The summertime lull that comes with fewer events for sports wagering was evident in Nevada like elsewhere as the state’s Gaming Control Board reported $490.4 million handle for June on Thursday.
It was the first time handle dropped below one-half billion dollars since last August, when operators across the Silver State accepted $428.1 million worth of bets. Of course, the relatively quiet summer last year preceded a four-month frenzy of wagering nationwide, fueled by the NFL’s embrace of legalized betting. June’s total, however, was still enough to make Nevada the second state along with New Jersey to surpass $25 billion in all-time handle during the post-PASPA era.
Handle was down 12.6% compared to May’s $561.3 million and also 10.1% lower versus the June 2021 total of $545.5 million. High inflation could be a contributing factor, inhibiting spending on gambling as the U.S. tries to avoid a potential economic recession.
Operators claimed more than $23.8 million in revenue for June, down 11.7% from May as the 4.9% hold was practically unchanged month-over-month. The year-over-year revenue compared to June 2021 dropped 18.3%, with the win rate nearly one-half of a percentage point lower. The state collected more than $1.6 million in taxes in June, lifting the total for the year to slightly more than $13 million.
The house still struggling against the betting public
Running Top 10 #SportsBetting handles 2022 YTD by state (thru June in CAPS):
1 NEW YORK $8.59B
2 NEW JERSEY $5.78B
3 NEVADA $4.38B <–NEW
4 Illinois $4.12B
5 PENNSYLVANIA $3.57B
6 Arizona $2.72B
7 MICHIGAN $2.48B
8 INDIANA $2.31B
9 Colorado $2.27B
10 Virginia $2.11B
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) July 28, 2022
Though the operators’ statewide 4.9% win rate for June was a high-water mark this year, it marked the seventh consecutive month it was below 5% and the 11th straight month it was below the industry standard of 7%. Mobile wagering accounted for just over two-thirds of overall handle at $329.6 million, with the 4.6% win rate resulting in nearly $15.1 million in revenue.
That mobile hold was the highest monthly mark since reaching 5.6% last August. The win rate for online sports wagering in Nevada is a paltry 2.8% through the first six months of 2022, with operators taking just $85.4 million from more than $3 billion wagered. The retail win rate of 5.4% for June was a low for 2022, but operators have fared much better with in-person wagering as the overall hold for the year is just shy of 8% from nearly $1.4 billion in bets.
Unsurprisingly, baseball wagering was the big draw for sportsbooks. The $294.8 million bet was a monthly record, eclipsing the $277.6 million handle from last September. The house had a pedestrian 5.3% hold, resulting in more than $15.5 million in revenue.
The second-biggest source of revenue came from a surprising source — hockey. Operators flexed their muscles there with a 14.5% hold to claim close to $5.2 million, a record for the sport in any month since the Nevada Gaming Control Board broke out that category in 2020. It was the second time the hockey win rate reached double digits, trailing only the 20.4% in September 2020 that contributed to the previous record of $5.1 million in monthly revenue.
Basketball revenue totaled nearly $3.1 million from slightly more than $88 million handle, and the catch-all “other” category generated over $1.5 million in revenue from $68.4 million wagered. Operators paid out $1.5 million more than the nearly $3.5 million in bets placed for football, and they have paid out $25.7 million more than the $9.6 million handle generated over the last four months.
Quarterly comparisons are sharp; YTD mixed
While the first two quarters of 2022 are always expected to be widely divergent based on the sports schedule, it was still jarring to see the $1.6 billion handle from the last three months amounted to 40.1% less than the $2.7 billion generated from January through March. That contributed to revenue being down 35%, even with the hold over the last three months being 4.6% compared to 4.3% in the first three months.
The year-over-year quarterly metrics were more mixed, with handle up 10.8% and revenue down 8.7% as the win rate was exactly one percentage point higher in 2021. Tax receipts were down nearly one-half million dollars compared to the second quarter of 2021 and off nearly $2.8 million versus the first quarter of this year.
The lower win rate led to mixed results in comparing year-to-date numbers versus 2021. The nearly $4.4 billion handle through the first six months was 31.8% higher compared to 2021, but revenue was down 6.6% because the 2021 hold at the halfway point was 6.2% compared to this year’s 4.4% — the lowest of the 26 commercial jurisdictions taking wagers nationwide. The state has collected $922,050 less in taxes compared to this time last year.