Nevada has become the fifth state in the post-PASPA era to surpass $2 billion in sports wagering adjusted gross revenue, with the state’s Gaming Control Board reporting Thursday that operators claimed $68.1 million in winnings in October.

Nevada sportsbooks have claimed billions more since accepting their first bets back in 1975, but the state joined New Jersey, New York, Illinois, and Pennsylvania in the select circle of those clearing $2 billion since betting outside Nevada first became available in June 2018, according to Sports Handle’s state-by-state sports betting revenue tracking.

The $68.1 million for October — with a hold close to 8.4% — is the third-highest total in state history, trailing only the nearly $72 million in November 2021 and $70.6 million in September 2022. Revenue was up almost 20% compared to October of last year and 9.3% higher than September’s $62.3 million.

It marked the first time Nevada sportsbooks had back-to-back months with at least $60 million in revenue. It was also the first time the house had a collective win rate above the industry standard of 7% in consecutive months since September-October 2019. October’s hold was the sixth-highest in 65 months of wagering when including the two months during the 2020 COVID-19 pandemic the NGCB did not release figures.

Handle totaled $815.7 million, down 11.5% from 12 months ago. It was also marked the second consecutive double-digit, year-over-year decline for October handle as the wagers accepted in October 2021 totaled $1.1 billion.

October’s dip in handle steepened the year-to-date decline in accepted wagers versus 2022 — the $6.5 billion worth of accepted bets is 5.7% lower compared to the first 10 months of last year. Revenue in that same period, however, is up almost 8% to $381.3 million.

The state received close to $4.6 million in taxes from sports wagering in October, lifting the year-to-date total to $25.7 million. That is almost $1.9 million ahead of last year’s pace through 10 months.

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Football at the forefront as operators fare well

The bulk of Silver State sportsbook revenue came from football, which totaled $48.3 million while the house had a strong 8.8% win rate. It was the state’s fourth-highest monthly total for football operator winnings, which were up 44.7% compared to the previous October despite a 10.1% drop in handle to $545.9 million.

Baseball was a distant second in revenue, just shy of $9.5 million, but there were plenty of losing futures tickets as operators had a 10.5% hold — the highest of any month of October post-PASPA since attaining a 13.8% win rate in 2019. Wagering in baseball had a steeper year-over-year drop, plunging 21.1% from October 2022 to $90.5 million.

The catch-all “other” category, which in Nevada includes golf, tennis, soccer, boxing, mixed martial arts, and auto racing, showed revenue of $3.5 million. The hold on those wagers edged below 4% with $87.1 million worth of accepted wagers.

The start of the NBA season contributed to $3.1 million in basketball revenue, while hockey winnings totaled $2.2 million as the Vegas Golden Knights began defense of their Stanley Cup title. Hockey revenue more than doubled from the previous October, when it was only $888,000 as the 7.1% hold this year was 4.7 percentage points higher.

While parlay wagering is limited in Nevada, it did not prevent operators from routing the public for a second consecutive month. The eye-watering 41.1% hold resulted in the house keeping $1.5 million of the $3.6 million worth of multi-leg wagers placed.

House continues to hold sway on in-person bets

Revenue remained near a 50-50 balance for the year between betting done by mobile apps and in person at retail sportsbooks, while the online betting sites accounted for more than 65% of the $6.5 billion wagered. Brick-and-mortar venues posted a robust 11.9% win rate in October as they claimed $33 million in revenue. It is the fourth time in the last 11 months retail books cleared $30 million in winnings, and they have accounted for 49.7% ($189.5 million) of the overall sportsbook revenue.

Mobile sportsbooks had a 6.5% win rate on $536.9 million worth of accepted wagers, the second-highest monthly hold recorded since the NGCB began publishing monthly breakouts in 2020. The only other one higher was the 6.8% win rate crafted on $343.9 million handle in November 2020. The mobile win rate heading into the final two months of 2023, however, is only 4.5% on $4.25 billion handle.

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