Reports of the death of Nevada sports betting in the new legal US market appear to be greatly exaggerated.
Sportsbooks in the Silver State took a record-breaking $571 million in wagers in September. That appears to be the largest total in Nevada history, tracing back to the start of record-keeping in 1984. Nevada sports betting hit its previous high of $565 million in October 2017.
Revenue of more than $56 million also looks to be a new record for Nevada sportsbooks. The state set the old mark of more than $53 million in September 2012.
New Jersey? Where’s that?
When New Jersey’s top gaming regulator David Rebuck teased “stunning” September revenue numbers, talk of the Garden State eventually surpassing Nevada in revenue again heated up. New Jersey sports betting totaled $184 million in handle for the month, a strong number for its first full month of football.
Nevada sports betting posting its best month in history delays that discussion for a while. Nevada’s record September and New Jersey’s excellent start show that one market does not need to poach bettors from another to succeed. A growing universe of players can expand revenue without cannibalizing it from competing markets.
Concern still exists in Nevada though. New Jersey’s much larger population and location near the mecca of New York City will drive expansion in revenue. That’s why a handful of casinos this month asked Nevada regulators to consider fully remote registration and verification of bettors on mobile apps — just like New Jersey.
Football again drives Nevada sports betting
Just how dominant is football betting in the United States? Two out of every three bets at Nevada sportsbooks in September were placed on gridiron action.
Total football handle of nearly $389 million set a new Nevada record for the month of September. At a good hold of 11.4 percent, Nevada sportsbooks collected more than $44 million in revenue on just the NFL and college football.
Parlays certainly factor into the football total as well, even though Nevada sports betting regulators break out that revenue separately. And what a boffo month for the books on parlays it was.
While just bettors put up more than $11 million in parlays, books held an incredible 60.67 percent — not a typo — on them. That equates to revenue of more than $6.8 million. Plenty of months in Nevada sports betting past approached a 50 percent win, but this September proved even more lucrative.
Bettors also wagered more than $131 million on baseball in September. They did much better on the diamond as well, as books held only 3.24 percent.