May Was A Bad Month For Nevada Sportsbooks, As Bettors Win Big On NBA And Handle Drops

Posted on June 29, 2017

[toc]There was little to write home about for Nevada sportsbooks after the totals were added up for May.

Handle was down in May for the second straight year, on a year-over-basis. And betters took the books to the clears on betting on the NBA, to the tune of more than $4 million.

Still, the news wasn’t all bad, as the handle decrease was minimal, and books totaled nearly $3 million in revenue for the month.

Nevada sports betting handle = $311 million

Nevada sports betting handle has been slightly down in the past couple months, in the wake of a record March. There was a slight YoY downtick in April.

And here’s the trend for May:

  • May 2017: $310.6 million
  • May 2016: $313.4 million
  • May 2015: $315.8 million

Of course, those numbers should be viewed through the lens of May 2014, when handle clocked in at just $226 million. Given that huge upswing, the relative plateau of the past few years doesn’t look so bad.

That was a bad month for the books and basketball

The books can look at the NBA for a bad revenue month. Losing $4.4 million to the betting public is a record, according to ESPN.

The books’ hold of $6.6 million for bets on baseball more than offset that, however. They won $2.4 million on more minor sports like golf and boxing.

Another $1.6 million went out of the books for old football bets still being collected.

Still, at just under $3 million in revenue is one of the worst overall months in recent memory. Sportsbooks haven’t lost money since July 2013 ($547,000). This is only the fourth time since that date that the books have won under $3 million. Most months see revenue well in excess of $10 million, these days.

The big fight will help later this summer

This month, we learned that Las Vegas will host a fight between boxer Floyd Mayweather Jr. and UFC fighter Conor McGregor.

This fight — not scheduled until August — has attracted tons of betting action. It should help propel the books into the always busy NFL season.

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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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