NJ tops Nevada in handle for August


New Jersey sportsbooks outhandled Nevada for the third time in four months in August as Nevada’s Gaming Control Board released its figures Friday morning.

Jersey’s figures for the prior month come out mid-month with the Garden State reporting it took $293.5 million in sports bets in August while Nevada’s handle came to just $287.8 million. New Jersey books held $25.2 million of their bets while Nevada’s profits were $18.7 million.

New Jersey outhandled Nevada for the first time in May ($318.9 million to $318.3 million) but Nevada bounced back in June ($322.5 million to $317.3 million) before Jersey reclaimed the top spot in July and August.

Aside from the mythical battle for highest handle, it was mostly good news for Nevada’s 195 sportsbooks in August. Handle was up 48.72 percent from August 2018 with a hold of 6.51 percent. Football led the way, mostly from the NFL preseason but also with college football games on Saturday, Aug 24, and the first full day of college football on Saturday, Aug. 31, as the books won $12.66 million from bettors, an increase of 102.48 percent from last August and a hold of a whopping 17.5 percent.

So, while at first blush it would appear that the widespread legalization of sportsbetting is hurting Nevada with it being outhandled by New Jersey, Nevada’s handle continues to grow (and from all reports we’re expecting to see another increase when the September figures are released next month) and it shows that there’s enough business to go around for everyone.

Nevada’s books didn’t fare as well against baseball bettors in August as the books only won $6.69 million, a decrease of 24.55 percent from August 2018. Parlay cards (which are much more popular with the NFL regular season starting in September) still brought in a profit of $510,000, an increase of 207.86 percent from last August and a hold of 70.97 percent.

August 2019 Nevada Gaming Figures

Category                      2019 Win/Loss %Change         Hold%

Overall                          $18,733,000      48.72                6.51

Football                        $12,656,000      102.48              17.5

Basketball                     -$868,000         -15.04               -15.48

Baseball                        $6,692,000       -24.44               3.74

Sports Parlay Cards      $510,000          207.86              70.97

Other*                           -$257,000         -84.60               -0.85

Horse Racing                $3,249,000       -6.51                15.36


%Change is compared to same month last year

Hold% is percentage the books won/lost from the handle in that category 

*Other includes hockey, golf, auto racing, MMA and all other sports except for horse racing.

Nevada vs. New Jersey
Monthly sports betting handle

Month  Nevada               New Jersey

May      $317.3 million   $318.9 million

June      $322.5 million   $317.3 million

July        $235 million      $251 million

August  $287.7 million   $293.5 million