Nevada Sports Betting Handle Breaks Record In November, Thanks To Football

(USA Today Sports Images)

Nevada sportsbooks took in $581 million in sports wagers in November, according to the revenue report released on Thursday by the state gaming control board. That adds $10 million to the previous single-month record of $571 million set just two months ago, and translated into more than $27 million in sports betting revenue on a 4.67 percent hold for Nevada sportsbooks.

After a rough October, Nevada books bounced by generating $18.4 million from college football and NFL bets, plus $8.7 million from wagers placed on all other sports.

And thanks to the heavy lifting in the desert, the national sports wagering handle in November — in states where sports betting is legal — has neared $1 billion combined, as New Jersey bettors pitched in $330.7 million and
Mississippi’s $44.5 million, for a total of handle of $956,200,000 across the three. Smaller states or states to just launch operations contributed some, such as West Virginia and Pennsylvania, but not enough to drive the number into the three comma club range.

Football back to being a sports book’s best friend

Football remains king in the U.S. when it comes to sports betting. Sports bettors wagered $375.7 million on football in Nevada last month. That equates to 64.6 percent of all the money wagered on sports.

But after a strong perfomance by the betting public in October, the books bounced back (some) in November with a 4.97 percent hold, as underdogs went 26-23-8 ATS last month with 20 outright wins. Favorites had a winning week just once in November (Week 12).

Looking ahead, December is on pace to show uglier results football bettors. Heading into Week 17, dogs were 34-25-3 ATS in December with 23 outright wins. For the 2018 season, underdogs have cashed at a 52 percent rate, going 123-102-11 with 81 straight up wins. The 81 wins means dogs have emerged victorious 34 percent of the time this season.

November was the first full month of basketball wagering and Nevada casinos benefitted greatly. Sportsbooks held better than 7 percent of the more than $152 million wagered on basketball. That led to nearly $11 million in revenue for Nevada’s casinos.

Basketball made up 25.7 percent of the money wagered on sports betting in November, followed by baseball (2 percent), parlay cards (1.9 percent) and other sports (7.1 percent).

Sports betting still a small piece of the pie

According to the board, here are Nevada casinos’ net win in November broken down by category:

  • Penny slots $276.0 million
  • Baccarat $97.7 million
  • Blackjack $87.6 million
  • Craps $30.4 million
  • Roulette $28.6 million
  • Sports betting $27.1 million

Yes, penny slots, where patrons often bet more than a penny or just sit there for hours upon hours at a time. It adds up.

While sports betting is pulling in revenue for states across the country, it’s important to remember when it comes to casinos, it’s a small piece of the pie.

​Even smaller when primetime games go flying over the total in defenseless scoring bonanzas like the Nov. 19 Chiefs-Rams 54-51 pointsplosion, which gave one sportsbook executive chills:

About the Author

  • Thomas Casale (tcasale)

  • Thomas Casale is the Editor of Sports Betting Content for RotoGrinders. He's been following the sports betting industry for almost 30 years. Before coming to RotoGrinders, Thomas contributed to The Linemakers and worked as an editor at BetChicago. He's also provided fantasy sports analysis for multiple websites and print publications, while covering the NFL, college football, college basketball and MMA at different media outlets.