Nevada sets new sportsbook handle record in March

26 April 2019

Nevada’s licensed sportsbooks generated total handle of $596.8m (£462.3m/€535.6m) in March, setting a new record for amounts wagered in a month where basketball dominated the market.

This represented a 14.4% year-on-year rise in amounts wagered, with a win percentage of 5.45%. However, the state’s sportsbooks lost $12.2m on football betting, resulting in revenue declining to $32.5m, down both month-on-month (9.2%) and from March 2018 (4.8%).

March sees the National Collegiate Athletics Association’s (NCAA) mens’ basketball tournament, known as March Madness, take place and the vast majority of stakes were wagered on the sport. Basketball alone generated $495.5m, or 83.0%, of total stakes, with a hold percentage of 7.10%, for $35.2m in revenue. This comfortably surpassed last year's record stakes of $436.6m.

Baseball generated revenue of $3.5m, up 63.4% from the prior year, a hold of 11.05%, suggesting total stakes of $31.3m. Parlay cards, meanwhile, saw revenue plummet 65.3% to $223,000, from stakes of $1.1m. A further $5.8m in revenue came from pari-mutuel sports betting and other wagers.

The states’s racebooks generated revenue of $3.7m from a hold of 16.55%, from stakes of $22.6m.

Overall Nevada’s regulated gambling market saw revenue fall 0.1% to $1.02bn in March, with a 5.0% increase in slot revenue to $675.3m offset by an 8.8% decline in table, counter and card games (including sports and race betting) to $347.7m.

The table, counter and card decline was largely down to a 54.3% year-on-year fall in baccarat revenue, which came in at $53.6m for the month.

The bulk of revenue was generated in Clark County, the region that includes Las Vegas, which reported an 0.6% decline in revenue to $882.8m. Of this sum, $551.9m came from the Las Vegas Strip (down 3.8% year-on-year), with a further $58.7m coming from Downtown Las Vegas.