Analysis

Sportsbooks the bright spot as gaming in Nevada continues to tank

The unseasonal return of NBA and NHL helped Nevada’s sportsbooks record $475.1m in wagers in the month of August, providing some sense of progress in an otherwise bleak month the state gaming-wise.

The wagers total represented an all-time record for the month. Mobile betting represented over 64% of total bets or $305m of handle.

This contrasted with gaming figures which continued to disappoint. State-wide total casino revenues were down 22% on the same month last year to $743m. Month-on-month the decline was less dramatic with the August figure down 1.8%.

Th Strip casinos suffered worse with revenues down nearly 40% to $317m. This follows a 60% fall in June and a further near 40% fall in July. In the year-to-date the Strip is down 45%.

The land-based casinos are still suffering from the effects of the lockdown with various restrictions limiting foot traffic on the casino floors.

Bright sparks

While the figures for sports-betting will be encouraging, it is noticeable they are behind those from New jersey, which itself reported earlier in September that wagering hit $668m for the month.

Sports-betting revenues came in at $17m which represents a 9.3% decline as last year.

The contrasting fortunes of Nevada and New Jersey highlight why according to the Wedge Index New jersey is number one in the 1st while Nevada is at 7th.

For that to change, Nevada would have to introduce remote registration and see and an increase in competition. Notably, Nevada managed to overhaul the wagering total Pennsylvania in August of $365m.

However commentators noted that this might be a temporary advantage given the heightened competitive situation in Pennsylvania with Barstool having launched within the past month.

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Scott Longley

Scott Longley has been a journalist since the early noughties covering personal finance, sport and the gambling industry. He has worked for a number of publications including Investor's Week, Bloomberg Money, Football First, EGR and GamblingCompliance.com. He now writes for online and print titles across a wide range of sectors.

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