Nevada books set state monthly handle record of $1.1 billion in Oct.; still trails N.J.


Nevada sportsbooks set an all-time state monthly handle record of $1.1 billion (yes, that's a "b") in October, according to figures released by the state’s Gaming Control Board early Tuesday morning.
The books won $48.3 million from bettors, a hold of 4.39 percent.
New Jersey still leads the nation in handle as it took a all-time record of $1.3 billion in sports bets and also set a legal sports betting record with a win of $84.2 million (hold of 6.5 percent). Everyone is waiting to see how the soon-to-be-launched New York mobile sports betting market cannibalizes business in New Jersey and perhaps narrows the gap. Pennsylvania was a distant third in October sports betting handle at $776.3 million, though Illinois hasn’t reported its figures yet (should be out the first week of December) and topped Penn by $17.7 million in September for the No. 3 spot in the nation.
Back to Nevada, football led the way per usual, with an all-time football handle record of $728.6 million, breaking the previous record of $502 million in November 2020 and an increase of 13.98 percent from October 2020. However, football win was just $29.8 million (low hold of 4.1 percent).
When comparing month-to-month figures, it’s always important to look at the calendar. October had five NFL Sundays while October 2020 only had four, so that’s a big reason for the spike we’re seeing in all states. Here’s more insight from Michael Lawton, senior economic analyst for the GBC:
“October is also the month where all four major league sports are in play in addition to NCAA football,” Lawton stated to VSiN in an email. “Another contributing factor is that this month also had five weekends of NFL games which obviously contributed to the football totals.”
Lawton also said that mobile wagering in Nevada is up to 64 percent of total wagers (New Jersey is around 90 percent). The books won $16.9 million from $704.2 million in mobile wagers in October. 
“Nevada has experienced strong acceptance of mobile wagering by visitors who sign up for access while in town,” Lawton said. “The final point, we are hearing – which is more difficult to quantify – is the impact of the Raiders games at Allegiant Stadium. Raiders’ home games have been generating higher wagering totals for some operators compared to when they are playing on the road thus far.”
The Nevada books won nearly $8 million on basketball ($7.998 million, according to the monthly report). There is no comparison to October 2020 as there was no college and pro basketball last October with the 2019-20 NBA season running late due to the pandemic and the 2020-21 season not starting until December.
There is another category that ranked next with an October win of $4.26 million and that’s parlay cards, which is mostly football this time of year. That win increased 10.25 percent from October 2020 and had a high hold of 37.27 percent.
Baseball win was $4.2 million, down 18.96 percent from October 2020 and a hold of just 3.45 percent. Hockey win was $1 million.
Nevada race books won $2.85 million from horse racing bettors, an increase of 10.61 percent from October 2020. The hold was around the standard at 15.76 percent due to most of the handle being pari-mutuel.