Nevada Sports Betting Handle Bounces Back In May

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Nevada sports betting

Nevada sports betting handle rose in May, a month difficult to track without comparisons to last year.

Handle hit $477.2 million, up 4.9% from the $454.7 million reported in April. Whether handle increased or decreased in May from April has been a pretty even split across US sports betting jurisdictions.

Nevada is the seventh of 15 jurisdictions to report a handle increase in May:

Sports betting revenue fell slightly to $27.1 million, just shy of 5.7% hold that generated $1.8 million in taxes. NV sports betting should pass $1 billion in post-PASPA revenue soon – likely in the next two months – with revenue sitting at $964.2 million since June 2018.

Nevada sports betting shows healthy growth

It is nearly impossible to say where Nevada sports betting is compared to last year since the second spring post-PASPA was interrupted by the coronavirus pandemic.

Nevada sportsbooks reported just $56.3 million in handle for April and May combined in 2020. That figure was $901.9 million this year, so last year was clearly a bit of an outlier.

But the Nevada sports betting market is doing just fine when compared to two years ago. Handle in April and May 2019 combined for $645.5 million, which means this year is up nearly 40% compared to 2019.

Along with the start of NBA and NHL playoffs in May, Nevada’s growth is likely attributable to tourists returning to Las Vegas. Travelers passing through McCarran International totaled more than 3.5 million in May, up from 2.9 million in April.

Additional retail betting also supports the tourist theory. Mobile betting handle share slipped to 62.4% from 65.3% in April.

Basketball betting does heavy lifting

It is no surprise that basketball was the top sport to bet on last month in Nevada with $181.5 million in handle.

It was also the most lucrative for sportsbooks with $11.4 million won for a 6.3% hold.

Baseball was a close second in terms of handle at $176.8 million, though those bettors were a bit sharper than basketball bettors. Baseball hold was just 4.9% for $8.7 million in revenue.

Hockey betting was a distant third for the single-sport categories with $52.3 million bet and $2.3 million won.

Wagering in the ‘other’ category totaled $64.7 million with a 9.7% hold for $6.2 million in sports betting revenue.