Why Did Nevada Sportsbook Revenues Tumble Before Football?

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Nevada sportsbook

Nevada sportsbooks posted a solid month in August – apart from actually making much money.

Sports betting handle climbed 4% month-on-month to $427.4 million. However, sportsbooks held just 3.4% of those wagers, generating $14.3 million in revenue. 

That was down 57% month-on-month.

How does Nevada compare to other sports betting states?

The handle increase put Nevada middle of the pack among US states in reported August numbers.

However, the revenue drop was the worst of any state, including Mississippi, which was impacted by Hurricane Ida.

StateAugust handleJuly handleDifferenceAugust revenueJuly revenueDifference
New Jersey$664,675,859$578,729,29014.9%$52,023,081$54,966,257-5.4%
West Virginia$22,350,089$21,290,2755.0%$1,993,383$2,295,743-13.2%
Washington DC$12,445,312$12,808,240-2.8%$1,492,901$1,801,748-17.1%

Why was Nevada sportsbook hold so low?

The downtick might have been from tourists cashing futures tickets on hockey and basketball.

Books took a $407,000 loss on hockey bets and a $1.1 million loss on basketball bets. Pre-season football, a wiseguy favorite, was also thin on profit.

Football bets contributed just $73,000 in revenue with a 0.17% hold on $43 million in bets.

Thank goodness for baseball

Baseball was a different story though generating $10.3 million in revenue on $277.6 million in handle. That was good for a 3.7% hold.

Parlays only contributed $29,000 in revenue but with a 33% hold.

The “other” category that includes golf, auto racing, MMA contributed $5.4 million.

Nevada generally has lower hold

While futures accounting affected the hold rate somewhat, Nevada sportsbooks generally run on thinner margins than other states.

The 3.5% August hold is the lowest monthly figure in the US since Nevada in February (also 3.5%.)

Increase in Nevada sportsbook mobile bets?

Elsewhere, mobile wagers accounted for 69% of the total amount bet. That was up from 59% in July and 58% in June, when tourists started returning to Nevada. 

The figure may have risen as tourist numbers fell thanks to Covid.

Of course, the mobile share still trails the 90+% in states like New Jersey thanks to in-person registration requirements.

Finally, Nevada operators paid just under $1 million in taxes to the state, on a 6.75% rate.