Nevada Hits Record $5.3B for Sports Betting Handle in 2019

Nevada Hits Record $5.3B for Sports Betting Handle in 2019

Nevada remained the king of state-regulated sports betting in 2019.

The state ended 2019 by posting $571.1 million in total sports betting handle in December, according to the latest report filed by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. That strong showing helped the state crack the $5.3 billion handle mark for the 2019 calendar year, rising 6% over 2018's $5 billion handle.

Nevada Sports Betting December 2019 vs. December 2018

Dec. 2019Dec. 2018Change
Total Handle$571.088M$562.108M+1.60%
Gross Revenue$36.327M$44.106M-17.6%

The state's total handle figure for December came after its record month of $614 million posted in November. That high-water moment made Nevada the first and only state in the U.S. to top the $600-million mark in any month.

The new figures helped solidify the longtime premier American sports betting destination as the top sports betting market for yet another year — and proved that despite the spread of legal, regulated sports betting across America, the sportsbooks of Las Vegas and other Nevada destinations remain healthy.

Nevada vs. New Jersey, August to December

NevadaNew JerseyWinner
December Handle$571.088M$557.786MNV by $13.3M
November Handle$614.071M$562.676MNV by $51.4M
October Handle$543.921M$487.925MNV by $56M
September Handle$538.226M$445.563MNV by $92.7M
August Handle$243.337M$293.595MNJ by $50.3M

The next closest competitor to Nevada in the race for the hearts, minds and wallets of U.S. bettors remains New Jersey. The Garden State’s top sportsbooks gave Nevada a run for its money in terms of monthly handle totals in 2019 but ended the year the clear No. 2.

New Jersey's total handle for December was $557.8 million, just $13 million shy of Nevada. For 2019, New Jersey's total handle was $4.58 billion.

Football Betting Leads Strong December in Nevada

Football betting was again the most popular draw at Nevada sportsbooks in December at $341.4 million, or nearly 60% of the total action in the state. Basketball betting made up the second-highest bulk of the action at $171.6 million, or just over 30% of the total handle.

Nevada Sports Betting by Sport in 2019

Sport2019 total handle% of handle
Parlay Cards$50,063,6730.94%
Other Sports$594,807,12211.18%

The remainder of the total betting action in Nevada during December came from baseball, parlays and other sports. The “other sports” category accounted for $48.4 million.

Battle Among Nevada, NJ And PA In 2020

Nevada remained the king of American sports betting in 2019, but the next 12 months should provide more storylines. Nevada was at least challenged during the middle part of the year when New Jersey posted larger total handle figures in three out of four months beginning in May. Nevada rallied back starting in September and was No. 1 in the final four months of 2019.

Still, New Jersey's nearly three times larger population and incredible market growth since taking its first state-regulated sports bets in June 2018 should mean even more back and forth action follows between the two states over the next 12 months.

Additionally, Pennsylvania boasts an even greater population than both New Jersey and Nevada and also set its own state handle records to end 2019 during both November at $316.4 million and December at $342.5 million. The market for top Pennsylvania sportsbooks is just starting to mature, especially for mobile betting.

Those three states are likely to be huge players in the growing U.S. sports betting market during 2020 and beyond — and should remain at the top even with more than 20 jurisdictions either taking sports bets or getting set to do so some time in 2020.

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