Nevada betting handle and revenue plummets in March

Nevada’s sports betting handle fell by 76% in March as all major sports were put on hold due to health concerns around the coronavirus pandemic.

According to figures from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) bettors in the state wagered $141.1m on sports in March, a massive drop of 76.3% on the $596.8m wagered in March 2019.

Sports betting revenue also took a massive hit after sportsbooks in the state generated $1.5m from sports betting operations, a significant decrease on the $32.5m generated the same time last year.

The drop in betting handle and revenue can be attributed to the coronavirus pandemic. In March all major US sports cancelled or postponed their events and since then all commercial casinos in the country have closed their doors to help halt the spread of the virus.

The cancellation of the NCAA’s March Madness basketball tournament had the largest impact on the market in March. Last year, basketball betting accounted for $495m of the state’s handle in March, the majority of this came from betting on March Madness.

Nevada’s mobile betting share skyrockets

According to the NGCB’s figures, Nevada’s sports betting market reported its best mobile betting market share since the state began publishing its mobile betting figures in January.

Mobile sports betting applications accounted for the 63% of the state’s betting handle in March after bettors wagered $88.9m via mobile devices. However, this should come as no surprise after Governor Steve Sisolak ordered all casinos to close by March 18.

In April Sisolak extended the closure of non-essential businesses until April 30, which is sure to have an impact on the NGCB’s April figures for sports betting.

Mobile betting also managed to generate $3.8m in betting revenue, however, this was offset by a loss of $5.3m on football wagering.

Basketball betting drives handle

Basketball betting accounted for the majority of betting handle and revenue. Bettors wagered $104.7m on basketball events in March, however, the NBA was the first major US league to cancel events. Sportsbooks managed to generate $5.9m from basketball betting in March.

As all major sporting events shut down in March, the category of “other” sports proved to be the second-most popular to bet on. According to the figures, bettors wagered $21.2m on “other” sports in March.

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