Nevada and the Las Vegas Strip avoided a third consecutive month of declining sports betting handle, starting 2021 on a bright note by accepting nearly $646.7 million in bets statewide for January, according to figures released Thursday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Handle rose by nearly 10% from December’s total of $588 million as the Silver State cracked the $600 million plateau for the third time in four months and fourth time overall. January’s figure was bettered only by the $659.2 million wagered by bettors last October. It is also the eighth-highest monthly handle total in all legal jurisdictions in the post-PASPA era that dates to May 2018.
It was also a good month for the books, as an 8.1% win rate generated revenue of more than $52.4 million, a jump of 29.1% from December. It was the third-highest monthly total recorded in the post-PASPA era, trailing only last November ($61.8 million) and September 2018 ($56.3 million), and also the fourth time Nevada sportsbooks cleared $50 million.
It was the seventh-largest revenue total reported among legal jurisdictions since May 2018.
Nevada became the first state in the post-PASPA era to clear $13 billion in handle, but the race to the next billion-dollar marker is up for grabs as New Jersey continues to draw ever closer in the Silver State’s rear-view mirror.
In-person registration continues to be drag on mobile wagering
While the nearly $363.7 million bet via mobile and online was the second-highest total in dollars since the Gaming Control Board began releasing those numbers last year, it was also a notable decline in percentage of the overall handle compared to last month. Mobile bets represented 56.2% of the total handle, which is in line with the overall percentage (56.5%) since those breakouts were made available, but a dip from December’s mark of 59.9%.
The difference becomes more stark when stacked up against New Jersey, which outperformed Nevada by a 2.44/1 ratio in terms of mobile handle dollars in January. The Garden State generated more than $886 million in mobile bets to account for 92.5% of the total amount. In the 13 months side-by-side comparisons are available, that ratio is 2.3-to-1 as New Jersey has accepted more than $6.4 billion wagered via smartphone and computer.
Football and hoops power revenue numbers
Football and basketball provided a strong 1-2 combination when it came to sportsbook revenue in January, generating nearly $47.8 million of the monthly total. Operators had an 8.9% win rate in the former, resulting in $25.6 million in revenue, while another $22.2 million came in via basketball, which had the highest individual handle for the month at $293.1 million.
The catch-all “other” category, which includes golf, boxing, and mixed martial arts, contributed nearly $2.3 million to the pot, while revenue from hockey totaled almost $1.7 million. Though parlays were a small portion of the total at less than $1.1 million, the win rate for operators was still an impressive 26.6%.
One curious oddity in the report came from baseball, as sportsbooks recorded a glitch-like win rate of minus-4,526.34%. That happened because the payouts totaling $453,000 dwarfed the $10,008 in wagers placed for the month.
Sportsbooks generated more than $23.1 million in revenue from mobile betting as the win rate was a more modest 6.4% compared to the overall 8.1% hold.
Jersey draws closer as handle gap tightens
As the third anniversary of PASPA looms in May, it seems inevitable New Jersey will overtake Nevada as the overall leader in sports betting handle by that point if not sooner. Nevada ceded more than $312 million to its East Coast counterpart in January as the overall gap between the two shrank more than 40% to nearly $464.4 million.
While February gives the Silver State a built-in cushion of nearly $19 million from Super Bowl wagering, it will undoubtedly be absorbed through New Jersey’s mobile presence — aided by bettors in the New York City metropolitan area making the short trek across the Hudson River to place a wager and then returning across the state line.
New Jersey has already overtaken Nevada in revenue in the post-PASPA era, and its national record of $82.6 million collected in January widened that gap between the pair to nearly $39.2 million.
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