Nevada Sports Betting Crushes Records With $5 Billion Year

Written By Adam Candee on February 1, 2019
Nevada sports betting

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.

A strong showing on football buoys books

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 sports betting

What’s next in Nevada sports betting

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.

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Adam Candee

Adam Candee is the managing editor of Legal Sports Report. He covers sports business and news from Las Vegas, where he works as a sports radio host for ESPN, BetQL, and VSiN. Adam is a former editor and reporter at the Las Vegas Sun, Arizona Daily Sun, and KLAS-TV. He can be reached at [email protected]

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