- Last football season, bettors in Nevada risked over $1.8 billion on football action.
- From that total, the sportsbooks were able to keep $129.7 million, or 7.2%.
- To reach a $2 billion handle, every month would need to see an increase of 11%.
LAS VEGAS – Sports betting may have been legal in Nevada since 1949 but there has been no doubt that last year’s repeal of PASPA has expanded gambling even in Nevada.
The state collected over $1.8 billion in football wagers alone (NFL and college) from August 2018 – February 2019 and the thought of hitting the $2 billion mark shouldn’t come as a surprise for this season.
Football Betting In Nevada Last Year
August 2018 – $38.9 million wagered
The preseason allowed bettors to begin their betting habits, as only Delaware, New Jersey, and Mississippi were operational at this time last year. As each state enters into the legality conversation, many would think that this would inversely impact states in operation.
However, there is no evidence to support this and the hype around football betting has not been this large in the country’s history. Ten states are accepting wagers at this moment and a handful of others are expected to launch during the NFL preseason or just after it.
September 2018 – $389.0 million wagered
No time was wasted entering into the regular season last year. September was the highest handle in terms of betting on football in Nevada, as many were likely to put futures action down as well as their weekly game analysis.
This month registered as the most profitable football betting month, as sportsbooks kept 11.4% of all action, or $44.3 million. September became the only month (aside from August) to allow bettors to keep less than 90% of the handle.
October 2018 – $340.4 million wagered
October was the second month in the trend that watched Nevada sportsbooks collect over $300 million per month in football wagers. Though the handle only slightly decreased, the winning percentage by the books decreased drastically.
Instead of keeping similar numbers, the books had their worst performance, keeping only 3.32% of all action, or $11.3 million. At this point last year, West Virginia and New Mexico were also launching their industries.
November 2018 – $374.9 million wagered
The Thanksgiving holiday allowed bettors to focus in on the NFL and posted their second-highest monthly handle during last year’s season. The books had an average month, keeping 4.92% of all action, taking in a combined revenue of $18.5 million.
Pennsylvania and Rhode Island launched in the second half of the month but that failed to slow down Nevada sportsbooks.
December 2018 – $335.0 million wagered
The last of the four-month span of the handle surpassing $300 million in monthly football betting, December proved to remain just as profitable. Collecting 9.42% of all action, the books kept $31.6 million for the month.
This month was the last of the NFL regular season and also displayed data for some of the college football bowl games. If bettors did as well in December as they had in the prior two months, they might have been more inclined to continue wagering their winnings. Alas, this was not the case.
January 2019 – $188.3 million wagered
NFL Playoffs and major college football bowl games controlled the market for January football betting. Bettors kept true to their strategies and “beat the books”, holding their second-highest percentage of the handle of last year’s season.
The 4.13% kept by the books meant that bettors walked with over $180 million of that total handle. The playoffs made similar numbers in revenue by the months compared to the preseason; however, the former notched a betting handle over four times that of the latter.
February 2019 – $136.0 million wagered
Books were able to keep over $10 million, despite the lowest handle (after preseason) on the year. With the lessened amount of available games to wager on, this is expected from any sport near the conclusion of their season.
Looking Into The 2019 – 2020 Football Season
There is the belief that $2 billion could be wagered on the NFL and college football season just in Nevada alone. The state came only $200 million short of this mark, but it could be met by a few different factors.
With all of the media coverage of states that legalized sports betting, gamblers may seem more inclined to get started in the action or want to compare their home state with the mecca of sports betting.
Additionally, as the yearly sports betting handle in Nevada has been on the rise over the past few years, it wouldn’t be a surprise to see a monthly betting handle hit the $400 million mark.
Betting on the preseason should see an increase, no matter how slight. The month of August is unlikely to break any significant milestone, but surpassing the $50 million mark would be reasonable.
Any combination of these factors could help the betting handle just enough in every area to increase the football betting handle in Nevada. With the media’s spread of the industry as well as the rise in sports betting popularity, the mark of 2 billion should be an attainable goal for Nevada this upcoming season.
Michael began writing as an NBA content writer and has spent time scouting college basketball for Florida State University under Leonard Hamilton and the University of Alabama under Anthony Grant. A graduate of both schools, he covers topics focused on legal sports betting, betting odds, and casino reviews. Michael likes to golf, play basketball, hike, and kayak when not glued to the TV watching NBA games.