Football, hockey betting are up year over year in Nevada sports betting

Super Bowl Betting Drives Nevada Sportsbooks To New February Record For Handle

Super Bowl betting Nevada 2018

Nevada sportsbooks had their best February ever in terms of total amount wagered, as handle surpassed $400 million for the first time in that month.

Total revenue generated from sports betting came in at just under $11 million according to figures from the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Nevada sports betting in February

Other than the Super Bowl, February is often one of the slower months on the sports betting calendar (outside of the summer months.)

Still, Nevada sports betting numbers climbed in terms of volume from past years. The total handle of $411.7 million is up about $30 million from the previous February. Just three years ago, total handle in the month was just $290 million.

The hold on wagers (aka revenue generated) came in at just 2.6 percent of handle, or $10.7 million. Last February, books won more than $20 million.

Here is a look at the numbers from the previous month.

Breaking down the sports

Wagering on the Super Bowl accounted for a big chunk of the total handle, just over $149 million in the month. That’s up $15 million from last year. Super Bowl betting — including wagers that came in January — set a new record for that event, according to figures released earlier by the NGCB.

Revenue from football in the month was actually negative, thanks partially to paying out futures bets — mostly on the Philadelphia Eagles to win the title — and because of a slim margin on the game itself. Books lost $2.5 million in the month, and won just over a million on the game itself.

Wagering on basketball (both NBA and college) was static — it came in at about $213 million this February and last. Revenue was also about the same year over year, with $11.6 million in hold on hoops.

There was also growth in the “other” category, which includes hockey wagering. The category isn’t split up by sport, but anecdotally we know that the presence of the Las Vegas Golden Knights in hockey has driven interest in betting on the NHL. Handle was $44 million this February for “other” sports, up from $30 million last year.

Here’s the percentage breakdown on handle:

March Madness is on tap

The next handle and revenue numbers we’ll see will include wagering on the NCAA men’s basketball tournament. March is historically the biggest month of the year for Nevada sportsbooks outside of football season.

Handle has never eclipsed $500 million for a month without football betting — last year was a record high at $475 million. But this March could be a first in that regard.

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.