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Nevada’s Sports Betting Scene Still Elite

Cyclists wait for the light with vehicles on the Las Vegas Strip. Mario Tama/Getty Images/AFP (Photo by MARIO TAMA / GETTY IMAGES NORTH AMERICA / Getty Images via AFP)

A lot has been made about the emergence of New York’s legal sports betting industry taking over as the “King of the Bet-Friendly States.” But despite the rise of some sports betting states across the U.S., the one that started it all, Nevada still maintains its status as one of the elite sports betting jurisdictions.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) is out with their March sports betting revenue numbers, and unsurprisingly, they showed a serious uptick in month-over-month sports betting. 

Las Vegas is bustling once again, and sports betting momentum has been building in the Siver State and across the country.

That’s the good news. The bad news is that Nevada missed the $1 billion handle mark for the second straight month in March. 

In turn, the Silver State slipped out of the Top-3 and into fourth on the list of successful sports betting states in the nation. 

Despite an inexplicable reluctance to allow for broad mobile registration for the state’s sportsbooks, Nevada is still doing something right – with obvious room to grow.

A look at the March Increase

Nevada sportsbooks reported a 10.6% month-over-month legal sports betting increase in March – a total of $863.3 million was taken in by the state’s sports betting providers, up over $86 million from the $780.8 million in February. 

Mobile betting, which had inexplicably been floundering in Nevada around the 55%-60% range, has crept up for Nevada sportsbooks, and that’s a good sign. Mobile sports betting accounted for 66.8% of the total Nevada March handle. $576.6 million in bets came from mobile sports wagering providers, up 12.5% from February’s $512.4 million 

By contrast, New York and New Jersey, the most successful sports betting states have 90%+ of their monthly handle come from mobile apps.

March 2022 sports betting figures are also over $220 million higher, or nearly 35%, than the year-over-year numbers from March 2021, when Nevada saw $641 million in sports bets.

Revenues a Bigger Story

During March, Nevada sportsbooks won big on basketball with $47.958 million in profits reported. Overall, sports betting revenue came in at $36.9 million, meaning that the house benefitted from basketball’s contributions.

It didn’t hurt that this year’s March Madness tournament was characterized by some huge upsets, including St. Peter’s beating Kentucky and St. Mary’s over Indiana. 

Basketball earnings were up 14.7% year-over-year. Last year’s March Madness winnings were about $35.2 million.

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Where it Leaves Nevada

Nevada’s sports betting industry has generated an astounding $23,577,910,006 in bets since June 2018 and has produced $1,349,297,000 in sportsbook revenues over that span. 

Legal sports betting providers have contributed $91,077,548 in taxes to state and local coffers since 2018.

New Jersey, by contrast, has taken in $26,238,411,159 in overall sports bets since June 2018.

Still, Nevada ranked fourth in the country in March in terms of legal sports betting handle, down one spot from the position they have occupied since January and out of the top 3, where they have been a mainstay forever. 

New York saw $1.64 billion in sports bets in March, New Jersey reported $1.12 billion, and Illinois, with $971.3 million, eclipsed Nevada’s $862.3 million total.

Despite the emergence of New York and Pennsylvania, Nevada is still a huge player in the U.S. legal sports betting scene.

With an NFL and an NHL team, the Nevada market is still viewed as one of the more interesting in the country. It appears as though an MLB team and perhaps an NBA franchise could be on Nevada’s radar.

The state is working hard to become the center of the U.S. legal sports betting universe again.

Bigger Picture

The American Gaming Association on Wednesday announced that U.S. commercial casinos had their best single month ever in March. 

The AGA said that casinos in the country won an incredible $5.3 billion during the month, besting the previous record of $4.92 billion in winnings for the nation’s providers in July 2021.

Americans also bet $57.7 billion with the country’s sportsbooks last year, more than doubling the amount spent in 2020. American sportsbooks, in turn, hit a record $4.33 billion in revenue in 2021 – 179.7% higher than in 2020.

Sports betting has become as ingrained in the overall sports viewing experience as ever. 

While Nevada and other states may see a typical and expected drop-off during the late spring and summer months, the overall sports wagering industry isn’t going anywhere.

Where Nevada Goes from Here

March may be the last excellent sports betting month for not only Nevada but also for the rest of the U.S. market.

In Nevada alone, just under $709 million of their $863.3 million overall March handle came from NBA and NCAA basketball. 

What Nevada does have going for it is the booming, recovering tourism sector in the state, one that should at least mitigate competing sportsbooks falling into a summer lull similar to the one that saw just $409.7 million in sports betting activity in July of 2021.

A fall out of the Top 3 most lucrative sports betting states in March came as a surprise, but it wouldn’t be a shock to see Nevada make its way back onto a podium position once again.

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