Banner September for Nevada Sports Betting Industry

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A view of the Las Vegas Strip in Las Vegas, Nevada. Ethan Miller/Getty Images/AFP

The arrival of the NFL and college football seasons gave Nevada sportsbooks a big lift, generating over $811 million in accepted wagers in September, the highest amount since March.

Football Spurs Betting Bonanza

Handles in September were dramatically up from the previous month throughout the country, and Nevada was certainly no exception. A robust handle of over $811.2 million in September nearly missed breaking through to the top 10 of all-time state handles in the post-PASPA era and it was 6.6% higher than the $761 million wagered in September of last year. It also pushed Nevada’s post-PASPA handle to over $35 billion, making it only the second state behind New Jersey to cross that threshold.

As stated, football was the spark that lit the fuse as $510 million of the over $811 million wagered was bet on NFL and college football. And with this flurry of sports betting, the sportsbooks picked an ideal time to boast their highest hold of the year. The deluge of wagers coupled with the highest hold of the year (7.7%) generated Nevada’s third-highest revenue-producing month in the post-PASPA era.

Nevada sportsbooks brought in just shy of $62.3 million in adjusted gross revenue in September. It was just the fourth time over the last 64 months that revenues topped $60 million while the state collected over $4.2 million in taxes which was a bit less than the $4.7 million collected last year.

Las Vegas – The Gambling Mecca

Unlike all other domestic jurisdictions, retail sports betting is far more pervasive in Nevada for obvious reasons. The Silver State boasts the Western Hemisphere’s gambling mecca, Las Vegas, home of the famous Las Vegas Strip as well as a bustling and revitalized downtown area brimming with casinos that most of the locals patronize.

Although online sports betting accounted for approximately 66% of the state’s handle at $539.2 million, the revenues produced were just $29 million of the $62.3 million in adjusted gross revenue in September due to a meager 5.4% hold. Meanwhile, brick-and-mortar sportsbooks contributed $33.3 million due to a lofty 12.3% hold.

First Nine Months of 2023

After charting the data reported by the Nevada Gaming Control Board over the first three quarters of 2023, we find that although the handle is down 4.8% from last year over the same period to nearly $5.7 billion. However, the revenue generated has increased over 5.7% to $313.2 million compared to the first nine months of 2022.

The state has collected over $21.1 million in revenue off sports betting taxes thus far and if the last three months of the year are similar to the rousing September the industry just experienced, then Nevada will likely bring in more than the roughly $30.3 million it levied in 2022.

Despite the economic slowdown, rising interest rates, and international chaos in Ukraine and the Middle East, the sports betting industry continues to grow strong. In January of this year, a memo published by Fitch Ratings said the gaming industry was likely to experience a “demand pullback” after last year’s “exceptionally strong performance.”

“We expect revenues to resume low single-digit percentage point growth in 2024, driven by favorable secular trends such as recovering group and convention businesses,” the Fitch memo reads. “This should result in a less severe downturn than experienced during the 2008-2009 global financial crisis.”

But so far, so good in 2023.