April is a bit slow for sports betting after a record-breaking March
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Nevada Sports Betting Handle Down Slightly For April, But Books Win $15 Million

Nevada sports betting April
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April was not a banner month for Nevada sports betting, as handle ticked slightly downward year over year.

But the state’s sportsbooks still netted $15 million in revenue for the month, making up for a rare lack of growth.

Nevada sports betting at a glance

April usually marks the start of a seasonal slowdown for sports betting, as basketball winds down and before bettors return in droves for football season in the fall.

Still, Nevada sportsbooks had generally been experiencing solid growth in the amount of bets flowing through their windows. That was the case in a big way last April.

But handle remained relatively stagnant year-over year. Last April: $292 million. This April: About $287 million. That comes after March saw a record high, thanks largely to wagering on basketball, via bets on the NBA and NCAA.

That didn’t impact the bottom line of the books, however, which won $15.1 million from bettors. That’s up from $13.5 million a year ago. Books paid out about $4.7 million for winning tickets left over from football season.

The plateauing of sports betting in some months might be expected after explosive growth in the segment in recent years. In 2014, sports betting handle clocked in at just $206 million.

Sport by sport for Nevada sports betting

Baseball and basketball — which account for most of the handle in the month — were both down in terms of volume:

  • Baseball handle 2017: $119.5 million  | 2016: $124.2 million
  • Basketball handle 2017: $127.6 million | 2016: $130.5 million

Still, the numbers only look poor when compared with last year’s handle:

What to watch for at Nevada sportsbooks

Nevada books cracked $300 million in handle in both May and June of last year, although May has seen flat numbers in the past two years.

Will the coming months feature numbers more like April? Or will the month be an outlier in terms of the continued growth of the sports betting segment?

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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