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Football typically dominates Nevada sports betting handle throughout NFL season, but basketball took top honors in January.
Bettors put up nearly $500 million at Nevada sportsbooks in January, marking the first month under a half-billion in the last four. The public performed quite well last month, with casinos holding only $14.6 million, or under 3 percent.
Nevada books held $25 million in January 2018 on more than $418 million in sports wagers. As a reminder, the Super Bowl falls in early February, meaning this report does not include the biggest NV sports betting day of the year.
Nevada sports betting generated $145 million in Super Bowl handle in 2019. That represented an 8 percent drop — the largest year-over-year decline in the past decade.
Just as it did in January last year, basketball betting buoyed handle in NV sports betting last month. Wagering on both the NBA and college hoops attracted more than $256 million for the Silver State in January 2019.
Money wagered did not lead to money kept, though. Basketball bettors cleaned up last month to the tune of just a 2.3 percent hold ($5.8 million) for Nevada sportsbooks.
January features plenty of betting options on both professional and college basketball. It also marks the first month in many without a full slate of NFL and college football. Only a handful of bowl games and the national playoff remain in the college football, as well as just the playoffs in the NFL.
Those postseason contests brought $188 million in football bets in Nevada casinos. Bettors slightly beat the historical NV sports betting hold, as books kept more than $7.7 million, or just better than 4 percent.
Football wagers also likely factored into an unusually light month for books on parlays. The public put up more than $2.7 million in parlays and actually came out ahead — operators lost $15,000 in January.
The “other” category that captures hockey, golf, tennis, and auto racing accounted for just under $49 million wagered. Books captured $2.1 million of those wagers, or roughly 4.3 percent.
Overall, Nevada performed relatively well against the spread of legal sports betting in the United States.