Did Nevada Sports Betting Fare Better Than Last Year In February?

Posted on March 25, 2021

Nevada sports betting handle grew year-on-year but revenue lagged behind a particularly good Super Bowl in 2020.

February sports betting handle was $554.1 million, down 14.3% from January. Sports betting revenue also dropped 39.2% to $31.8 million, good for a 5.7% hold. That’s the lowest handle and revenue reported by Nevada since August.

The dip is not a surprise. Other sports betting markets like Indiana, New Jersey and Pennsylvania also saw month-over-month handle and revenue declines with just the Super Bowl in February compared to a full slate of betting on NFL Playoff games in January.

Like every other state that saw a February dip, the trend should not continue. Some states, including Nevada, could see record handle numbers from March Madness betting, especially after the tournament was canceled last year.

Nevada sports betting up over last year

There is at least one positive trend for sports betting in Nevada: year-over-year handle growth from last February.

Last month’s handle was 13.3% higher than last February, which was the last full month of NV sports betting before COVID hit in March 2020. Revenue fell 16.3%, mostly from a higher hold on 2020 Super Bowl betting than this year.

Despite all the changes the pandemic forced on Nevada’s retail gambling business, there has not been a huge swing to online betting. Mobile handle share was 57.1% last month. Though that’s up from 45% last Februar,y it is still a paltry comparison to the 80%-95% or higher seen in other markets.

Basketball led handle, revenue

Basketball was the top sport in Nevada by both handle and revenue in February, something that should continue into March.

Bettors wagered $325.9 million on basketball last month, up from $260.7 million in 2020. Revenue was $19.2 million.

Football handle dropped 12% compared to last year to $133.7 million with $6.3 million in revenue. This year marked just the third time since 2012 the state’s sportsbooks saw a dip in Super Bowl handle.

Hockey accounted for $39.5 million in handle, or 7.1% of the total market. That’s up from its $33.2 million in bets and 6.8% market share from last year.

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Matthew Waters

Matthew Waters is a reporter covering legal sports betting and the gambling industry. Previous stops include Fantini Research and various freelance jobs covering professional and amateur sports in Delaware and the Philadelphia area.

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