Nevada sets January handle record but holds just 2.94%

Dave Tuley senior reporter

February 28, 2019 12:25 PM

LAS VEGAS – Nevada sports books had a monthly record handle of $497 million in January but held just 2.94 percent for a total win of $14.6 million, which was down 41.7 percent from January 2018, according to figures released by the state’s Gaming Control Board on Thursday morning.

The state won $7.77 million from football bettors (college and pro are combined) in January from the bowl games and NFL playoffs, plus Clemson’s upset of Alabama in the College Football Playoff championship game. That was comparable (in fact, it was a 5.5 percent increase) to the January 2018 win, but the basketball win of $5.85 million was down 62% from January 2018 as books only held 2.28 percent on hoops.

The “other” category – which includes hockey as well as all other sports besides football, basketball, baseball and horse racing – was also down 26.59 percent and sports parlay cards actually had a loss of $15,000 as bettors did better than usual on those.

It’s interesting to note that New Jersey reportedly handled $385 million (the record since books opened there last June) in January, just $112 million short of the well-established Nevada market. Helping narrow the gap was the fact a lot of professional sports bettors were in New Jersey for the DraftKings Sports Betting National Championship during the NFC & AFC Championship Weekend and put $5 million through the betting windows in the “live bankroll” contest (plus whatever they were betting on the side).

Note: Super Bowl LIII took place on Sunday, Feb. 3, so those figures (when Nevada handle fell $12 million short of the record $158.58 million in Super Bowl LII of February 2018 but with a win of $10.78 million compared to $1.17 million last year) will be part of the February gaming figures that won’t be released until the end of March.


January 2019 Nevada Sports Betting Figures

Category                          Win/Loss           %Change            Hold%

Overall                         $14,626,000               -41.70                2.94

Football                          $7,775,000                 5.52                 4.13

Basketball                    $5,853,000             -62.00                2.28

Baseball                       -$1,098,000                 11.22       -7,049.68

Sports Parlay Cards       -$15,000           -103.50              -0.55

Other*                                $2,111,000             -26.59                 4.31

Horse Racing                $2,928,000              -6.69                15.74

%Change is compared to same month last year

Hold% is percentage the books won/lost from the handle in that category

*Other includes hockey, golf, auto racing and all other sports except for horse racing.


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