Sportsbooks in Nevada set a new monthly revenue record by holding $72 million during a busy November.
The handle dipped slightly from a record $1.1 billion in October to $1.086 billion in November, a decline of 1.3%. However, there were several bad NFL results for bettors, which powered the Silver State sportsbooks to their best month ever.
They took $558.6 million worth of football bets in November, down from $729.3 million in October – a month with five full weekends. However, NFL bettors did not fare particularly, as sportsbooks held an above-average 9.5% of those wagers, equating to $53.1 million in revenue.
November was the first full month of NBA games, and the basketball handle increased to $376.1 million, but the books held just 2.7% of basketball bets.
They accepted $8 million worth of parlays, and held more than half of that total for $4.4 million in revenue, underscoring just how profitable parlays are for sports betting operators.
The “other” category – which includes golf, tennis, MMA, boxing, soccer, and so on – accounted for $67.6 million in wagers, while hockey bettors wagered $63.9 million.
Nevada Closing in on a Record Year
Nevada’s best year for gaming revenue came all the way back in 2007 when it reached $12.8 billion. In the first 11 months of 2021, revenue has reached $12.3 billion, so it needs just $500 million in December to set a new record.
That looks highly likely. Nevada is on a run of nine consecutive months in which the total gaming revenue eclipsed $1 billion. It hit $1.32 billion in November. That was the second-best month on record for the Silver State, narrowly short of the record $1.36 billion the industry earned in July 2021.
The revenue is significantly higher than last year, but it is also up 41% on pre-pandemic times in 2019. The increase has been driven by a rise in visitor numbers, and “healthy consumer savings, the sustained rebound of leisure travel, and the return of international flights”, according to Michael Lawton, senior research analyst at the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Harry Reid International Airport reported 4 million passengers arriving in November, and the total visitor numbers to Las Vegas for the year reached 29.2 million.
In November, more than 3.1 million people visited Las Vegas, and hotels achieved 91% occupancy during the weekends. Casinos on the Strip have been very busy, shaking off fears that the Omicron variant would halt the momentum.
However, the Nevada Gaming Control Board also pointed out that mobile wagering is soaring in popularity. Mobile apps accounted for 71.6% of the total sports betting handle in the state in November, which is a lot higher than the recent historical average.
Virginia Reports Strong Trading Figures
Most states have reported a slight month-on-month dip in the sports betting handle for November, but the majority broke previous revenue records.
That was evidenced in Virginia, where the handle dropped 5.8% month-on-month to $402.6 million, but the revenue improved drastically to $29.9 million. Sportsbooks in the state lost $9.8 million during the previous month.
Tennessee also reported its November trading figures this week. Its handle dipped 2.6% to $365.7 million, but revenue hit a record $29.6 million. The previous record was just $17.2 million.
Most states have now reported their November figures. We do not yet have the totals for Illinois, Colorado, and a few smaller states, but the nationwide revenue has already surpassed $500 million, which is a lot higher than October’s figure, so November will go down as a record month for the burgeoning sports wagering industry.