Nevada sportsbooks set a record for overall handle in October despite one less weekend of football
Legal Sports Report

Nevada Sports Betting Eclipses Half A Billion Dollars In Handle For Second Straight Month

Nevada sports books revenue
Nevada is set up to have three straight months of sports betting handle over half a billion dollars for the first time after a strong showing in October.

Nevada sports betting in October, at a glance

October is typically one of the best months for Nevada sportsbooks already; it has now eclipsed $500 million in handle in each of the past three years.

This was the best October in terms of handle though — $565 million last month, compared to $517 million last October, according to data from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Given that November is historically a big month as well, it appears Nevada will have three straight months with more than half a billion in handle for the first time in its history.

On the heels of a record-setting September — with $558 million in handle — one might have expected even more handle in October. However, there were just four weekends of football this October, as opposed to five last October. With five Saturdays and Sundays to bet on, we would have been looking at the biggest month ever in terms of handle.

Revenue for Nevada sports betting checked in at $31.4 million; that’s the lowest amount since 2014, as books were able to hold less of a record amount of October wagers. Last October, books held $42.3 million.

By sport for Nevada sportsbooks

As alluded to above, handle for football would have been higher, but for the way the calendar fell. Handle was $378 million; it came in at about $400 million the past two Octobers.

Bettors fared better in football, as the books held just under five percent of wagers, for $15.8 million in revenue.

Meanwhile interest in other sports was high:

  • Wagering on basketball more than doubled over last October — $41 million from $18.5 million. That was another number attributable to the calendar; the NBA season started a week earlier this year than last.
  • The numbers for betting on baseball — the Major League Baseball playoffs and World Series — were similarly good. Handle on baseball was more than $100 million. Last October, that figure was $66 million. The Los Angeles Dodgers and Houston Astros World Series games anecdotally attracted lots of wagering.
  • Even parlay wagering was up substantially, from $4 million last October to $14 million this year.

What to watch for next time around

There are again just four weekends in November, so the year-over-year numbers may be muted again for football wagering.

But it will be interesting to see if the trend for basketball betting continues on its way upwards.

Image credit: Mihai O Coman / Shutterstock.com

Correction: This story originally reported the amount of overall handle and NFL handle incorrectly.

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Dustin Gouker
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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.