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Other states might challenge Nevada sports betting for supremacy in future years, but the Silver State still reigns.
Nevada wrapped up 2018 with another huge month, helping the total handle for the year over $5 billion. Sportsbooks also held a record-setting amount over those 12 months — more than $300 million.
Nevada sportsbooks took $562 million in wagers in December alone. That actually is the smallest handle in the past three months, including a record-setting $581 million in November.
That handle led to a robust $44 million in revenue for Nevada operators, an above-average win of 7.85 percent. While not the highest revenue total on record, it is one of the better holds in the past two decades.
The anomaly of October’s public bashing of Nevada sportsbooks feels years in the past now. Football remains the king of Nevada sports betting with nearly a third of a billion dollars wagered in December.
Books held 9.42 percent of football bets on a long slate of NFL games and a full menu of college football bowls. Compared to an October in which bettors cleaned out books on favorable NFL results, the last two months looked much better for operators.
Here’s how handle broke down by sport in Nevada sports betting in December:
Nevada now faces competition from seven other states with legal sports betting, most notably New Jersey and Pennsylvania. More jurisdictions soon will join the market, with Arkansas and Washington, D.C., legalizing sports betting last year.
Early returns in New Jersey look quite promising, especially with mobile sports betting and remote account registration and funding. A group of Nevada operators including MGM Resorts and Caesars asked state regulators last year to consider moving to that model from in-person registration. They declined to act on that ask in January.
Whether that more stringent requirement ultimately slows the growth of Nevada sports betting remains to be seen. Thus far, the option of legal sports betting elsewhere in America does not appear to have dented Nevada’s armor.