It has become a theme among legal sports betting jurisdictions in the US of a February tumble in terms of overall handle and revenues. Nevada is out with their February figures and they reveal the state keeping up with the trends and producing an unsurprising dip in the overall sports betting action.
While a substantial drop in February sports wagering in Silver State opened a few eyes, the slide followed a National string of disappointing figures for the month. The numbers tumble corresponded with the end of the NFL season, a short 28-day betting period and the loss of one whole weekend of wagering action.
The Bad and the Good Emerging From February’s Stats
According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the state’s sportsbooks were able to take in $554 million in February, marking the second-straight month of handle declines. This time, it was a 14.3% slide from January’s $646.5 million handle and represented the lowest handle-total for the state since August. $136.1 million was wagered on this year’s Super Bowl – highest among states but still a decline from last year’s $154.7 million Super Bowl haul.
Sports betting revenues showed an even steeper month-to-month decline. Nevada’s retail and online sportsbooks made $31.8 million in February, a slightly concerning 39.2% drop from January’s $52.4 million in profits.
The good news comes in the form of Nevada’s year-over-year sports betting handle. February 2021’s $554 million take is a 12.7% increase from February 2020’s $491.7 million handle. February’s mobile betting handle showed a 44.6% year-over-year increase from February 2020’s $218.7 million.
Unfortunately, year-over-year profits didn’t exactly follow suit. February 2021’s $31.8 million revenue total for Nevada was down 16.3% from $38.1 million in February 2020.
Mobile Sign-up Still Dragging Numbers Down
A lot has been made in the US legal sports betting industry about mobile apps and how they have continued to take over the overall handles of states that boast such a platform. A gulf has been created between states that allow mobile registration for legal sports betting apps and the ONE with an antiquated in-person sign-up requirement for mobile sports betting. Nevada happens to be that ONE state.
Typically, we have seen states with robust mobile betting platforms and have remote sign-up policies generate about 90% of their handles via internet betting. The mobile handle in Nevada in February was just 57.1% – a similar number to what we saw in January.
All-in-all, Nevada’s mobile betting apps produced a $316.3 million handle, down 13.0% from January’s $363.7 million, which corresponds to the drop in overall handle for the state. Until the Silver State is willing to at least hear about changes to their mobile app sign-up procedures, it is feared that more progressive states on that front could eventually overtake the “grand-daddy of betting states”.
Basketball Dominates February… and Will Do So Again in March
The end of the NFL season generally brings with it a lull in legal sports betting handles across the country and this year was no different. Sportsbooks in Nevada and across the nation can thank basketball for keeping them afloat during the month.
A total of $325.9 million was bet on basketball in Nevada last month with revenues off that one sport coming in at $19.2 million. The basketball betting total is up from $260.7 million in January and should continue to rise throughout March, thanks to March Madness and its return to prominence.
$133.7 million was bet on football in Nevada during February, a 12% year-over-year drop and $39.5 million was bet on hockey, a 6.8% increase from the same period last year.
Still Maintaining the #2 Spot
Nevada, despite the decimation of their crucial tourism sector and their “living-in-the-past” mobile sports betting registration policy has maintained their #2 spot on the bet-friendly state list.
$554 million in February is still miles behind New Jersey which generated a $743 million handle but is still ahead of Pennsylvania’s $509.5 million. Michigan’s $325.5 million and Indiana’s $273.9 million.
Drops were the theme among participating US legal sports betting states in February. They were expected, just like a spike for March is, thanks to the NCAA Basketball Championships currently playing out in Indiana. All eyes will be on Nevada in March as COVID restrictions start to lift and a robust March Madness betting market comes into play.