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  • Nevada’s combined sports betting and poker revenues increased 61% in May, from $3.6 million in April up to $5.8 million.
  • Exact betting figures, win rate, handle, etc. were once again redacted to comply with confidentiality laws.
  • Gambling revenues in Nevada are trending up, but a surge in COVID-19 cases could indicate dire consequences for reopening casinos.
  • It would be more prudent for state officials to lift the in-person registration requirement for mobile betting so players all over the state can bet on the odds from home.

LAS VEGAS – In May, Nevada increased its combined sports betting and poker revenue numbers to $5.8 million, up 61% from the $3.6 million collected in April.

Unfortunately, specific betting information like the hold rate and betting handle was once again redacted to protect the financial confidentiality of World Series of Poker.

The result is that there is no way to know exactly how much sports betting revenue Nevada has generated until that redaction is lifted.

Still, the increase should be taken as a positive development for Nevada’s sports betting industry, which has been severely hurting since the onset of the coronavirus pandemic.

Nevada normally reigns supreme among legal sports betting states, but its lack of accessible mobile betting and the forced closure of major casinos dampened sports betting opportunities.

The virus has also largely halted tourist traffic to Las Vegas, which accounts for most betting action in Nevada.

Nevada sportsbooks have been largely hampered during the pandemic by a statewide requirement that players register mobile betting accounts in person at casinos.

Updated Timeline Of Recovery For Nevada Sports Betting

As in other states, Nevada saw its revenues rebound moderately in May after a disastrous April. Casinos reopened in June and some tourists have returned.

Major North American sports leagues like the NBA, MLS, and MLB are set to return to play in mid-July through early August, which should lead to a surge in betting interest. The NFL season is also rapidly approaching, which generally means a high volume of futures bets.

The in-person registration requirement is still a huge roadblock to increasing revenues, but casinos successfully reopened in June and tourism also increased as public fear of the virus died down.

The biggest concern for right now is a massive spike in new COVID-19 cases in late June. Several casino employees have already gone on record accusing their employers of negligence and of failing to proper action to prevent the spread of the virus.

Nearly 70% of intensive care unit beds throughout Nevada are now occupied and if the state government does not take drastic measures to reduce the spread of COVID-19, hospitals could be overwhelmed.

The best possible outcome, from both an economic and public health standpoint, would be for casinos to close once again and for the government to lift the in-person registration requirement to open the floor for widespread online gambling access.

There is precedent for such a strategy.

Illinois successfully lifted its in-person registration requirement last month before launching its first online sportsbook.

If Nevada instead elects to ignore the virus, a public health emergency will eventually force casinos to close anyway, which will likely lead to a decrease in long-term revenues and will almost certainly exacerbate a public health emergency.

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