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Nevada sportsbooks get September boost from football but outpaced by New Jersey

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

Nevada sportsbooks won nearly $32.9 million from bettors out of an all-time September statewide handle record of $575 million, according to the state’s Gaming Control Board, but those figures were topped by the $45 million won by New Jersey sportsbooks from an all-time nationwide record handle of $748.5 million for any month.

Sports betting continues to explode across the country, especially last month when college and pro football started in September, but it could have been bigger.

Football betting volumes were down 41.3% or $155.8 million due to several factors including the NFL starting on Sept. 10 vs. Sept. 5 in 2019, so one less weekend of NFL [in September] in this year,” Michael Lawton, GBC senior research analyst, stated in an email to VSiN. “Additionally there was no pre-season (small in volume), and a fragmented start to college football.”

However, sportsbooks directors have said the absence of some college football conferences (Big Ten and Pac-12, among others) were offset by bettors just putting their bankroll on other conferences or other sports. Besides, the NHL and NBA playoffs were held in September when that obviously didn’t happen in pre-pandemic 2019.

Of the $32.9 million profit for Nevada sportsbooks, $10.7 million came from football while baseball added another $10.2 million. Basketball accounted for a $3.7 million win for the books thanks to the NBA playoffs being played in the Orlando bubble, compared to a $912,000 loss in September 2019 when there were no games and the loss came from bettors cashing tickets from the previous season). Hockey was a $5.1 million win for the books (no exact comparison to September 2019 as the GBC only starting breaking hockey out from the “other” category in January of this year).

Not included in the “sports betting” numbers, horse racing won $3.25 million in September, an increase of 22.68% thanks to the Kentucky Derby being held on the First Saturday in September instead of the First Saturday in May.

Mobile wagering accounted for $315.9 million of the Nevada September handle, or 55% of the $575.2 million handle. New Jersey’s record was spurred by 90% of its handle from mobile devices. So, bettors flocked back to Nevada sportsbooks but the in-person handle is getting dwarfed by those betting online. Here are the top five legalized sports betting handle from September, with Pennsylvania, Colorado and Indiana also setting monthly records:

Top 5 U.S. states by sports betting handle (Sept. 2020):

1. New Jersey: $748.5 million

2. Nevada: $575.2 million

3. Pennsylvania: $462.7 million

4. Colorado: $207.6 million

5. Indiana: $207.4 million

“The $575.2 million in write is the 4th highest total all-time [in Nevada] and the highest total ever recorded in September,” Lawton stated. “Unfortunately, the hold % was soft compared to last year.”

New Jersey’s handle topped the previous monthly record it set in August at $688 million. Nevada’s record monthly handle was set in November 2019 at $614 million. Here’s the all-time monthly records:

1. New Jersey, Sept. 2020: $748.5 million

2. New Jersey, Aug. 2020: $667.9 million

3. Nevada, Nov. 2019: $614.1 million

4. Nevada, March 2019: $596.7 million

5. Nevada, Nov. 2018: $581.0 million











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