Nevada See’s Second-most Sports Betting Action Despite Handling Decline

Despite a relative decline in handling, Nevada saw the second-most sports betting action of any state in the US in December.

The Silver State came in well ahead of Pennsylvania, with a sports betting handle of $588 million.

The $588 million figure from Nevada was down around 3.5 percent month-on-month. And it was also down from the state high of $660 million wagered in October by around 11 percent.

Retail bets accounted for 40 percent of the overall handle, compared to 60 percent of the total online handle. Due to its arcane laws requiring in-person account registration, Nevada continues to lag behind the rest of the world in smartphone adoption.

For the month, the state collected $2.8 million in taxes.

Hold rates

For December, Nevada sportsbook revenue came in at $40.6 million, good for a 6.8 percent hold rate. From November, the revenue figure was down around 33 percent and put Nevada for the month just behind Pennsylvania, good for third in the US.

Similar story for full year

For CY2020, $262.8 million was won by Nevada sportsbooks, down 20 percent from 2019. That put it around $7 million behind the demand for PA sports betting, which provided $270 million.

Nevada’s full year sports betting handle also fell 19 percent to $4.3 billion, reflecting the pandemic’s effect on out-of-state bettors. At the height of the pandemic, Nevada casinos shut down for a month and operated at 50 percent or less of capacity for the rest of 2020.

Nevada’s future in sports betting

Given the prevalence of out-of-state bettors and the scale of retail betting management, it is difficult to overstate the effects of the pandemic on Nevada and Las Vegas. Particularly compared to an online-heavy state like PA, it will be interesting to see how it bounces back as restrictions increase.

As for the broader market, even before Illinois submits its figures, its worth noting US sports betting handle in December has already exceeded $3.27 billion. At $3.25 billion, November was the previous high water mark.

With the latest addition of Virginia and Michigan, in early 2021, monthly management will start steaming past $3.5 billion.