As the Nevada gaming industry gradually reopens from the COVID-19 pandemic and with March Madness in full swing, the March sports wagering handle and revenue numbers for Nevada showed substantial improvements from February. They also showed huge increases from March 2020 when the world began shutting down.
For March, the total sports betting handle, for retail sportsbooks and online sports wagering combined, was $641 million. That was an increase of 15.7% from February when total sports betting handle was $554 million. And the March figure was a jump of 354.2% from March 2020 when handle tumbled to $141.1 million.
The March sports wagering revenue figures in Nevada followed the upward trajectory of handle at $39.3 million up 23.6% from February ($31.8 million) and an increase of a whopping 2604% from March 2020 ($1.5 million).
Mobile Just 60% of Total Handle
Mobile sports betting handle was 60.1% of total sports wagering handle in March. Mobile sports betting was $385.1 million, representing an increase of 21.7% from February ($316.3 million) and up 333.1% from March 2020 ($88.9 million).
Other states that have both retail and online wagering will typically see a larger percentage of online sports wagering — often around 90% of the total handle. But in Nevada, retail sportsbooks in casinos are still popular with local regulars and certainly with tourists who make pilgrimages to Las Vegas for major sports betting holidays, such as March Madness and, of course, the Super Bowl.
Nevada and Illinois are the only states that require in-person registration. In-person registration is a part of the Illinois sports betting law, but Gov. JB Pritzker had been suspending his state’s requirement month-to-month because of the coronavirus pandemic. It was reinstated in April.
Other Key Numbers from the Nevada Report
Overall, the state’s gaming industry continues its comeback from the throes of the pandemic. The March total gaming win was $1.07 billion compared to $618.1 million in March 2020.
Back to sports wagering, not surprisingly basketball was the leading money generator propelled by traditional enthusiasm for college hoops’ March Madness.
Basketball accounted for $501.5 million of the total handle, or more than 78%. Trailing categories were: “Other”, $69 million; hockey, $58 million, baseball, $9.2 million; football, $2.7 million, and parlay cards, $495,000.
March Provides Lift for US Sports Betting
March is usually a big month in legal sports betting states and this year was no different. February traditionally sees lower handle and revenue figures in because the NFL season is finished and there are less days in the month. National sports betting handle is on track to easily eclipse $4 billion in March.
Nevada’s March handle placed it second behind New Jersey but ahead of Pennsylvania. Illinois still needs to report March figures. Here are how states have fared in March:
New Jersey’s total sports betting handle in March was $859.6 million, according to figures released April 16 by the state. That was up 15.7% from February ($742.9 million). And it was an increase of 372.6% from March 2020 ($181.9 million) when sports shut down because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Pennsylvania registered a total sports betting handle of $560.3 million in March, a 9.97% increase over last month’s $509.5 million, and it was up 326.6% from March 2020 ($131.3 million).
Michigan’s total handle for sports wagers for March was $383.7 million. The online sports betting handle came in at $359.5 million, up 19.1% from February’s $301.8 million. The retail sports betting handle for March was $24.2 million, about flat with February.
Indiana reported a handle of $316.7 million in March, which was a 15.6% increase from the $273.9 million handle in February. The state saw a nice bump from hosting the entire 2021 NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.
The total sports betting handle in Iowa for March was a record $161.4 million, which was up 12.4% from February’s total of $143.6 million. The previous record had been January’s $139.5 million.
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