What is Behind Nevada Sports Betting Revenue Slide in November?
Nevada‘s overall gaming revenues slid in November while sports gambling figures revealed the volatility inherent in the sports gambling business.
The total statewide gaming win was $1.22 billion, extending the Silver State’s billion-dollar streak in that category to 21 straight months. But the not-so-good news for the Nevada gaming industry was that the total gaming win was about a 2.1% drop from October and a much bigger drop in a same-month year-over-year comparison. To be fair, October 2022 had five full weekends while November 2022 had four weekends.
However, looking at the same month year-over-year figures, the November 2022 gaming win was a 7.62% decrease compared to November 2021 with similar calendars in a state without mobile gaming apps available.
Las Vegas Room Rates Rising
At the same time, room rates in Las Vegas have been rising sharply, even compared to 2019, before the COVID-19 pandemic. News reports describe historic highs for room rates.
So, it remains to be seen whether resort operators are willing to sacrifice gaming revenue as they charge more for rooms.
Regarding sports betting, handle was up from October but down in a same month year-over-year comparison.
Sportsbook Handle Up from October. Down From November 2021
The Nevada November sports betting handle was a little over $929 million, according to the Nevada Gaming Commission. That was up 1.4% from October ($916.5 million) but it was down 14.5% from November 2021 (almost $1.09 billion).
Sports wagering revenue took a bit of a hit. In November the figure was $37.67 million, down 33.7% from the October Nevada wagering revenue of about $56.86 million. Last month’s total was also down 47.7% from November 2021 ($71.97 million).
The revenue drop was in large part due to a substantial sportsbook loss on baseball, where the books statewide took a hit of $4.78 million. At the same time, the hold percentages on football and basketball were below the norm. The November football hold was 4.35% and the basketball hold was 3.46%. Typical holds run from 5% to 7%.
Baseball Drubbing Largely Thanks to Rich Astros Fan
The baseball drubbing the sportsbooks took is being attributed to an enormous multi-million dollar win by Jim “Mattress Mack” McIngvale, the celebrity sports gambler who hit it big when the Houston Astros beat the Philadelphia Phillies in the World Series.
McIngvale is a Houston-area furniture store owner who has won and lost huge sports wagers in high-profile bets over the last few years. Reportedly, McIngvale won $75 million on the Astros from various sportsbooks. An officer for Caesars Digital was quoted as saying his company wrote McIngvale a $30 million check.
In actuality, the Houston furniture tycoon has said that he uses the bets as an offset to huge promotions he runs in his furniture business – and his bets on the Astros in Louisiana, worth tens of millions, are responsible for the sports betting revenue loss in the Bayou State last month.
Meanwhile, in Nevada for November, mobile sports betting handle was 69.1% of total handle. By now, it’s understood that Nevada’s mobile sports wagering is adversely affected by the requirement that customers are required to register in-person. In many other states, registration can be handled at a keyboard or on a cell phone and, as a result, a larger proportion of sports gambling occurs online.
Nevada’s in-person casino culture stands in contrast to six states where the best online casino options are available from anywhere – those states are New Jersey, Delaware, Michigan, Pennsylvania, West Virginia and Connecticut.
In those states, players can access popular games such as online blackjack, poker and roulette among other choices.
A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.