Nevada sportsbooks set state handle record in February, still trail New Jersey

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

March 25, 2021 03:45 PM

Nevada sportsbooks took $554.3 million in wagers in February, an all-time state record for the month (and an increase of 12.7% from February 2020), and won $31.8 million from bettors for a hold of 5.75%. However, those numbers were again eclipsed by New Jersey’s handle of $743 million and win of $46.2 million (6.2% hold).

This came despite the fact we learned earlier last month that Nevada’s $12.6 million win and $136.1 handle on Super Bowl LV topped New Jersey’s $11.3 million win and $117.4 million.

Basketball actually led the way for Nevada in February as it generated a $19.2 million win for the books, more than 60% of the profits for the month. The win on football was just $6.3 million (half of the Super Bowl win), but includes winning tickets paid out during the rest of the month on regular-season games, earlier playoff games, Over/Under season win totals, divisional and conference futures, etc.

The “other” category that includes all sports except for the Big Four (football, basketball, baseball and hockey) such as MMA, golf, auto racing, etc. was next in sportsbook winnings at $4 million, followed by $2.4 million on hockey. The books “lost” $251,000 for the month on baseball, but that just includes one day of exhibition games on Feb. 25 plus any winning tickets that were cashed from last season.

Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the state’s Gaming Control Board, stated in an email to VSiN that “sports wagers made with mobile apps won $10.2 million on $316.2 million in wagers (up 44.4% compared to last year). This write amount accounted for 57% of total wagers.” Nevada is more reliant on tourists and wagers made at its brick-and-mortar casinos than New Jersey, as mobile app wagering is closer to 90% in the Garden State.

Nevada still holds onto the No. 2 position in the expanding legalized sports betting landscape (currently 21 states plus the District of Columbia). Here are the February handle figures for states that have reported their figures:

1. New Jersey: $743 million

2. Nevada: $554 million

3. Pennsylvania: $510 million

4. Michigan: $326 million

5. Indiana: $274 million

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