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The big numbers — released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Friday — came mostly from the super-fight held last month in Las Vegas between Floyd Mayweather and Conor McGregor.
How big of a month was it? The handle for betting on Major League Baseball alone was more than total betting handle in August of 2016.
First, there was the win for the books, which came in at $33.9 million. That’s easily the best performance for Nevada in the sports betting segment for a month that doesn’t feature regular-season NFL games. (September, October and November often see the biggest numbers in terms of revenue and handle.)
By comparison, the books won just $1.9 million last August.
It was also by far the biggest August in terms of handle. The $301 million in wagers easily surpassed the previous August best of $189 million, last year.
The heady performance came mostly thanks to the Mayweather-McGregor fight. According to ESPN, that accounted for $65 million in handle alone.
Sports betting is usually a small part of the gaming picture in Nevada, but it even was noticeable in terms of overall gaming revenue increases in the state.
2/ Sports betting contributed more ($32 million) to $128 million increase over Aug. 2016 than anything else — even slots ($30.1MM). @Covers
— Patrick Everson (@Covers_Vegas) September 29, 2017
The “other” category in the Nevada sports betting numbers usually captures the small sports. But with boxing included, it account for $19.8 million of revenue in August.
The fight and sports betting interest likely helped out numbers across the board:
Coming off the big August, NFL season is here, and marks the start of the busiest and most lucrative time of year for Nevada sportsbooks.
Ratings for the NFL have been hit or miss in the early-goings of the season, and it’s unclear if that might affect interest in the betting product in Nevada.
The one-off event in Las Vegas certainly helped things in August, but it will be interesting to see if the momentum continues into the fall.