Nevada Isn’t Mad At March After Record Basketball Bets

Written By Marc Meltzer on May 2, 2018
low angle shot of basketball hoop and lights

More than $521 million was wagered on sports during the month of March. Nevada sportsbooks won 6.55 percent of that money for a total win of $34.16 million. This marks an increase of 8.66 percent from the same period in 2017. You can find the full Nevada Gaming Control Board Revenue Report here.

While this was a huge month for sports betting, it’s always interesting to compare how sports betting wins stacks up against other games in Nevada casinos. It took a big month of basketball betting for sportsbooks to win more money for casinos than roulette.

March Madness, indeed

It should come as no surprise that basketball was the most wagered on sport in Nevada during March. NCAA basketball takes the main stage for sports bettors at the beginning of the month with conference tournaments. Moreover, the bulk of games played during NCAA Championship tournament take place throughout the month. Only the college basketball championship game takes place in April.

This was a record month of March for sportsbooks when it comes to basketball betting. The gaming control board doesn’t separate college from professional sports betting. More than $436 million ($436.5) was bet on college and pro basketball in March. Sportsbooks won 8.71 percent of wagers on basketball during March.

Parlay winnings were way up for sportsbooks in March. Winnings from parlay bets this year were up a whopping 617 percent from 2017. Regardless of the sport that was bet, parlays tend to be bad for the bettors. Sportsbooks won almost 25 percent (24.83%) of parlay bets in March. Anecdotally, younger bettors enjoy the rush of big parlay wins than single -110 point spread wins where they wager $11 to win $10.

Basketball handle in March should continue to grow. Visiting Las Vegas to watch the first weekend of games in Las Vegas continues to grow. In addition to making money from wagering on March Madness games, casino operators are creating parties and selling seats in sportsbooks to generate additional revenue.

Sportsbooks got the best of baseball bettors during the first few days of the season. The March 29 start to the season was the earliest ever for Major League Baseball. Sportsbooks won 12.91 percent of the wagers made on games played during the last three days of March.

Nevada sportsbooks win again

Ho-hum. Sportsbook operators had another winning month. According to Nevada Gaming Control Board records, Nevada sportsbooks have won more money than bettors for 56 months. That’s almost five years since bettors won more money than sportsbooks

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Marc Meltzer

Marc grew up on the mean streets of the South Bronx. He's the rare combination of Yankees and Jets fan which explains his often contrarian point of view. Marc is a freelance writer and social media consultant. Writing about steak, booze, gambling and Las Vegas is a tough job but somebody has to do it.

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