Nevada Sports Betting Holds Old Gains Even Without Fight Night

Nevada sports betting

The power of the superfight is well-known in Las Vegas and the absence of one this August factors into the Nevada monthly revenue report.

Nevada sports betting brought in more than $12.6 million in revenue on better than $247.6 million in handle in August. Those figures were released Thursday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

Last year, the Floyd MayweatherConor McGregor boxing match supercharged the state’s August totals. Nevada sports betting generated more than $30 million in revenue and more than $300 million in total wagers.

Factor in an ESPN report from last year that pegged fight handle at $65 million and it fits like a puzzle piece into 2018 revenue to match 2017.

August usually a precursor for prime fall season

The sports betting calendar begins to pick up in August as football climbs back onto the board while baseball’s pennant races heat up. They’re nothing when compared to a full month of football starting in September. But a strong August while some softness remains in the Las Vegas tourism market is not without meaning.

Last year’s August handle soared past $300 million to set a new Nevada sports betting record for the month. The previous record checked in just below $190 million.

Lining up this August with last year represents a letdown. Compare it to just two years ago, though, and you see sustainable gains for Nevada sportsbooks. Of course another big fight would help (and September’s report will include the Canelo-GGG fight, so watch out), but gains that can be held without one are notable.

Breaking down Nevada sports betting revenue

The beginning of the college season drove a strong showing for Nevada sportsbooks in the football category. Football betting created nearly $39 million in wagers and more than $6 million in revenue in a month with a light gridiron calendar.

That revenue derives from a solid hold of more than 15 percent on football in Nevada sports betting. That makes back-to-back months over 15 percent on pigskin action for Silver State casinos.

The books also profited on baseball to the tune of more than $8.2 million on better than $175 million in wagers. A hold of around 4.7 percent looks pretty reasonable as well. A full slate of baseball combined with the same in football tends to drive September too.

Combining the basketball and ‘other’ categories, Nevada sportsbooks took a hit of more than $2.1 million on more than $29 million wagered. The WNBA playoffs account for the basketball action, while other encompasses hockey, golf, tennis, soccer, and auto racing.

 

Adam Candee
- Adam Candee covers sports business and news from Las Vegas. Adam is a former editor and reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, Arizona Daily Sun and KLAS-TV.