Nevada sports betting set for big August thanks to Mayweather-McGregor
Legal Sports Report

Nevada Sportsbooks Win Just $500K In July; Handle Dips From Record 2016

Vegas sports betting
Nevada sports betting handle dipped year over year for July, while sportsbooks barely turned a profit.

There were few bright spots for the books last month, although a big win and handle looks in August thanks to the Mayweather-McGregor fight, and the NFL season is just around the corner in September.

Nevada sports betting in July, at a glance

Nevada sportsbooks won just over half a million dollars in July, as almost $4 million went to bettors for NBA futures bets. That’s certainly better than losing half a million. The last time the books lost any money for an entire month was July of 2013, when it lost just about that much.

Still, the low amount of revenue generated in the month is a normal trend for the books. Revenue for the month in both 2014 and 2015 was under a million dollars. Last year appears to be an outlier, as more than $11 million in revenue was due almost entirely to the books crushing bettors on Major League Baseball.

More worrisome is the handle figure, which was down slightly from the best-ever July on record for Nevada. Last year, $221.5 million in bets flowed through books; this year that number dropped to $218.2 million.

Still, nearly every month in 2016 saw huge growth in handle YoY; it was up more than $40 million from July 2015 to ’16. Viewed through that lens, the plateau or any downtick this year is not a cause for concern. July is also traditionally the slowest month for US sports betting, outside of August.

Baseball, and everything else

Like every summer, almost all of the betting action was on MLB. Handle clocked in at just over $180 million, almost $6 million off the pace of July last year. June saw a record for MLB handle.

Books held only one percent of those bets, good for $1.7 million in revenue. “Other” sports — everything outside of MLB, NBA and NFL — actually outperformed baseball in terms of revenue for the month ($2.1 million).

August should set a record

Despite the uninspiring numbers from July, things will certainly be better in August, which are usually the doldrums for sports betting. The fight between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor in Las Vegas made sure of that:

At least one guess at handle put it north of $100 million.

It will also be a sizable win for sportsbook operators, as several reported winning seven figures on the fight.

On the heels of what should be a good August for the books, the NFL season kicks of in September, which will be the true test of where the market stands in Nevada.

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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.