Nevada’s Sports Betting Handle Up 28.1% Through April
The first state to offer legal sports betting in the US remains one of the stronger markets in 2022. Nevada gaming officials noted that the overall sports betting handle is up 28.1% verse 2021 through the first four months of the year.
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April’s trends did cool a bit with a lull in the sports betting calendar. Coming off a strong March fueled by college basketball, the state’s total sports betting handle slipped to $582.5 million. This figure reflects a 32.5% drop from one month to the next. April marked the first time since August of 2021 that Nevada’s betting handle was less than $700 million.
As a prime US destination for retail sports betting in land-based casinos, Nevada is heavily impacted by seasonal sports such as football and college basketball. Despite the start of the NBA playoffs in April, the drop off from March was more substantial in this market as compared to the rest of legal US industry.
The plus side to this past April was a stronger hold for Nevada sportsbooks on the betting handle. Still lower than the industry average, the overall hold in April was 4.35%. When compared to March’s 4.28% hold, sports betting revenue in Nevada was down 31.1% from the previous month.
The hold rate on Nevada’s monthly betting handle has been an issue for sportsbook operators this year. The best rate through the first four months of 2022 was 4.51% in January. The overall average hold through that same timeframe is 4.29%.
Going back to June of 2018 when Nevada sportsbooks’ monthly hold was first tracked, the state average is 5.69%. On a national level, the average monthly hold for the legal US sports betting industry is 7.0%.
Football’s impact on the month of April could still be felt. While betting on the NFL’s annual draft does figure into the betting handle, one huge drain on revenue figures was tied to NFL bettors cashing outstanding winning tickets from the previous season. Once again, this is a prime example of retail sports betting’s impact on the overall industry in this state.
Out of state sports bettors cashed in winning tickets on bets that were placed during their last visit to Las Vegas or Reno. This especially pertains to visitors from California where sports betting is still illegal.
April’s overall betting handle for football in the month of April reached $3.4 million. The fact that the 2022 NFL Draft was held in Las Vegas did provide a nice boost in betting volume. However, the amount of money that Nevada sportsbooks paid out on previous NFL wagers was staggering. This figure produced a negative hold on football bets.
The betting numbers for basketball the past two months reflect the impact that college basketball has on the Nevada market. The betting handle for basketball alone in March was $708.9 million. The books’ revenue on that volume was $47.8 million to produce a 6.74% hold.
Nevada’s betting handle on basketball in April dropped to $247.1 million with $14.6 million in revenue. This resulted in a much lower 5.91% hold on basketball volume for the month.
The new MLB regular season got a slightly later start than usual due to earlier labor issues. April’s numbers for baseball were far more modest starting with a $187.7 million betting handle. The revenue on the volume added up to be $7.1 million to produce a lower than expected 3.8% hold.
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