LAS VEGAS – Nevada sports books won $25 million from bettors in January, according to statewide gaming figures released by the Gaming Control Board early Tuesday morning.
The majority of that, nearly $15 million as it’s listed at $14,969,000, was won on college and pro basketball (the GCB doesn’t separate the figures into NCAA and NBA categories) due to the mass volume of games during the month. Equally impressive was the books winning $7.8 million on football wagering with just the NCAA games since New Year’s Day and the NFL playoffs.
We all know that the public tends to bet favorites and the month started good for the sports books with underdogs covering in the first three New Year’s Day bowl games. Favored Georgia and Alabama covered in the Rose Bowl and Sugar Bowl, the semifinals of the College Football Playoff, but then Alabama failed to cover after closing as a 4-point favorite when beating Georgia 26-23 in overtime of the national title game. Meanwhile, underdogs went 9-1 ATS during the month in the NFL playoffs, boosting the sports books’ win.
(Note: the Philadelphia Eagles were a popular underdog in Super Bowl LII, but that isn’t included in the January figures as it took place on Feb. 4. The books only won $1.17 million on this year’s Super Bowl compared to $10.9 million last year and $13.3 million in 2016, so we can expect February’s win to be lower as well.)
Back to January 2018, the books also won more than $2.8 million from “other” sports, which includes hockey as it doesn’t have its own category yet. That win is an increase of 1251% from last January and is indicative in the explosion of the popularity of NHL wagering since the arrival of our expansion franchise, the Vegas Golden Knights.
The win on basketball, even though it looks impressive at nearly $15 million, is actually down 18.2% from January 2017. The only other bad news for the books was a loss of nearly a million dollars on baseball (listed at $988,000), but as discussed in our last two monthly reports, that’s due to people who waited to cash their outstanding tickets from during the MLB season, including future bets and over/under season win totals (and actually it was 42% better than January 2017).
January 2018 Nevada Gaming Figures
Category Win/Loss %Change Hold%
Overall 25,089,000 215.82 6.00
Football 7,813,000 192.84 4.35
Basketball 14,969,000 -18.23 7.41
Baseball -988,000 41.95 -850.78
Other* 2,848,000 1251.14 8.66
Horse Racing 3,138,000 -3.10 16.15
*Other includes hockey, golf, auto racing and all other sports except for horse racing.