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Nevada sportsbooks win $38 million in February, but handle less than New Jersey

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

March 26, 2020 11:50 AM

Nevada’s sportsbooks won $38 million from bettors in February from an overall handle of $491.7 million, according to figures released by the state’s Gaming Control Board early Thursday.

The win dwarfed the $17 million won by New Jersey’s books thanks to Nevada winning $18.77 million on the Chiefs’ 31-20 win over the 49ers in Super Bowl LIV on Feb. 2 while Jersey lost $4.28 million on the Big Game. However, Jersey did come out on top in overall betting handle at $494.8 million due to the monthlong college and pro basketball action. This was the second straight month that New Jersey topped Nevada in overall handle after Nevada won from September through December during football’s regular season.

Nevada vs. New Jersey

Monthly sports betting handle

Month                   Nevada             New Jersey

May                         $317 million        $318 million*

June                       $322 million*      $317 million

July                         $235 million        $251 million*

August                  $287 million        $293 million*

September          $546 million*      $445 million

October                $543 million*      $487 million

November           $614 million*       $562 million

December            $571 million*      $557 million

January                $502 million        $540 million*

February              $491 million        $494 million*

*Won the monthly title

Mike Lawton, GCB senior research analyst, didn’t have an answer for how the Nevada sportsbook operators felt about February’s handle/win (all of the state’s casinos are closed by order of Gov. Steve Sisolak due to the coronavirus pandemic), but he said, “I’m happy with the results. We set a record handle for the month of February with a 6.28 percent increase over last year.”

Nevada’s $38 million win came from nearly $15.2 million on football, $13.1 million on basketball, $3 million on hockey and $6.1 million on all other sports (except horse racing), boosted by Tyson Fury’s TKO over Deontay Wilder in their heavyweight title fight on Feb. 22.

As for the football monthly win of $15.2 million being less than the $18.77 million won on the Super Bowl, Lawton said that’s the result of non-Super Bowl bets being paid out during the month (examples being previously uncashed individual game tickets as well as college football futures, NFL division and conference futures, college and pro Over/Under season win totals, etc).

The same accounting procedures account for the books “losing” $218,000 on baseball despite very few MLB spring training games taking place the last week of the month.

Hockey was broken out of the “other” category for the first time in January, so there’s no comparison for February’s $3 million win to last year, but it blew away January’s win of nearly $1.15 million on the sport.

Of course, we’re wanting to see the March betting figures to see how much the sportsbooks missed out on with the cancellation of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament and the shutdown of the state’s casinos, but Lawton said those figures won’t be released until the end of April per usual.

February 2020 Nevada Sports Betting Figures

Category                    Win/Loss      %Change       Hold%

Overall                        $38,064,000          6.28                7.74

Football                        $15,156,000         37.59               9.97

Basketball                   $13,138,000       -33.88               5.04

Baseball                          -$218,000        -18.35             -16.77

Hockey                         $3,064,000          N/A                 9.22

Sports Parlay Cards    $788,000         52.82              40.81

Other*                            $6,136,000         31.07               14.42

Horse Racing               $3,155,000         -2.59                16.61

%Change is compared to same month last year

Hold% is percentage the books won/lost from the handle in that category

*Other includes all other sports except the Big Four and horse racing








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