US Sports Betting Update – Nevada Sportsbooks Break Through $1bn Monthly Handle Barrier
Nevada’s sports betting handle smashed through the $1 billion barrier for the first time in October. It was the first full month of the NFL season, and a quirk of the calendar resulted in five full weekends during October. That helped drive the Silver State’s football betting handle up to $729.3 million, while sports fans wagered $121.7 million on baseball and $110.9 million on basketball. The total handle reached $1.1 billion, with the remainder coming from parlays, hockey, and other sports, according to the latest state report.
It left Nevada as the second largest state for sports betting in October. New Jersey sportsbooks handled $1.3 billion, which is a new national record. Pennsylvania is currently in third place, with $776.3 million, followed by Michigan, Colorado, and Indiana. Illinois is yet to report its October figures, but it could challenge Nevada. The national handle for October now stands at more than $6.1 billion, and we are still waiting for a few states to report.
Nevada’s sports betting revenue in October was just $48.3 million. That amounts to a hold of 4.4%, which is below the state’s historical average, as there were lots of bettor-friendly results throughout the month. The hold on football was 4.1% and it hit just 3.5% on baseball, 2.5% on hockey and 1.2% on other sports. Basketball hold was 7.2%, and the hold on parlays was a huge 37.3%. Once again, it bears repeating that you should be cautious when placing parlays, as the house edge increases with every leg you add.
Nevada Exceeds Pre-Covid Trading Levels
Nevada’s casino industry topped $1 billion in gaming revenue for the eighth consecutive month in October. That equaled a 14-year-old record. It leaves the Silver State on course to go past the annual mark of $12 billion for just the fourth time, and it made a mockery of projections that Nevada casinos would not return to pre-Covid trading levels until 2024.
Casinos earned $1.22 billion in gaming revenue during October, which represents a 19.5% increase on October 2019. The Strip is currently 3.5% ahead of 2019, and well ahead of 2020. “Strong demand across markets, the continued rebound of leisure travel and the return of special events and entertainment continued to propel gaming win past 2019 levels,” said Nevada Gaming Control Board senior economic analyst Michael Lawton.
Lawton also hailed the rise of mobile sports betting in a state that has tended to rely upon in-person wagering at its large retail sportsbooks. “Nevada has experienced strong acceptance of mobile wagering by visitors who sign up for access while in town,” he said. “Additionally, October is also the month where all four major league sports are in play in addition to NCAA football. Another contributing factor is that this month also had five weekends of NFL games which obviously contributed to the football totals.”
Colorado’s Record-Breaking Revenue
Colorado sportsbooks reported a total of $491.5 million in wagers accepted during October. That broke the previous record of $408.3 million, which was set in September. It was up 133.23% on October 2020, according to a report from the Colorado Department of Revenue, and it also represented a 20.36% month-on-month increase.
Pro football was the key driver, accounting for $171.2 million of the wagers placed. Basketball reached $63.3 million, followed by college football at $51.97 million, baseball at $37.4 million and tennis at $14.1 million. The sportsbooks held revenue of $28 million, breaking the previous revenue record set back in January.
Virginia Also Sets New Record
Montana is the only state that did not break its monthly sports betting handle record in October. Virginia became the latest to shatter records when it reported a handle of $427.3 million for the month. That saw it overtake Tennessee to become the seventh-largest state for sports betting, with Illinois and Arizona still to report. Old Dominion also became the 10th state in the post-PASPA era to surge past $2 billion in sports bets.
The handle was 45.4% up on September, and it easily beat the previous record of $304.1 million set in March 2021. Operators posted gross revenue of $30.2 million, which was a little lower than the $30.9 million held in September. The state’s nine sportsbooks invested $15.8 million on promotion credits, and there were $4.6 million in additional deductions, leaving $9.8 million in taxable revenue. That left the state with almost $1.75 million in taxes.
The market in Virginia is growing increasingly competitive. PointsBet is the latest operator to expand into Old Dominion after it secured a market access deal with Colonial Downs Group. “Being awarded the opportunity to offer PointsBet’s market-leading speed and ease of use, unrivaled slate of betting options, and overall in-play excellence to the people of Virginia is a great achievement and responsibility,” said Johnny Aitken, chief executive at PointsBet USA. “Alongside Colonial Downs, PointsBet is proud to partner with the Lottery in Virginia for our first lottery-regulated market license award.”
UK Firm Files Lawsuit Against DraftKings
UK company Colossus Bets has mounted a patent infringement lawsuit against DraftKings over its use of the cash-out function. It claims that DraftKings has infringed seven patents that it holds on the feature, and it believes those patents apply to all sports wagers placed and cashed out at DraftKings since the federal ban, PASPA, was overturned in 2018. It has licensed out the technology to Bet365 in the USA, along with a variety of bookmakers around the world.
Colossus is seeking to recover “all damages available by law, including increased damages for willful and deliberate infringement”. It has retained DLA Piper for the legal proceedings. “We take our intellectual property very seriously,” said Colossus Bets founder Bernard Marantelli. This is the next step towards protecting our rights and income across the industry in the US.” He added that Colossus first notified DraftKings of the patent infringement in 2018 and that it has continued to provide “numerous instances” of ongoing infringement. “We attempted to resolve this amicably and we gave them ample opportunity to do so,” Marantelli said.