LAS VEGAS – Nevada sports books won $35.8 million from bettors in February, an increase of 235% over February 2018, according to figures released Thursday morning by the state’s Gaming Control Board.
You might remember that the books won $10.78 million on Super Bowl LIII that was played on Feb. 13 with the New England Patriots beating the Los Angeles Rams 13-3, but the majority of the state’s win came from the monthlong action on basketball (college and pro combined) as they profited $19.1 million on that sport compared to $11 million on football.
There’s been a lot of speculation about the expansion of sports betting to other states is hurting Nevada; however, the state had its highest-ever handle for the month of February at $458 million and that’s on the heels of setting a January record of $497 million in handle.
The hold percentages (the % the books profit after paying back winners) was incredibly consistent in February at 7.71% for both football and basketball and 7.81% overall.
Most of the rest of the books’ profits came from the “other” category (which includes all sports except for football, basketball and baseball) as books won $4.68 million, an increase of 210.98% from last year.
A loss was posted of $267,000 for baseball, but as we’ve written for several months, that most likely due to tickets being paid out from last season and we should see that swing to the positive side of the ledger when the March figures come out, including the spring training exhibition and early start of the MLB regular season.
Nevada’s 83 race books earned $3,242,000 from horseplayers in February, down 9.24% from last February. They held a typical 16.19%, so the drop is probably due at least in part to canceled cards at Santa Anita Park due to heavy rains and then after 21 horses had died at the track since the start of the meet in later December. The March numbers probably will also be adversely affected.
February 2019 Nevada Sports Betting Figures
Category Win/Loss %Change Hold%
Overall $35,816,000 235.10 7.81
Football $11,015,000 -538.02 7.71
Basketball $19,871,000 68.22 7.71
Baseball -$267,000 19.92 -22.44
Sports Parlay Cards $516,000 378.08 28.12
Other* $4,681,000 210.98 8.53
Horse Racing $3,242,000 -9.24 16.19
%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.