VSiN.com senior reporter
LAS VEGAS – New Jersey sports books took $318.9 million in bets in May to outhandle Nevada ($317.4 million) for the first month ever, just a year after the Supreme Court ended Nevada’s virtual monopoly.
A lot of people are acting like it’s doomsday for sports betting in Nevada, but I’d like to point out that Nevada’s figure still set a statewide record for May, so really what it shows is that Nevada is still going strong despite the competition from other states and that New Jersey and others are reaping the benefits of new-found (legal) business instead of cannibalizing business from Nevada.
Nevada’s handle was 1 percent more than last year’s $315.5 million handled in May and topped the prior monthly record of $315.8 million in May 2015.
The actual bad news for Nevada’s books from this morning’s report by the state’s Gaming Control Board was that the $11.3 million won from bettors was down 45.14 percent from May 2018 and winnings were down in all other sports as well: the books’ win was $4.5 million in basketball (down 50.29 percent from last May), baseball’s win was $7.77 million (down 29.02 percent from last year) and “other” had a win of $1.3 million (down 2,199 percent).
Football actually had a loss of $2.4 million (down 739.93 percent), but as we’ve often explained, a lot of that was tickets being cashed from last football season with very few Arena Football League winnings to offset those tickets.
New Jersey’s explosive growth has been led by its online sports books, primarily FanDuel and DraftKings as 82% of the May handle was on mobile apps. FanDuel has led the state in betting handle the last four months after DraftKings (which launched last August) led the five months prior. However, the news isn’t all good for New Jersey. It doesn’t have year-to-year comparisons yet, but May’s $15.5 million sports betting win was down $6 million from $21.5 million in April.
May 2019 Nevada Gaming Figures
Category 2019 Win/Loss %Change Hold%
Overall $11,267,000 -45.24 3.55
Football -$2,417,000 -739.93 -796.00
Basketball $4,515,000 -50.29 5.14
Baseball $7,770,000 -29.02 4.25
Sports Parlay Cards $72,000 -62.98 49.59
Other* $1,327,000 -2,199.09 2.86
Horse Racing $4,978,000 -6.58 15.92
%Change is compared to same month last year
Hold% is percentage the books won/lost from the handle in that category
*Other includes hockey, golf, auto racing and all other sports except for horse racing.