March Madness helped boost Nevada’s sports wagering handle in March. Due to the restrictions during the pandemic, Las Vegas was much livelier this year than last.
Nevada’s Sports Betting Handle Makes a Much Needed Comeback
The sports betting industry as a whole witnessed a significant decline in February as the Super Bowl was the biggest draw. Other mainstream sports like the NBA and NHL had their All-Star games, which halted the regular season for a few days. Since average betting volumes declined in February, sportsbook operators looked forward to March.
According to the Nevada Gaming Control Board numbers that were released on Thursday, sportsbook operators accepted $863.3 million in wagers in March. This noted an increase of 10.6 percent from $780.8 million.
When comparing the year-to-date numbers, the handle was 34.7 percent higher than March 2021’s $641 million. During important events throughout the year, it isn’t uncommon for the results to favor the house as the average betting volume skyrockets.
Mobile sportsbook operators took $576.6 million in bets, which is 66.8 percent of the monthly handle. The online handle also showed an increase of 12.5 percent from February’s $512.4 million. In March of this year, the mobile handle reached $385.1 million, which is 49.7 percent higher than March 2021’s $384.1 million.
Nevada’s sports betting revenue figures came back strong with $36.9 million, which was 19.4 percent higher than February’s $30.9 million. Still, the revenue numbers declined by 6.2 percent from March 2021’s $39.3 million.
The gaming sector also had a solid month by winning $1.35 billion, which is up 26.8 percent from March 2021’s $1.06 billion.
March Madness and the NBA Helped Rejuvenate the Sports Betting Handle
Nevada’s sports betting handle didn’t differentiate the number of wagers that were placed on the March Madness and the NBA. Sportsbook operators in the Silver State accepted $708.9 million in bets, and these bookmakers won approximately $48 million in this category. It is safe to assume that the majority of the bets were placed on the tournament.
Undoubtedly the results favored the house as bookmakers won just $41.8 million in March 2021, which is an increase of 14.7 percent in terms of winnings. March Madness 2019 was the last tournament before the pandemic hit, and operators took home $35.2 million in revenue in basketball.
The results sided with the house because more people traveled to Las Vegas this year during these major events. Also, underdogs like the Cinderella team, Saint Peter’s Peacocks, made it to the Elite 8 and busting brackets in the process. There were also other underdogs that made the tournament interesting, like North Carolina and Miami (FL).
What Other Sports Did Bettors Have Interest in
Hockey secured the third-highest handle with $73.9 million, as the other sports category was slightly higher by bringing in $74 million. Baseball was the only other sport to surpass the $1 million mark as operators took $5.6 million in wagers. Football rounded out the top five with $472,075.
As the NBA is in the playoffs and as the NHL’s playoffs begin, the NBA and playoff hockey are expected to bring the highest handles moving forward. As the season progresses, baseball’s handle should also increase.