Nevada books handle state-record $1.11 billion in January; rank 3rd nationally behind NY, NJ

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

February 25, 2022 11:54 AM

Nevada sportsbooks won nearly $50 million from an all-time monthly state record handle of $1.11 billion, according to figures released Friday morning by the state’s Gaming Control Board.

The $1.11 billion handle topped the previous record of $1.1 billion from this past October as Nevada topped $1 billion for the fourth straight month after never reaching that milestone before.

All this has come despite increasing competition from more states legalizing sports betting. New York, which started accepting wagers on mobile devices on Jan. 9 to make it easier for its much bigger population base to make bets, topped the nation for the first time with an overall sports betting handle of $1.69 billion in January despite only being live for basically three weeks. New Jersey was No. 2 at $1.35 billion.

Top 5 U.S. states in January sports betting handle (of states reporting so far):

1. New York: $1.69 billion

2. New Jersey: $1.35 billion

3. Nevada: $1.1 billion

4. Pennsylvania: $793.7 million

5. Michigan: $532.7 million

Back to Nevada, the $50 million win by the books (technically $49.997 million before rounding) was a typical hold of 4.55 percent, but was down 4.55 percent from January 2021 while the $1.11 billion handle was up 71.7 percent.


Per usual, football accounted for the majority of the handle and win with the books keeping $36.6 million on the sport (the GCB doesn’t separate college and pro football, so this also includes the college bowl games and CFB Playoff championship game – and any uncashed wagers from the Dec. 31 CFB Playoff semifinals) from a handle of $454 million. The win was an increase of 42.92 percent from January 2021 with an 8.06 hold percentage.


Parlay cards, a separate category but mostly also on football, won only $310,000, down 71.32 percent from last January and a low hold (for them) of 8.05 percent. Favorites went 5-1 SU and ATS in the NFL wild-card round and got bettors off to a great start in the playoffs.


The books won $11.3 million on basketball (again, college and pro combined), down 49 percent from January 2021 with a hold of just 2.24 percent, but actually had a loss of $143,000 on hockey. The books won just $2.9 million on “other” (the category that includes all other sports besides the Big Four, including golf, tennis, boxing, MMA, etc.) for a hold of 4.03 percent and an increase of 26.95 from last January. Horse racing is treated as a separate line item in the GCB’s monthly report and the racebooks won $2.5 million on the ponies, an increase of 9.71 percent from a year ago but a typical hold of 15.65 percent thanks to pari-mutuel wagering.


While New York and New Jersey have 90 percent of their sports betting wagers on mobile devices, Nevada is still trying to catch up (as it still relies more on tourism traffic to its brick-and-mortar casinos and doesn’t allow remote signups on the apps) and the January handle was 71 percent on mobile devices. Also of note, the books only won $15.2 million from those bettors for just a 1.9 percent hold.


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