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Nevada sports betting handle climbs to $477.2m in May

Nevada’s sports betting handle managed to bounce back in the month of May.

According to the latest figures from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), bettors in the Silver State wagered $477.2m on sports in May 2021.

The state’s betting handle was up month-on-month from the $454.7m wagered in April.

Betting revenue amounted to $27.1m in May, down slightly from $27.2m generated in April.

In terms of tax, operators in the state paid just over $1.8m to the state, almost level with the tax revenue posted in April.

Year-on-year comparisons

It is trickier to draw year-on-year comparisons due to the impact of the coronavirus pandemic in 2020. During the pandemic, nearly every major sporting event across the globe was postponed and almost every land-based sportsbook in the US was forced to temporarily close.

The NGCB did report revenues of $27.2m from $56.3m in bets between April and May 2020. 

For months of April and May in 2021, sports betting handle combined for $901.9m while revenue combined for $54.3m. It is almost impossible to compare this with last year’s figures due to the disruption caused to the industry.

However, when compared to the PGCB’s 2019 figures, when betting handle in April and May combined for $645.5m and revenue hit $32.9m, it is clear that Nevada’s sports betting market is showing signs of healthy growth.

Where did the growth come from?

Figures in 2021 were likely bolstered by the easing of coronavirus restrictions at Las Vegas casinos, the start of the NBA and NHL playoffs, and an increase in tourism.

In May, approximately 3.5m people travelled through McCarran International airport, up from 2.9m in April.

The increase in tourism is further supported by the split between land-based and mobile sportsbooks. According to the state report, mobile betting accounted for 62.4% of total bets in May, down from 65.3% in April

What did people bet on?

When it comes to individual sports, basketball was the most popular sport to bet on with fans staking $181.5m on basketball events. Basketball bets also accounted for $11.4m of the state’s revenue in May.

Baseball bets took second place with $176.8m in bets of which sportsbooks held onto $8.7m in revenue. Hockey took third place with $52.3m and $2.3m in revenue.

Sports in the “other” category made up $64.7m of the state’s handle and $6.2m in revenue.

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