was the biggest sports in terms of both handle and revenue for the sportsbooks.

Bettors put down $430 million in wagers on hoops in the month. That includes both the NCAA tournament and the NBA. But interest in the tourney always drives the action in March. That figure is up from $422 million last March.

A decade ago, handle for basketball was a little more than half ($228 million) what it is today.

The books easily outpaced the betting public on hoops, generating $41.3 million in revenue for a hold of nearly 10 percent.

Other sports in Nevada

The rest of the sports accounted for less than $50 million in handle. The only losses the books incurred came in NFL and college football, as bettors cashed in winning tickets from earlier bets, to the tune of $13 million. That took net win for the books down to $31.4 million.

The early returns for baseball betting were also promising, as handle ticked up from $3.5 million last year to $4.9 million. That’s a good sign for the summer, traditionally the slowest time of year for sports betting.

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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