Nevada sportsbooks win $52.38 million from bettors in January

By Dave Tuley  ( senior reporter) 

February 25, 2021 10:07 AM

Nevada sportsbooks won $52.38 million in January, an increase of 159.93% from January 2020, from a total sports betting handle of $646 million (up 28.8%), according to figures released Thursday morning by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

“Sports win was the fourth-highest total all-time and write [handle] was the second-highest in state history as well,” Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the GCB, stated in an email to VSiN.

The win was split up pretty evenly between football and basketball. Football is usually king, but January’s schedule is limited with the NFL down to the playoffs, though 2021 had an extra week of pro football with NFL Week 17 falling in January while it fell on Dec. 29 in the 2019-20 season. The books won $25.6 million on football (pro and college are combined) and $22.2 million on basketball (also combined). Football win was up a whopping 343.4% while basketball was up nearly 77%. These figures also don’t include the Super Bowl, which was held Feb. 7.

Despite the gains for sports betting in Nevada, the state’s books were still outperformed by New Jersey, which won $82.6 million in January, an all-time record for any month in any state, from a total sports betting handle of $958.7 million in bets (though that was down 4% from the all-time monthly handle record of $996.2 million in December). Nevada did hold onto the No. 2 spot as it’s $645.5 million handle topped the $615.3 million taken in by Pennsylvania books.

Mobile wagering continues to drive the burgeoning markets in the states that have added legalized sports wagering since 1998. In New Jersey, 92.5% of all wagers in January were made on mobile devices as opposed to brick-and-mortar locations while Pennsylvania had 94.3% of its handle on mobile apps.  

Back to Nevada, which is improving its mobile wagering at 56.2%, the books also won nearly $1.7 million from hockey bettors, an increase of 47.7% from January 2020, which was the first month that the GCB separated the sport from the “other” category.

The “other” category, which includes UFC, tennis, etc., won $2.27 million, a 1.97% decrease from last January. Horse racing revenue was also down as the race books won $2.25 million, a decrease of 16.85%. The books “lost” $453,000 on baseball, but that’s due to paying out future wagers from last season.

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