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Nevada sportsbooks take in state's third-highest handle ever in March

By Dave Tuley  (VSiN.com senior reporter) 

April 27, 2021 10:23 AM

Nevada sportsbooks won $39.3 million from bettors in March from a handle of $641 million (6.1% hold), according to figures released this morning by the state's Gaming Control Board. The figures rank second in the nation to New Jersey’s $60.7 million profit from a handle of $859 million (7%).

Basketball led the way with a win of $41.7 million in Nevada mostly due to March Madness, though the GCB doesn’t separate college and pro basketball in its monthly reports. That’s an increase of 608% from March 2020, which of course was cut short in the sportsbooks with the shutdown of casinos and the cancellation of March Madness due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Sports pool win and volume [handle] were all-time records for the month of March,” Nevada GBC senior analyst Michael Lawton stated in an email to VSiN, adding that the handle was the third-highest all-time for any month and up $44.1 million or 7.4% from the more comparable month of March 2019.

Readers will note that the basketball win is actually more than the overall win, but that’s because football posted a loss of $8.4 million due to bettors cashing tickets from last season, which is popular when out-of-state bettors return for March Madness.

Nevada books won $3.8 million in the “other” category -- other sports besides the “Big Four” of football, basketball, baseball and hockey -- for an increase of 944.7% from last March. The books won nearly $1.7 million from hockey and just $334,000 on baseball, which is basically just spring training but could be dragged down by the late cashing of tickets.

Mobile wagering continues to increase in Nevada with nearly $21.5 million of the win (54.7%) and $385.2 million (60.1%) of the total handle coming via mobile bets as opposed to bets placed in brick-and-mortar casinos. New Jersey’s mobile handle accounts for 90% of its business.

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