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Nevada sets records for handle & win in 2019 despite added competition

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

January 30, 2020 10:03 AM

Despite the expansion of legalized sports betting from coast to coast, Nevada sportsbooks continued to lead the way by winning a record $329 million from bettors in 2019 from a record handle of $5.3 billion, according to figures released by the state’s Gaming Control Board on Thursday morning.

The win was a 9.52 percent increase over the $301 million win in 2018 while the handle was a 6.1 percent increase over the previous record handle of $5.01 billion in the first full year after Nevada’s virtual monopoly ended with New Jersey’s win before the U.S. Supreme Court overturned the federal ban in May 2018. For the sake of comparison, New Jersey had a handle of $4.5 billion in 2019 (winning $300 million from bettors) with Pennsylvania a distant third with a handle of $1.9 billion.

“This is the 10th straight year Nevada set a record in handle,” said Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Gaming Control Board. “Obviously, the expansion of legalized sports betting hasn't negatively affected Nevada as we lead the country in market share.”

As usual, football (which combines pro and college) is king as Nevada sportsbooks won a record $122 million on the sport in 2019, an increase of 19.73 percent over the previous record in 2018. The profit of $92.4 million on basketball actually fell 8.53 percent short of the $99.6 million win 2018, while the $57.2 million win on baseball did break the previous record of $47.1 million in 2018.

The GCB also released figures on December 2019. Nevada sportsbooks won $36.3 million from bettors in December with nearly $23.7 million of the profits coming from football and $11.16 million on basketball. The overall win was down 11.56 percent from December 2018. Football was the biggest reason for that as the win was down 24.89 percent from the prior December.

“It was a tough comparison for the books as they held only 6.36 percent of bets this [December] compared to 9.4 percent last year, so the football win was down by $7.9 million” Lawton said. “The parlay card win was also down 62 percent as the hold was just 11.92 percent compared to 30.8 percent in December 2018.”


2019 Nevada Sports Betting Figures

Category                2019 Win/Loss    %Change       Hold%

Overall                      ​    $329,137,000           9.52                   6.19

Football                       $122,436,000          19.73                 6.55

Basketball                   $94,472,000          -8.53                  5.61

Baseball                        $57,200,000         14.59                  5.10

Sports Parlay Cards   $14,939,000        -10.66              29.84

Other*                           $40,090,000         41.40                 6.74

Horse Racing              $38,496,000         -11.56                 15.71

%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.


December 2019 Nevada Sports Betting Figures

Category                    Win/Loss      %Change       Hold%

Overall                         $36,327,000         -17.64               6.36

Football                       $23,698,000      -24.89               6.94

Basketball                     $11,158,000        44.34               6.50

Baseball                        -$1,723,000         25.67       -6,318.94

Sports Parlay Cards    $1,134,000       -62.02                11.92

Other*                           $2,060,000        -35.81                4.25

Horse Racing              $2,282,000        -20.81              16.48


%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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