New Jersey Eclipses Nevada Sports Betting in Post-PASPA Handle

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New Jersey has finally overtaken Nevada sports betting market in the total post-PASPA handle as Nevada released its monthly report.

According to the latest numbers released Thursday by Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), Silver State’s sports betting reflected the seasonal spring slump in April as it posted $454.7 million in handle, representing a 29.1% dip month-over-month. The sharp decline from March’s $641 million is due to March Madness, the biggest sporting event in the year. Almost 80% of Nevada’s handle came from basketball in March.

Operators’ revenue saw a proportional effect and a decline of 30.8%. Sportsbooks posted total revenue of $27.24 million in April compared to $39.35 million reported in March. The hold rate for the Nevada sportsbooks in April was nearly 5.9%. The state generated $1.8 million in taxes.

Nevada’s April handle is the lowest since last July.

Though the handle difference between the two months is huge, it will improve in the coming months with the return of football season and other major sports events. It should be noted that bettors only had the options of the NCCA Basketball Tournament Final Four games.

Post-PASPA Handle Surpassed by New Jersey

Silver State is the oldest market with legalized sports betting and ruled unopposed until Supreme Court annulled PASPA in May 2018.

New Jersey, which championed the cause against PASPA, is the largest sports betting state by handle now. On Thursday, New Jersey overtook its nearest rival Nevada in overall handle in the post-PASPA era.

During that period, New Jersey has amassed a total handle of $15.15 billion, while Nevada reported $14.92 billion. Though Silver State’s actual handle could be higher as the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) did not release monthly figures for April 2020 and May 2020 amid the peak of the pandemic. However, it is unlikely those almost inactive months would bring more than $233.8 million, the difference that crowns New Jersey a leader in the post-PASPA era.

Nevada Mobile Betting Shows Improvement

One, and perhaps the only, good aspect of Nevada’s April sports betting report was mobile betting. Mobile bets accounted for 69% of the total handle in April, the largest digital share since last July. In March, Nevada mobile betting’s share was 60%.

Basketball Reigns in April

Basketball reigned again in April as Nevada sportsbooks took in $181.1 million worth of basketball bets, and reported $8.6 million in revenue.

Nevada’s online sports betting handle was $296.59 million in April, down 23% from March’s $385.15 million. The percentage of mobile betting could further increase if the state brings amendments for the new bettors. Currently, the law requires in-person registration at casinos. No other state with legal sports betting, with the exception of Illinois, requires such a law.

Baseball was the second-most favorite sport among Nevadans who wagered $163.7 million on it. Interestingly, baseball led in April’s revenue with $14.1 million.

Hockey drew $45.6 million in handle as the hometown Vegas Golden Knights scored an 11-4 run last month.

Is Nevada Sports Betting A Lost Glory?

Nevada has been losing ground to the alternative reality in US sports betting: New Jersey. Silver State has not posted a bigger handle than the Garden State since Dec. 2019. The pandemic, which began to affect the US in mid-March, only served to deepen the difference between the top 2 sports betting markets.

Remote registration for mobile sports betting has brought revolutionary changes to New Jersey sports betting. In contrast, Nevada’s traditional defiance against remote registration does not seem to help its sports betting industry.

The April handle is the lowest reported by the NGCB in a month not affected by the pandemic since nearly $287 million was wagered in Aug. 2019. But more importantly, it is the first time Nevada finished behind Pennsylvania in the monthly handle not affected by the COVID-19. The Keystone Stone posted $479.4 million in sports betting handle for April.

With the Illinois Gaming Board yet to release its report for April, Nevada could end up fourth nationally for the month.

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