Nevada sports betting sees a loss in hold rate in June

  • Nevada handled $78.2 million in sports wagers in June and lost $483,000 in revenue on these wagers.
  • It was the first month where Nevada sportsbooks have lost money since July 2013.
  • The betting handle should continue to increase in July and August as major American sports leagues resume play, so don’t expect sportsbooks to lose money again.
  • Nevada’s in-person mobile betting registration requirement continues to stifle the output of its sports betting industry during the pandemic.

LAS VEGAS – After several months of limited information on sports betting handle and revenue, Nevada finally posted its latest detailed revenue report for the month of June.

Nevada sportsbooks totaled only $78.2 million in total handle for the month and a loss of $483,000 in sports betting revenue—a hold rate of -0.62%. Most of these losses were for football wagers, meaning that sportsbooks are likely still paying out losing bets on the 2020 Super Bowl and NFL season.

When looking at Nevada’s year-over-year sports betting revenue, the handle total represents a steep 76% drop-off from June 2019, while the revenue total went negative for the first time since July 2013.

Unsurprisingly, the two most popular categories of sports for bettors in June were baseball and “other” (meaning sports other than baseball, football, basketball, or hockey).

With major North American sports leagues shut down in June, the biggest global sports to bet on were European soccer, Japanese and Korean baseball, and an assortment of miscellaneous sports like MMA, auto racing, and table tennis.

Mobile wagers accounted for $61.7 million, or 79%, of Nevada’s total monthly betting handle. Some casinos have been able to reopen during the coronavirus pandemic, but with far fewer patrons than usual, so it isn’t surprising to see mobile wagering take over.

The Short-Term Future Of Nevada Sports Betting Revenue

As popular North American leagues have already begun to resume play, Nevada sportsbooks should return to profitability in the coming months.

Major League Soccer returned on July 8, while Major League Baseball finally started its season on July 23. The NBA is also set to resume its season in a new bubble format beginning on Thursday, July 30 while the NHL should resume its season on August 1.

Even if Nevada casinos remain limited in their operating capacity, the volume of mobile sports wagers should increase noticeably in July and even more in August because of these leagues resuming play.

Nevada’s daily COVID-19 cases continue to rise, which is concerning for the state’s retail sportsbooks as they won’t be able to resume operations at full capacity until the public health emergency begins to subside.

The lack of accessible mobile betting will likely continue to haunt Nevada. The state requires that bettors register their mobile sports betting accounts in-person at an eligible casino before they are able to wager on their phones.

States like Pennsylvania and New Jersey, which feature full mobile betting with no in-person registration requirement, have seen considerably more monthly handle during the pandemic.

Nevada lawmakers could consider temporarily (or permanently) repealing the in-person registration requirement to boost betting handle and revenue, especially because doing so would considerably increase tax revenues.

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