Nevada betting handle drops to $588m in December

The state of Nevada saw the second-most sports betting activity of the entire US in December despite a month-on-month dip in handle.

According to the latest figures from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) sportsbooks in the Silver State processed $588m in sports bets in December.

The state’s December handle was down slightly on the $609.4m wagered in November and significantly down from the Silver State’s all-time high of $660m in October

Bettors in the state wagered $352.2m via online sportsbooks, accounting for 60% of Nevada’s betting handle in December.

Sports betting revenue amounted to $40.6m in December, down 33% on the $61.8m generated in November. In terms of revenue, Nevada ranked third place when compared to other states with legal sports betting in December.

Nevada feels the impact of the pandemic in 2020

For the 2020 calendar year, Nevada’s sports betting handle amounted to $4.3bn, representing a 19% year-on-year drop on the $5.3bn wagered in 2019.

The drop in handle reflects the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on the state’s land-based casino industry. With travel restrictions preventing out-of-state bettors from entering Nevada, the state saw fewer people spend money in casinos.

In addition to this, casinos in the state were forced to close for a month at the start of the pandemic in March and once they reopened, venues were ordered to operate at a capacity of 50% or less for the resort of 2020. This resulted in fewer patrons being allowed to enter casinos at a time.

This resulted in the state’s sportsbooks generating $262.8m in revenue in 2020, a 20% drop on 2019’s revenue.

What’s next for Nevada?

It is too early to say where Nevada will rank in the wider US sports betting industry in 2021.

With the impact of the coronavirus pandemic now in black and white, it will be interesting to see how the state could bounce back. As out-of-state bettors help drive handle and revenue and the fact that Nevada’s sports betting industry has little room for growth, due to the in-person registration requirements, other states with a focus on online betting may soon overtake Nevada.

Although the Silver State will likely remain as one of the top states for sports betting, there is no guarantee it will still hold second place next to New Jersey. Other states with a much higher ceiling for growth may begin to outperform Nevada.

Some of the more mature betting states like Pennsylvania or even younger states showing early potential like Illinois, Colorado or Tennessee could dethrone Nevada in the future.

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