The dark days Nevada sports betting operators faced without major US sports now appear to be gone.
Sportsbooks reported $163.6 million in handle for July. That was more than double the $78.2 million from June and 23% higher than the $134.4 million the state’s sportsbooks took in all of the second quarter.
To put the figures into perspective, July’s handle for basketball and baseball alone was $81.6 million, or 4% higher than June’s total.
Revenue bounced back from its loss in June to $6.3 million in July, according to the state report. Betting on mobile devices accounted for 69% of total handle. That’s down from 79% in June, an interesting trend for the state that has lagged behind the rest of the country in adopting mobile.
Baseball the biggest for Nevada sports betting
There’s no doubt the start of the Major League Baseball season July 23 jump-started Nevada sports betting back into action. Baseball accounted for $65.4 million in handle for July, up from just $9.7 million for all of June.
But it wasn’t just baseball that made the difference. Basketball also had a strong showing despite just eight National Basketball Association games over the last two days of the month.
Basketball’s $16.3 million in handle jumped from $5.6 million last month.
Expect NHL hockey to contribute strongly next month as well. The NHL Playoffs started in early August and the Vegas Golden Knights have drawn plenty of action as they advance.
Other sports still significant – for now
The “other” category, which essentially fueled sportsbooks through the coronavirus pandemic, still showed up strong last month in Nevada.
Handle on other sports – which means any sport outside of football, baseball, basketball and hockey – was $80.3 million in July. That’s up 30% from June’s $61.6 million.
Betting on sports like golf, mixed martial arts and NASCAR kept operators afloat when there wasn’t much else. And while that betting won’t disappear, it should certainly be eclipsed by handle from major sports beginning in August.
South Point‘s Jimmy Vaccaro took to Twitter to talk about some early handle figures he’s seen so far, referencing sportsbook director Chris Andrews (Cris):
cris just showed me some figures and the south point and rampart handled close to twice as much than last august. i aint no genius but shows we are growing and growing as a betting culture. can only imagine what football will crank. but bet over for any beer bet you can get.
— Jimmy Vaccaro (@JimmyVaccaro) August 25, 2020
That other handle also includes sports like table tennis and darts, which were popular bets during the US sports shutdown as well. But it could be hard to find anyone interested in ping-pong once September hits and NFL betting returns to the mainstream.