Nevada sportsbooks set a state record for the month of May with a handle of $561.6 million while winning nearly $27 million, according to figures released by the state’s Gaming Control Board early Thursday morning.
The handle was an increase of 15.4 percent over May 2021, according to Michael Lawton, the GBC’s senior economic analyst. May did have the advantage over last May with the start of a fifth weekend with April 29 and 30 falling on Friday and Saturday.
The sportsbook’s win – which is actually listed at $26.999 million in the GCB’s monthly revenue report – wasn’t a record as it was actually down 0.3 percent from May 2021 due to the books holding just 4.81 percent compared to 5.67 last May.
Nevada’s May handle currently ranks No. 3 behind New York’s $1.26 billion (with a “b”) in May handle and New Jersey’s $766.4 million, thanks to their larger population bases. Illinois, which outhandled Nevada $839.4 million to $582.6 million in April, is expected to take over the No. 3 spot when it releases its figures in early July.
Top 5 U.S. states in sports betting handle, May 2022 (of states reporting so far):
1. New York: $1.26 BILLION
2. New Jersey: $766.4 million
3. Nevada: $561.6 million
4. Pennsylvania: $493.3 million
5. Michigan: $356.1 million
Back in Nevada, baseball led the way as the books won $12.1 million from bettors (up 39.65 percent from last May), beating out the basketball win of $9.6 million (down 16.06 percent from May 2021).
The books also won $6.4 million in the “other” category that includes all sports besides the Big Four, such as golf, tennis, NASCAR, boxing, MMA, etc. That was an increase of 2.09 percent from May 2021. The books only won $1.5 million from hockey (down 33.19 from last May).
The books “lost” $2.6 million on football. Some of that might be from the USFL, but it’s assumed most of it came from bettors cashing tickets from the regular pro and college football season and playoffs.
Nevada racebooks won $4.1 million in May (which included the Kentucky Derby and Preakness), down 5.63 percent from May 2021. The hold was 15.08 percent, which is typical due to pari-mutuel wagering and payoffs.