Home » Nevada Sports Betting Handle Fails To Hit $800 Million For March

Nevada Sports Betting Handle Fails To Hit $800 Million For March

The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported sports betting handle of $785.3 million for March, the first time since 2021 operators failed to reach $800 million worth of action for that month.

Usually one of the busier times for sportsbooks with the men’s and women’s NCAA Tournaments, handle dipped 5.4% compared to the $830.5 million worth of bets placed in 2023. It was the second consecutive-year-over-year decline as Silver State sportsbooks accepted $862.8 million in wagers in March 2022.

Though Connecticut successfully defending its title on the men’s side did not help sportsbooks all that much, revenue was dragged down more by operators paying out winning football tickets. Sportsbooks totaled $12.9 million in losses for March as bettors cashed plenty of Kansas City Chiefs and Michigan Wolverines futures for their respective Super Bowl and College Football Playoff titles.

The losses incurred were $512,000 less than last year and $4.6 million less than the $17.4 million in payouts in March 2022. It was still enough, though, however to keep overall revenue under $30 million for the first time since last August. Operators finished with a 3.8% hold for March, resulting in $29.8 million in winnings — down 32.1% from last year as operators finished with a 3.8% hold.

Nevada also joined New Jersey ($49.8 billion) and New York ($41.4 billion) as the only states to surpass $40 billion in handle in the post-PASPA era.

Brick-and-mortar books take a beating

After posting four holds of 11.2% or higher in the previous six months, in-person bettors finally hit back in March. Brick-and-mortar sportsbooks came out just $3.8 million ahead on $278.3 million worth of bets placed, and the 1.4% win rate was the lowest by retail operators since a 1.2% mark in July 2022. It was just the second time when not including pandemic-affected months that retail revenue represented less than 15% of overall revenue.

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The eight-figure loss in football came with only $318,000 handle and obscured the fact sportsbooks did not do all that bad when it came to basketball wagering. They finished with a 5.3% hold against $611.4 million handle to win $32.5 million. Basketball handle, however, was down 6.8% year-over-year and 13.8% off the all-time monthly high of $708.9 million established in March 2022.

The catch-all “other” category, which includes golf, tennis, soccer, boxing, auto racing, and mixed martial arts in Nevada, ranked second in revenue with $7.6 million. It was the fourth time in the last five months the win rate eclipsed 8%, this time reaching 8.1% from $93.7 million handle.

The betting public fared well in hockey, limiting the house to a 1.6% hold and $730,000 from $45.6 million in bets placed. Operators had collected 10 times as much revenue on hockey bets in the first two months of 2024. Bettors also came away with a small windfall on parlay bets, collecting $155,000 from just $171,517 in such wagers to create a minus-90.4% hold.

Can Nevada get back to a $1 billion monthly handle?

As a state that still requires in-person registration to access sports betting apps, Nevada has now gone 26 months since last posting a $1 billion monthly handle — its record $1.11 billion wagered in January 2022. It is the longest drought among the five states to record at least one $1 billion monthly handle.

The $2.28 billion in accepted bets for the first quarter of the year was down 6% compared to the first three months of 2023, and March was the fifth time in the last six months that year-over-year handle figures showed declines.

Despite the decline in handle, revenue was up 5% year-over-year to $142.4 million thanks to a 6.2% win rate. The hold on mobile wagers was 5.1% — the first time it topped 5% in three consecutive months since the NGCB began breaking out those figures in January 2020 — as online books won $26 million from $507 million handle.