US Sports Betting Update – Nevada Handle Tops $1bn for the Second Consecutive Month
Nevada’s sportsbooks smashed through the $1 billion barrier for the second consecutive month in November. They handled $1.086 billion worth of wagers, which was marginally lower than the record of $1.1 billion they set in October. However, revenue reached a record $72 million, as there were some bad results for bettors during the month.
In October, bettors in Nevada wagered $729.3 million on football. A calendar quirk resulted in five full weekends during October, but there were only four in November, so the football handle dipped to $558.6 million. However, the hold was 9.5%, so gross gaming revenue on football was $53.1 million. November was the first full month of the NBA season, and the basketball handle shot up to $376.1 million. Basketball bettors had a much stronger month, as the hold was just 2.7%, leading to $10.2 million in basketball revenue for Silver State sportsbooks.
The “other” category, which encapsulates soccer, golf, tennis, boxing, MMA and various additional sports, had the third highest handle at $67.7 million. A total of $63.9 million was wagered on hockey, and basketball accounted for $11.7 million. Bettors placed just $8 million in parlays, but the hold was 54.8%, earning $4.4 million for the books, according to the latest state report.
Healthy Consumer Savings Buoy Demand
The broader Nevada gambling industry earned $1.32 billion in revenue during November. That was just shy of the monthly record of $1.36 billion set back in July. It was a 41% increase on November 2019, suggesting that Nevada has fully recovered from the pandemic. It was the ninth consecutive month in which the state’s operators brought in more than $1 billion in revenue, continuing a streak that began in March.
New statistics supplied by the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority revealed that more than 3.1 million people visited Sin City last month. That was a 106% year-on-year increase on November 2020. Overall occupancy increased to 77.6%, and 91% of hotel rooms were full at weekends.
“Nevada continued to record gaming win amounts in excess of pre-pandemic levels in November,” said Michael Lawton, senior research analyst at the Nevada Gaming Control Board. “Demand is being buoyed by healthy consumer savings, the sustained rebound of leisure travel, and the return of international flights, other than Canada and Mexico.”
Through November, total visitor volume in Las Vegas stands at 29.2 million people for the year. Harry Reid International Airport saw nearly 4 million passengers in November. During the first 11 months of 2021, Nevada casinos have now earned $12.3 billion in gross gaming revenue, an 11.9% increase on the $12 billion collected in 2019.The single year record was $12.8 billion, set in 2007. Nevada is now poised to break that record, as December could be the busiest month of the year in Las Vegas.
Lawton also noted that mobile gaming is on the rise in the state. The sports betting handle from mobile accounts reached a record $777.2 million in November, which was 71.6% of the total market. “The continued acceptance of mobile sports wagering by customers is driving these results,” he said, adding that mobile wagers account for 62.9% of the total sports betting handle so far in 2021.
Strong Month for Virginia and Tennessee
Eighteen states have now reported their sports betting figures for November. Nevada is second only to New Jersey, which handled $1.26 billion and earned revenue of $114.8 million – a national record. It is ahead of Pennsylvania, which brought in a handle of $761.6 million and its highest ever revenue tally: $84.9 million. The total handle for the country has reached $5.55 billion after 18 states reported their figures, and the revenue has reached $500 million. We are still awaiting figures from large states like Illinois and Colorado, so November could be another record-breaking month for the country.
Virginia sportsbooks handled $402.6 million in November. That was a 5.8% decrease on October, which featured the extra weekend of NFL action. However, revenue reached $29.9 million, following a loss of $9.8 million in October. That saw the state’s sports betting taxes rise to $4.2 million. The total handle since sports betting began in Virginia is now $2.7 billion. PointsBet recently launched in the state, joining FanDuel, DraftKings, BetMGM, Caesars, BetRivers, WynnBET, Unibet, Golden Nugget, and Barstool.
There was also a slight dip in the handle in Tennessee, dropping 2.6% from a record $375.3 million in October to $365.7 million in November. Yet the same scenario played out there, with revenue rising to a record $29.6 million, crushing the previous record of $17.2 million set in October. The state earned $5.9 million in taxes, its highest ever figure. Operators in Tennessee must achieve a 10% hold, or they will be fined $25,000.
Online Sports Betting Set to Begin in New York
New York’s legal online sports betting market will begin during next month’s NFL playoffs, according to a prominent lawmaker. Sen. Joseph P. Addabbo Jr., who has led legislative efforts in the Empire State, told ESNY that sports betting should get underway in the second or third week of January. “I’m still optimistic, and it’s very credible that we can start before the NFL playoff season,” he said. “In my opinion I think we can start in the second or third week of January, which is great because it will allow us to work out all the glitches and kinks before the Super Bowl rush.”
Arkansas has also taken a major step towards legalizing online sports betting. The state’s brick and mortar casinos have offered sports betting since 2019, as is the case in New York. However, the Arkansas Racing Commission voted to adopt new regulations on Thursday, which expand the options for sports betting in the state. The rules would permit each of the state’s three casinos to host two online skins. A fourth casino is being built, so there could be eight online operators in Arkansas, with FanDuel, DraftKings and BetMGM all expected to launch. The rules will need to be ratified by a legislative committee in early 2022.