Handle for football was down because of the way the NFL calendar fell in the past two seasons

Nevada Sportsbooks Have Big Month, Generating $25 Million In Revenue In January

Nevada sports betting 2018

Nevada sports betting revenue eclipsed $25 million last month, making it one of the best Januaries on record for sportsbooks in the state.

But total sports betting handle was down in the state last month, as the state saw gaming win for all types of gambling decrease year over year.

Inside the Nevada sports betting figures

It was a great month or a worrisome month for Nevada sportsbooks, depending on how you look at it.

From the bottom line, things looked good in January. The books held six percent of all wagers, or about $25.1 million. Last January, books generated just $8 million in revenue.

It was not an all-time high, however. The books held more than $26 million in January of 2012.

Most of the revenue came from betting on basketball (NBA and college). Books held $15 million on hoops, or about 7.4 percent of all wagers.

Gaming revenue for the state on all types of gaming — big money-makers like slots and table games — was down for the month:

The larger picture in Nevada

The story for handle, however, was not as good.

Sports betting generated $418.6 million in wagers. That’s down from each of the past two years; it clocked in at $455.2 million last January. It’s the lowest figure since 2015 ($387.4 million).

All of that drop can be attributed to football, which saw handle down about $40 million YoY. Where did the drop come from? This NFL season, the final week of the regular season fell in December. In 2016, it fell in January. The way the calendar falls can create what appear to be big swings on paper that are not that big in reality.

We know wagering on the Super Bowl between the Philadelphia Eagles and New England Patriots hit a record high in February.

Other sports

Basketball was pretty much static in terms of handle (down to $202 million from $204.2 million last year).

The “other” category was up, from $24.8 million to $32.9 million, year over year. Hockey betting is included in this total, and anecdotally we know wagering on the NHL has been way up thanks to the presence of the Las Vegas Golden Knights.

Here’s a look at percentage of handle by sport:

What’s on deck for NFL sports betting?

We already know the figures for football. Before last month, basketball betting handle had been on the rise. Will that continue in 2018?

More states will be tracking how Nevada does on the handle and revenue fronts, as legislation to legalize sports gambling advances in a number of states.

Image credit: randy / Shutterstock.com

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.