A challenging 2022 continued for sportsbook operators in Nevada, as ticket-cashing of winning plays contributed to a year-low $16.2 million in sports wagering revenue for July, according to figures released by the state’s gaming control board on Tuesday.
The usual summer activity leading to the house being upside down on football due to lighter wagering extended to both basketball and hockey, as sportsbooks paid out $5.8 million more than the $31.8 million in accepted bets for the three sports combined. It contributed to a 1.2% hold on retail wagering, as operators finished $1.7 million ahead on $145.4 million wagered in person.
It may be possible that the proximity to Nevada of the NBA champion Golden State Warriors and Stanley Cup champion Colorado Avalanche contributed to higher-than-expected payouts. The monthly loss of $1.2 million in hockey was the highest since the Nevada Gaming Control Board began breaking out sport-specific data in 2020, and the $3.1 million loss in basketball was the highest since July 2018.
The $419.1 million handle was the lightest since bettors wagered nearly $409.9 million in July 2021. The figure was a 14.5% drop compared to June’s $490.4 million and also 62.3% lower than the all-time high of $1.1 billion established in January.
Month-over-month revenue dipped 31.9%, as the 3.9% overall win rate was nearly one full percentage point lower compared to June. It was more than four percentage points lower versus July 2021, resulting in a 51.3% year-over-year drop. The state collected $1.1 million in tax receipts, and the $14.2 million collected this year is running about $2.1 million below the first seven months of 2021, as year-over-year revenue has dropped 12.8% despite handle increasing by 28.6%.
Nevada was the first of 21 states and jurisdictions conducting commercial sports wagering to post a win rate below 6.2% in July. The Silver State, which has had eight consecutive months of holds below 5%, contributed to a drop of three-quarters of a percentage point in the gross revenue hold for July to 9.1%.
Hockey, hoops, and football losses
July #SportsBetting numbers for #Nevada via NGCB, a 🧵. 7/22 vs 6/22; vs 7/21
Handle: ⬇️14.5%; ⬆️2.3%
Revenue: ⬇️31.9%; ⬇️51.3%
Win Rate: ⬇️0.99 pts; ⬇️4.25%
Taxes: ⬇️$513,877; ⬇️$1,151,482
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) August 30, 2022
The combination of light handle and hockey payouts created a warped sport-specific win rate of -20,64%, as less than $6,000 in wagers were placed compared to the net loss of nearly $1.2 million. The largest previous monthly loss since the gaming board began providing breakouts for hockey was close to $1.1 million in October 2020.
Operator losses for basketball are common in July, with 2021 proving to be the exception, as the pandemic impacted the schedule and extended the postseason into July. Still, the $3.1 million in payouts above the $28 million in wagers was just the fifth seven-figure loss in the post-PASPA era and the first since the public came out $1.1 million ahead last August.
Offseason monthly losses are nothing new for football, as operators spend the spring and summer paying out winning tickets. This year, however, that spread between handle and payouts has grown to $27.2 million over the past five months, nearly double the $14.2 million for the same period in 2021. July’s total of $1.5 million was the smallest deficit in the past five months, a run that started with $17.5 million in winning tickets paid out in March.
An uptick in win rate for mobile operators
July #SportsBetting numbers for #Nevada via NGCB, a 🧵. Assorted Notes (4/x)
-The overall WR has been sub-5% for 8 consecutive months.
-1st time mobile revenue has accounted for >70% of total revenue in a non-COVID impacted month since the NGCB broke out mobile in 2020.
— Chris Altruda (@AlTruda73) August 30, 2022
Though mobile sportsbooks again failed to reach the industry standard of a 7% win rate — they have failed to do so every month since the NGCB began providing figures to start 2020 — their 5.3% hold on $273.7 million wagered in July represents a high point for the year. The $14.5 million in revenue claimed from mobile bets was nearly 90% of the overall haul, easily the highest percentage of any month not impacted by the pandemic.
The improved performance lifted the overall hold above 3% for the year, but operators still have not cracked $100 million in mobile revenue for 2022 despite accepting more than $3 billion in wagers.