Despite the Supreme Court ruling to overturn the PASPA ruling back in May 2018, Nevada still remains the king of the sports betting world. States such as New Jersey and Pennsylvania have seen early success but still can not rival the numbers of kingpin Nevada.
Nevada Sports Betting History
Nevada was the first state to regulate sports betting by legalizing it in 1949, alongside live and off-track horse betting. Until recently, it was the only state to do so.
Thanks to Congress passing the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) in 1992, Nevada had a stranglehold on single-game sports wagering. PASPA prohibited future state expansion of sports betting, grandfathering in Nevada, which essentially handed them a legal monopoly on sports betting.
It wasn’t until 2011 when states began to successfully challenge the federal ban, led by then-New Jersey Governor Chris Christie. Start with voter approval, in 2011 New Jersey tried passing laws that would legalize sports betting at casinos and racetracks. However, sports leagues, the NFL, MLB, NHL, NBA, and NCAA all filed suit against the state to block those efforts, citing the PASPA ruling.
Eventually, the legal battle made its way to the US Supreme Court, when it finally met its resolution on May 14, 2018. The Supreme Court ruled in favor of the state, citing that PASPA violated the states Tenth Amendment, therefore removing the ban from the legal books.
The result ended Nevada’s monopoly of sports betting in America, with Delaware, New Jersey, and several other states now offering a legal sports betting system. Many more states are expected to do so in 2019-2020.
Despite the result leading to other states to allow for legal sports betting, Nevada has hardly seen a dent put in their sports betting handle and revenue. Reason being, Nevada’s overall tourist attractions, and gambling offers, still outweigh the desire of betting at a local racetrack.
While having the ability to bet from the comfort of your own home, or at the very least your nearest casino, is a great luxury to have, the fact remains that millions of Americans will continue to flock to Nevada every year for its various attractions.
It may be years before any sportsbooks in New Jersey or other states can build sportsbooks and lounges that can rival that of what Nevada offers. As of now, most casinos outside of Nevada are just offering a way for people to bet, not so much offer the same type of experience that you can expect while in Las Vegas or other casinos in Nevada.
Nevada Sports Betting Options
Almost every casino in Nevada offers some form of sports betting. Whether it is a full-fledged sportsbook with a lounge or just a small operation with a single window and television, odds are if you find a casino in Nevada, they will take your wager.
Some of the biggest sportsbooks in Nevada are:
- Westgate is the biggest sportsbook in the world. Westgate provides the best options for watching the games with their 4K screens and lounge. It is also known as a great sportsbook for high-rollers, even offering a $1,000 minimum betting window for big bettors to place their bets quickly as opposed to waiting in long lines.
- Station Casinos was the first sportsbook in Nevada to offer a betting website. It was also one of the first to offer a betting app as well, which rendered their website useless and resulted in it shutting down. Known as more of a small gamblers sportsbook, Station Casinos is the largest locals’ casino company in Las Vegas.
- Caesars Entertainment operates sportsbooks in eight casinos and is one of the largest casino operators in the world. Their most famous casino, Caesars Palace recently renovated their sportsbook in 2016. Considered one of the best places to watch a game in Vegas, it will actually cost you money to reserve your seat to watch some games.
- MGM Resorts International is another major casino operator with ten casinos and sportsbooks on the Vegas Strip alone. Odds vary among their sportsbooks to cater to different groups of tourists that visit each casino. PlayMGM is their sports betting app which is only available to MGM Resorts customers.
- Boyd Gaming, much like Station Casinos, is another company that targets smaller bettors. They operate six sportsbooks in Las Vegas and were the first sportsbook to offer odds on esports competitions.
It wasn’t until 2010 when residents were able to place sports bets in Nevada via a mobile app. Some sportsbooks suggest that apps generate anywhere from 50-75 percent of their sports wagering handle.
Many tourists and residents are finding it more convenient to place wagers from their phones as opposed to traveling to the casinos, especially during large events like the Super Bowl or March Madness, when there tend to be long lines.
As of the end of 2018, there are eight sports betting apps available in Nevada.
- William Hill
- CG Technology
- Station Casino
- South Point
- Atlantis Reno
Nevada Sports Betting Numbers
Taking a look at the numbers from November 2018 of all the states with legal sports betting, we see that Nevada remains king, with perhaps only New Jersey as the only state with somewhat comparable numbers.
November 2018 Handles:
- Nevada: $581 million
- New Jersey: $330 million
- Mississippi: $45 million
- Delaware: $16 million
- West Virginia: $12 million
- Pennsylvania: $1.4 million
Altogether, nearly $1 billion in handle was totaled for November. Pennsylvania sportsbooks were only operational for two weeks in November, and Rhode Island had just begun.
Nevada still retained nearly 60% of sports betting handle across the country in November 2018.
Here is a look at Nevada’s numbers for the entire 2018 calendar year:
- January: Handle – $418.6 million; Revenue – $25.1 million; Hold – 6%
- February: Handle – $411.7 million; Revenue – $10.7 million; Hold – 2.6%
- March: Handle – $522 million; Revenue – $34.2 million; Hold – 6.6%
- April: Handle – $316 million; Revenue – $16.3 million; Hold – 5.2%
- May: Handle – $315.5 million; Revenue – $20.5 million; Hold – 6.5%
- June: Handle – $286.5 million; Revenue – $20.2 million; Hold – 7.1%
- July: Handle – $244.6 million; Revenue – $4 million; Hold – 1.6%
- August: Handle – $247.6 million; Revenue – $12.6 million; Hold – 5.1%
- September: Handle – $571 million; Revenue – $56.3 million; Hold – 9.9%
- October: Handle – $528 million; Revenue – $29.5 million; Hold – 5.6%
- November: Handle – $581 million; Revenue – $27 million; Hold – 4.7%
December 2018 numbers have yet to be published. Totals through November 2018 are:
- Handle: $4,442,500,000
- Hold: 5.77%
Nevada’s historical hold percentage is around 5%. Through 11 months, Nevada has already surpassed 2017’s numbers, where they set their own record with $250 million in sports betting revenue.