Why Nevada Sports Betting Handle Dipped In 2020

Posted on January 28, 2021

Nevada saw the second-most sports betting action of any state in the US in December, despite a relative dip in handle

The Silver State came in just ahead of Pennsylvania, with $588 million in sports betting handle.

Nevada’s $588 million figure was down around 3.5% month-on-month. And it was also down around 11% from the state record $660 million wagered in October.

Retail bets accounted for 40% of the total handle, compared to 60% for online. Nevada continues to lag behind the rest of the country in adopting mobile because of its arcane rules requiring in-person account registration.

The state earned $2.8 million in tax for the month.

Strong hold rates

Nevada sportsbook revenue for December came in at $40.6 million, good for a hold rate of 6.8%. That revenue figure was down around 33% from November and put Nevada just behind Pennsylvania for the month, good for third in the US.

And it was a similar story for the full year.

For CY2020, Nevada sportsbooks won $262.8 million, down 20% from 2019. That put it around $7 million behind the PA sports betting market, which delivered $270 million.

Full year Nevada sports betting handle was also down 19% to $4.3 billion, reflecting the impact of the pandemic on out-of-state bettors. Nevada casinos shut down for a month at the start of the pandemic and operated at 50% or less capacity the rest of 2020.

What next for Nevada sports betting?

It’s hard to overstate the impact of the pandemic on Nevada and Las Vegas, given the prevalence of out-of-state bettors and the size of retail betting handle. It will be fascinating to see how it bounces back as restrictions lift, especially compared to an online-heavy state like PA.

As for the wider market, its worth noting US sports betting handle in December has already surpassed $3.27 billion, even before Illinois submits its numbers. November was the previous high water mark at $3.25 billion.

With the recent addition of Virginia and Michigan, monthly handle could start steam past $3.5 billion in early 2021.

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Brad Allen

Brad has been covering the online gambling industry in Europe and the US for more than four years, most recently as the news editor at EGR Global.

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