Nevada Posts Record-High $1.1 Billion Sports Betting Handle in January

On Friday, Nevada’s Gaming Control Board reported a record $1.109 billion in sports bets placed in January. That number is the sixth-highest total in the United States in the post-PASPA era, and Nevada joined New Jersey and New York as the only three states to report over $1 billion in sports betting handle for the month. As the sports betting industry continues to explode across the country, Nevada still maintains its strong standing as the oldest state with legal sports wagering in the US.

Nevada’s Record Totals

January was the fourth straight month that Nevada had reported over $1 billion in sports betting handle, and it broke the state’s prior record set in October. January’s sports betting handle increased by 9.3% from December and 71.6% year-over-year from January 2021. Nevada still fell short of New York’s total of $1.69 billion in wagers and New Jersey’s $1.35 billion.

Just over 70% of Nevada’s January handle came from online wagering, representing $786.8 million in total wagers. However, sportsbooks held just 1.93% of the online handle for just $15.2 million in revenue. With online operators cutting promotional spending and focusing on profitability, that number should increase in the coming months.

Revenue Down With Decreased Hold Rate

While Nevada’s volume was very impressive in January, the state’s sports betting revenue fell short of expectations. Nevada sportsbooks held just 4.5% of January’s handle for $50 million in revenue, a decrease of 4.6% year-over-year. Sportsbooks still paid almost $3.4 million in sports wagering taxes last month, bringing the state’s all-time total to over $86 million.

The hold rate still increased from 1.6% in December 2021, which was the lowest for any month not impacted by COVID-19. Revenue shot up by over three times to just under $50 million, ranking seventh of the 44 months after PASPA was overturned. December 2021 revenue had fallen almost 78% to $16 million.

Basketball Dominates the Market

While the NFL regular season was still going on, basketball was the most wagered on sport for sportsbooks in Nevada in January. Operators handled over $504 million in basketball wagers, but the hold rate was just 2.24%, leaving sportsbooks with just $11.3 million in revenue.

In January, football was the most profitable sport for operators, as operators had an 8.06% hold rate on $454 million wagered for $36.6 million in total revenue. It will be exciting to see what February holds as the Super Bowl will inevitably bring tons of football betting volume to Nevada.

Hockey was the third-most bet sport with $75.3 million in total wagers. However, sportsbooks had a rare negative hold rate on hockey, leaving them with a loss of $143,000 on the sport. It’s unlikely for that to continue, but several bettors made money on hockey last month.

Nevada not Alone in Record Month

January was a highly successful month for the sports betting industry, as fourteen of the twenty states published a record-high handle. There was a total of $7.25 billion in sports bets from those twenty states, representing a 116% year-over-year increase and a 20% increase from December. There are still a few states left to report their January numbers.

Much of that growth is due to New York launching its online sports betting market and immediately reporting the largest handle in United States history. However, taking out the New York results, the $5.568 billion handle is still up 65.8% year-over-year but down 7.9% from December.

Nevada slipped to the third overall spot for monthly handle behind New York and New Jersey for the first time in its history. However, its sports betting market is still steadily growing and will continue to be a significant part of the state’s economic infrastructure.

For more information, check out our official Nevada sports betting page.