Another Billion-Dollar Month For Nevada Casinos Stems From Record-Breaking Sports Betting Numbers

Written By Marc Meltzer on November 2, 2021

September was a huge month for casinos — and specifically a record-breaking month for sportsbooks in Nevada.

According to the monthly revenue report from the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), the Silver State posted never-before-seen numbers for sports betting in September. And that’s only part of the story.

Nevada also had its seventh consecutive month with more than $1 billion in overall gaming revenue.

Michael Lawton, senior analyst for the NGCB, told the Associated Press:

“Strong demand across markets, the continued rebound of leisure travel and the return of special events and entertainment continued to propel gaming win past 2019 levels.”

While overall gaming revenue may continue to break barriers, the same may not happen in the sportsbooks next month despite an overall uptick in visitation.

Record-breaking sports betting revenue in Nevada

In September, there was a record $786.5 million in sports bets. This is the largest handle (amount of money wagered) for Nevada sportsbooks ever. According to the revenue report, 63% of the wagers were placed using mobile sports betting apps. The percentage of mobile wagers represents $495.3 million of all the money wagered on sports in September.

The previous monthly sports betting handle record happened less than a year ago, a total of $659.9 million in October 2020. This new record handle represents a massive 84% increase from August when $427.4 million was wagered on sports.

How much money wagered tells one story. The amount of those bets won by casinos tells another. Nevada casinos won 6.9% of the money bet on sports in September, good for $54.2 million in revenue.

Nevada sportsbooks won $36.3 million from football betting alone, more more than any other sport in September. The huge football win should drop a lot next month. Unofficially, sportsbooks have lost money for three consecutive weeks, according to ESPN.

Sports betting is just part of the mix in Nevada casinos. The amount of money casinos win from the vertical is usually far behind the games that occupy the majority of casino floors. That wasn’t the case in September.

Sports betting ranked fourth in the amount of money casinos won behind slot machines, blackjack and baccarat. It’s a rare month when sports betting generated more money wagered than craps and roulette.

Seventh straight billion-dollar month for Nevada casinos

Sports betting was just one part of a huge month of business at Nevada casinos. According to the NGCB, casinos in the state won $1.16 billion in September. That’s an increase of 41% from the same period in 2020.

The spike in gaming win came mostly from tourists returning to the Vegas Strip. This part of Nevada won $640.6 million, an increase of nearly 81% compared to September 2020.

The last time Nevada casinos saw this many consecutive billion-dollar-winning months was from November 2006 to May 2007.

As usual, casinos won more from slot machines than any other game. Casinos reported $780.5 million from all denominations of slot machines. This includes video poker and video keno.

Also in September, casinos won $92.2 million from blackjack and $83.6 million from baccarat. These two games often flip flop between second and third depending on who’s visiting Las Vegas.

Don’t be surprised to see a big increase in baccarat revenue when November gaming revenue is reported. This game is particularly popular with foreign gamblers who will be able to visit Las Vegas for the first time in more than a year beginning Nov. 8.

Photo by AP / John Locher
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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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