Nevada sportsbooks set state records for April win, handle

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

May 27, 2021 11:35 AM

Nevada sportsbooks won $27.2 million from bettors in April on a handle of $458.1 million, according to figures released Thursday morning by the state’s Gaming Control Board.

The win and handle were both Nevada records for the month of April, according to Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the GBC, which didn’t post year-to-year comparisons in its monthly report. However, Lawton followed up with an email to VSiN in which he shared that the books won just $213,000 from a handle of just $13.9 million in April 2020 as the brick-and-mortar casinos were shuttered during the COVID-19 pandemic; some books kept their mobile apps running as bettors scrambled to find things to bet on such as Russian table tennis and Korean baseball.

A more fair comparison is to April 2019 when the books won $21.5 million from a handle of $327.5 million, so this April’s figures showed a 26.3% increase in win and a 39.9% increase in handle over those pre-pandemic numbers.

With MLB’s opening day on April 1, baseball led the way for the books as they won $14.1 million. They also won $8.6 million on basketball (mostly NBA, though the NCAA men’s Final Four did take place on the opening weekend of the month). The books also won $4.9 million in the “other” category, which includes all sports except the Big 4, with the return of UFC, boxing, golf, NASCAR, etc. The win was $2.1 million on hockey with football posting a $2.5 million “loss” from bettors cashing their tickets from last season.

Despite all the good news for Nevada books, they did slip to No. 3 in the nation in overall sports betting handle during April. New Jersey handled $747 million for the month with Pennsylvania taking $479 million in bets to beat out Nevada at $458 million. Michigan, which didn’t launch legalized sports betting until January of this year, is a distant fourth among states that have released April figures at $250 million.

Additionally, New Jersey officially passed Nevada in overall sports betting handle since the 2018 overturn of PASPA by the U.S. Supreme Court, $15.16 billion to $14.96 billion, according to figures compiled by legalsportsreport.com.

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