Sometimes, the public can win, too. So congrats, hopefully you were a part of the many able to cut into Nevada sports betting revenue in October. A very strong month for football gamblers cut into Nevada’s revenue by about $18 million last month which led to the state’s overall haul coming down by nearly 50 percent, from a state-record $56 million to $29 million. The Nevada handle fell ever so slightly from September, too, down from a best-ever $571 million to $528 million. Sportsbooks will not complain about more than a half-billion dollars in hand, of course. Even though their numbers dropped a bit in the last month, this drop comes in as the second-best October on record for Nevada. Sure, over time, this amount of wagers will lead to a much bigger win total than $29 million. However, in a month when the gambling public side comes in on every game in an NFL Sunday, football bettors earned the right to take a victory lap.
Nevada’s Numbers in October
The state’s overall hold of 5.59 percent for October falls in line with the historical average for Nevada sports betting. This is very normal as with all four of America’s major sports in play. Football season is in full swing, baseball playoffs and the World Series, the beginning of NBA and NHL seasons as well as NCAA football and basketball on schedule— you can see how this usually leads to October ranking among the best sports betting revenue months.
Bettors put up more than $74 million on the baseball playoffs alone. The results mostly came in as chalk through the World Series, and books posted a strong win of $8.2 million which is 11 percent. The start of the NBA led to more than $51.6 million in wagers on basketball in October. In a slightly unpredictable opening month in the association, books held more than $3.7 million at 7.23 percent. As always, parlays helped balance out the ledger for Nevada sportsbooks as they held more than a quarter of the money wagered, winning $2.7 million on $10.7 million in action. Other sports including the NHL, auto racing, golf, and tennis accounting for $51 million in hand. Casinos posted a win of $3.6 million, or more than 7 percent. When you add it all up, that’s a big month for everyone.
Sports gamblers across the country played very well in the sportsbooks on football and Mississippi sports betting revenue took a huge hit as a result. The Mississippi casinos posted just $1.18 million in revenue on roughly $33 million in handle in the month of October. While the handle rose by more than $1 million from September, the revenue dropped by more than $4 million. All of Mississippi’s sports betting takes place inside retail sportsbooks as the state regulations prevent any widespread mobile wagering. Casinos, like in some other states, may approve the use of mobile apps while on the property, but no wagering can occur anywhere else.
Football is King
The old rule never really changes. Every sportsbook depends on football as its main source of revenue for the year. In the heart of the South and SEC football country, though, the sportsbooks in casinos depend on football, NCAA and NFL, action even more than those in other states. Therefore, when football gamblers have some strong weeks, Mississippi sportsbooks will feel the pain, and that’s exactly what happened in October, as college and NFL football accounted for roughly two-thirds of all wagers in Mississippi.
Biloxi sportsbooks took the brunt of the Mississippi sports betting losses. Coastal sportsbooks in Mississippi lost $600,000 on more than $15 million in football bets. How bad was it? Well, the coastal books won better than $2.9 million on football in September, representing more than half the total revenue in Mississippi. Ouch.
With their handle climbing only slightly in Mississippi sports betting last month, an old question about its potential gains new relevance. Just how successful can Mississippi sportsbooks become without mobile/online sports betting? This is 2018 after all, and there is so much money and action being left on the table without a mobile option. Not only are off-shore, unregulated sportsbooks still profitable, look no further than the Garden State to understand where the future of legal sports betting should go. Last month in New Jersey sports betting, gamblers placed about two-thirds of their wagers via mobile/online apps, which grew from about a 50-50 split in September and only looks to expand more.
With players like MGM Resorts, Caesars and Boyd Gaming all invested in Mississippi sports gambling, a transition to mobile could occur sooner than not. All operate established mobile apps that could turn on quickly in the Magnolia State. However, the state regulators still hold the keys. With neighboring Arkansas set to launch sports betting next year and Louisiana not far behind, Mississippi cannot rely solely on its regional exclusivity to maintain its lead for long.