Nevada books win nearly $17 million from August-record handle

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

September 30, 2020 12:05 PM

There was good news and bad news for the Nevada sportsbooks when August figures were released Wednesday morning by the state’s Gaming Control Board.

The good news was the books handled an all-time August record of $475.1 million in sports wagers, which was a 65% increase over the $288 million handled in August 2019. 

This was due to the fact that multiple leagues were playing during the month of August, a month normally they would not be (NHL and NBA),” Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the GCB, stated in an email to VSiN.


The books also won nearly $17 million from bettors (technically $16.986 million in the monthly report), but the bad news is that it was down 9.32% from last August despite the much higher handle. The hold percentage was a low 3.58% compared to 6.51% last August.


The record handle was also nearly $200 million less than the $667.9 million handled by New Jersey sportsbooks in August. For comparison’s sake, New Jersey outhandled Nevada by just $5.5 million in August 2019 ($293.5 million to $288 million), so we can see how much New Jersey’s sports betting industry has grown in the past 12 months despite the COVID-19 pandemic. Also, other states continue to expand as Pennsylvania had the nation's third-highest sports betting handle in August at $365 million, followed by Indiana at $169 million and the newest players, Colorado, at $129.6 million.

Now, it’s interesting to note that New Jersey outhandled Nevada in June, July and August 2019 but then Nevada regained the lead during the football season, so we’ll see what happens when the September figures come out in October.

Back to August, baseball was the big winner for Nevada books with a profit of $9 million, an increase of 34.57% over last August with the condensed MLB season this year being a daily part of the betting menu. Basketball provided a $7.5 million win for the books while hockey (which was included in the “all other sports” last year) gave the books a $1.36 million win.

The biggest “loser” for the books was football at a loss of nearly $3.4 million, though that was due to previously uncashed tickets from last season as books continue to honor those tickets after being shutdown from the middle of March to early June when a lot of people would have been coming back to town to cash them. The football win/loss was also hurt by the lack of NFL preseason games in August.

Nevada continues to see an increase in mobile wagering, as $305.5 million (64.3%) of August’s total handle came on mobile apps, as well as $11 million of the monthly win. New Jersey’s mobile apps account for nearly 90% of that state’s sports betting business.



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