The expansion of legal sports betting across the United States in 2018 didn’t slow its growth in Nevada.
In fact, the state’s 191 sportsbooks won a record $301 million last year from a record $5 billion wagering handle, according to figures released Thursday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
“The expansion hasn’t hurt us,” Caesars Entertainment sports book director Bill Sattler said. “There’s more buzz about sports betting here in Nevada.”
The state’s sports betting handle increased for the ninth straight year, climbing from $2.76 billion in 2010 to $4.23 billion in 2015 before eclipsing $5 billion for the first time in 2018.
The books’ win percentage, or hold, of 6.01 was the highest in the last 11 years.
“There was a little bit more parity this year in the NFL,” Sattler said. “That always helps the books.”
Breaking down the win and handle by sport, the books took $1.8 billion in bets on football (college and pro) and won $102.4 million; $1.5 billion in bets on basketball (college and pro) and won $99.6 million; and $1 billion in bets on baseball and won $47.1 million.
The books took $566.8 million in bets in the “other sports” pool, which includes hockey, and won $28.9 million. They also won 24 percent of the $95.1 million that was wagered on parlays for a profit of $22.9 million.
The books closed out 2018 on a high note, winning $44.1 million in December, including $31.5 million from football.
“We did well on the bowl games,” Sattler said.
While sports betting continues to thrive, the action on horse racing declined for the fourth consecutive year at Nevada race books, which took $269.1 million in wagers and won $43 million. The handle was $484.4 million in 2008.