A Closer Look at the Legal Sports Betting Market in Nevada
Legal sports betting in the state of Nevada dates all the way back to 1931 when gambling in general first become legal. For the next 87 years, gambling towns such as Las Vegas and Reno enjoyed a virtual monopoly when it came to legal gambling in the US.
Federal laws failed to curtail sports betting with offshore books during this same time frame. In May of 2018, the US Supreme Court took the federal government out of the equation by giving individual states the right to govern and regulate legal sports betting within their borders.
Get free sports picks for every league and nearly every matchup on Doc’s free picks page.
Nevada’s long-standing monopoly of legal sports betting in this country came to an end. However, this remains the second-biggest sports betting market in the US based on monthly betting volume. Over the past year, New Jersey has moved into the top spot on the list.
The sports betting industry in Nevada has taken its hits over the past few years from competing states. Colorado has emerged as a major market for sports betting. Arizona has recently gone live to dial up the competition even higher as a neighboring state.
Through it all, Nevada has persevered. Las Vegas is still a top destination for sports betting fans. This becomes evident during huge betting events such as the Super Bowl and March Madness.
Yet, Nevada is still facing the same pressures that other states offering legal sports betting are dealing with. This past summer was rather slow for the industry as a whole. This is to be expected given the lull in the sports betting calendar.
For example, Nevada just posted its lowest monthly sports betting revenue in more than a year. While this past August’ betting handle was up 4.3% to $427.4 million against July’s results, it was 10% lower than last August’s $475 million in betting volume.
The future of sports betting in Nevada could be tied to the continued growth of online wagers through mobile sportsbook apps. Mobile betting in August was up 22.5% against July with $296.5 million in wagers.
The growth of mobile betting in Nevada has been slower than comparable states such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania. This state has not been as mobile-friendly with on-site registration at land-based retail sportsbooks required to download mobile betting apps.
By comparison, mobile betting accounts for more than 90% of the monthly handle in New Jersey. The latest figures are close to 70% in Nevada.
The main area of concern is the steep drop in sports betting revenue. August sportsbook revenue dropped a whopping 56.9% to $14.3 million as compared to $33.3 million in revenue this past July. This was the lowest amount of revenue collected by the Nevada books in 13 months.
The main reason for the huge decline is tied to an abnormally low 3.35% hold on August’s total handle. A book’s hold is the difference between the money paid out on winning bets and the money plus commission (or juice) collected on losing wagers.
The US legal market, as a whole, averages a monthly hold of 8.12%.
Nevada remains a solid No. 2 in comparison with its two closest competitors, Pennsylvania and Michigan. As long as this market continues to keep pace with the growth trends in mobile sports betting, Nevada should hold its place behind New Jersey.
With football back on the board for the next several months, both betting volume and revenue should post some pretty big numbers in Nevada as well as throughout the rest of the country.
September’s results are not in yet, but this will be a tell-tale sign of the overall health of Nevada’s sports betting industry heading into the final three months of the year.
Most Recent Sports Handicapping
- Profit is Still Not Part of the Picture for US Sportsbooks
- Circa Sports Expands to Its Third Sports Betting Market
- Ask the Bookie Show with Raphael Esparza
- A Closer Look at the Legal Sports Betting Market in Nevada
- Two More States Will Offer Retail Sports Betting for Football Season
- Caesars Sportsbook Continues to Expand Market Presence in Louisiana
- DraftKings Brings Micro Sports Betting to Several US Markets
- Las Vegas Gaming Companies Go All In for the Upcoming Football Season
- ESPN is Making Plans to Launch Its Own Sportsbook
- Free Parlay Calculator at Docsports.com