As the Vegas Golden Knights and their fans were celebrating the team’s Stanley Cup victory in June, the town’s sportsbooks – and indeed those all across Nevada legal sports betting sites – were counting their losses.
When the Golden Knights were closing in on their first NHL title over the Florida Panthers (in a best-of-seven series that Vegas dominated, winning in five) sportsbooks said in press accounts that they were expecting to take hits of as much as seven figures. Local bettors were piling their wagers on the home team.
The numbers just released by Nevada regulators for June’s sports wagering certainly support those sportsbook concerns.
While sports betting handle in June was off moderately, both from the previous month and from the same month in 2022, the revenues plummeted, according to the Nevada Gaming Commission.
Nevada Sports Betting, June vs. May
Total handleMobile handleRevenueJune$479,039M$323.960M$9.503MMay$527.206 M$363.648M$30.064MChangeDown 9.1%Down 10.9%Down 68.4%
Handle Dips Below $500M
The June total sports betting handle was about $479 million, down 9.1% from May ($527.21 million) and down 2.3% from June 2022 ($490.56 million).
However, June’s sports betting revenue of $9.5 million was a decrease of 68.4% from May ($30.1 million) and down 60.1% from June 2022 ($23.8 million). June’s hold for the sportsbooks was slightly below 2%.
The June 2023 revenue was the smallest sports betting revenue figure since July 2020, when the city was just starting its comeback from the COVID-19 pandemic shutdown and sports in general were also slowly returning.
‘Great Story For The City’
One Las Vegas sportsbook operator was quoted in a local newspaper regarding the Golden Knights this way: “It’s a great story for the city. For the bookmakers, not so much.”
Looking specifically at mobile sports betting for June, the handle at legal sports betting apps in Nevada was about $324 million, down 10.9% from May ($363.65 million) and down 1.7% from June 2022 ($329.63 million).
The mobile sports betting handle was 68.6% of the total statewide handle in June.
For the Nevada gaming industry as a whole in June, the total gaming win was about $1.25 billion. The June 2023 gaming win was down 2.44% from June 2022 (about $1.28 billion).
Turning back to sports, the handle for each sport was: Baseball, $297,983,539; basketball, $74,545,455; hockey, $30,883,178 and football, $4,244,491. Wagering on all other sports totaled $71,307,847 and handle for parlay cards was $74,871.
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Bill Ordine was a reporter and editor in news and sports for the Philadelphia Inquirer and Baltimore Sun for 25 years, and was a lead reporter on a team that was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize in Breaking News. Bill started reporting on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for 10 years. He covered the World Series of Poker for a decade and his articles on gaming have appeared in many major U.S. newspapers, such as the Los Angeles Times, Chicago Tribune, Miami Herald and others.