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August 20, 2019

Casinos gaming win has increased in four consecutive fiscal years

Nevada's sports betting back on top as it overtakes New Jersey's handle in June

Nevada's sports betting back on top as it overtakes New Jersey's handle in June
This year's NBA Finals saw an increased interest from Nevada bettors, with over USD 51 million wagered this June compared to the USD 32 million wagered on 2018.
United States | 07/31/2019

Nevada sportsbooks took USD 322.5 M in wagers in June, topping the USD 273 M handled by New Jersey, but win was down 18.14 percent YoY. Major League Baseball accounted for a majority of the state’s win at USD 11.6 M, with a USD 208 M handle. The total statewide gaming win of a little more than USD 1 B last month was up nearly 11.6%, boosted by a 114% increase in baccarat.

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espite being a traditionally slow month for sportsbooks, June revenue reports saw Nevada reclaim its title as the state generating both the largest handle and winnings. Nevada sportsbooks regained the top spot for sports betting handle by taking in $322.5 million in wagers in June, topping the $273 million handled by New Jersey (which topped Nevada in legal sports betting handle for the first time ever in May by $318.9 million to $317.3 million).

Nevada’s 190 licensed books won more than $16.5 million from bettors —compared to $9.7 million won by NJ books—, but that was down 18.14 percent from the same month last year ($20.2 million).

As expected this time of year, Major League Baseball accounted for a majority of the state’s win at $11.6 million, with a $208 million handle, though it was also a decrease by 8.31 percent from June 2018. However, it was better than May when Nevada’s books won just $7.77 million on baseball. 

This year's NBA Finals did see an increased interest from Nevada bettors, with over $51 million wagered this June compared to the $32 million wagered on 2018's Warriors-Cavaliers matchup, as reported by Forbes. While MLB wagers saw 5.5% of the overall handle in profits, this year's NBA finals yielded a weak 1.8% profit margin, good for $946,000 in total revenue out of the $51 million wagered.

The 2018 NBA Finals performed similarly, generating $600,000 from the total $32 million wagered on what appeared to be an easy Golden State victory. A combined handle of $60 million came in from less popular, fringe sports like hockey, tennis, and golf leading to a total of $4.6 in overall winnings.

Reports also reflect a decline in horse wagers, largely in part to the overall disinterest in this year's Bellmont Stakes in comparison to the 2018 buzz surrounding Justify and his Triple Crown campaign. Horse racing win was down 19.05 percent at $3.3 million, continuing an overall decline in handle and win since early this year. 

New Jersey’s rapid growth has been boosted by its online sportsbooks and mobile apps as they generated 83 percent of the state’s handle in May, led by FanDuel and DraftKings as New Jersey breaks down its handle numbers by casino/betting company while Nevada does not provide that information. NJ’s handle could have been affected in June by added competition from Pennsylvania books coming online.

Casinos revenue

A jump in winnings by Nevada casinos in June helped push statewide revenue figures for the fiscal year to $11.9 billion, state officials reported Tuesday. The total statewide gaming win of a little more than $1 billion last month was up nearly 11.6% compared with June 2018 and represented the best month of June ever, said Michael Lawton, chief analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board, as reported by Las Vegas Sun.

The results pushed what had been a flat 12 months of revenue up to finish at 0.8% compared with fiscal 2018. "Gaming win has now increased in four consecutive fiscal years and eight of the last nine," Lawton said.

The primary driver behind the June jump was baccarat, Lawton said, where casino winnings of nearly $158 million were up $84 million, or more than 114%, from June 2018, one of the highest hold percentages in state history.

A year ago, the state reported a 3.2% overall house winnings increase from fiscal 2017. A board summary noted that growth in Nevada casino winnings has averaged 1% during the last 10 years. Gambling is second only to sales taxes as a percentage of the state's $14 billion annual budget. Nevada has no state income tax.

The report says Nevada collected $55 million in percentage fee taxes based on June figures. That was up 15.9% from a year ago. The board reported last month that, through June 25, the state took in $710.5 million in taxes, up a little more than 4% from $683 million received in fiscal 2018.

Slot winnings statewide increased 3.5% this fiscal year, according to Tuesday's report, averaging a slight increase of 0.8% over 10 years. Table, counter and card games winnings decreased 3.9% for the year, but remained up 1.5% over the decade.

Overall casino winnings on the Las Vegas Strip, where most of the state's gambling business is done, was down just under 1% for the year. Other parts of surrounding Clark County reported overall increases including 5.9% in downtown Las Vegas, 2.5% on the Boulder Strip and 5.4% in Mesquite.

At Lake Tahoe-area casinos, slot, table, counter and card winnings were down between 1.8% and 2% for the 12-month period ending June 30. The report said properties in West Wendover reported a comparative change up 6.2%.

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