Nevada Tops $1B in December Sports Betting Handle, But Revenue Sees Huge Drop

Nevada Tops $1B in December Sports Betting Handle, But Revenue Sees Huge Drop
By Bill Ordine

Nevada’s sports wagering handle dipped a bit in December 2021 compared to November, coming in at just a little over $1 billion. However, December’s sports betting revenues tumbled enormously month-to-month, plummeting almost 78% to about $16 million.

Better news for the Nevada gaming industry was that, overall, the state enjoyed its 10th straight month of hitting at least $1 billion in total gaming revenue, as Las Vegas continues to battle back from the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Nevada Sports Betting December vs. November

Total handle Mobile handleRevenue
Change Down 6.5% Down 1.6% Down 77.8%

Here are the highlights from Thursday’s report:

Sports Betting Handle Steady

Sports betting in December 2021 saw a handle of just over $1.01 billion, which was a 6.5% decline month-to-month from November’s $1.09 billion. Compared to the same month in pandemic-ravaged December 2020, the handle greatly improved, being up 72.5% from $588 million.

The record for Nevada was $1.1 billion in October. December was the third-straight month Nevada went over $1 billion.

Nevada is still the only state besides New Jersey to top $1 billion in handle in a month. That will soon change when New York announces its January numbers.

Nevada vs. New Jersey Sports Betting Handle

NevadaNew JerseyWinner
December 2021$1.015B$1.230BNJ by $215M
November 2021$1.086B$1.258BNJ by $172M
October 2021$1.100B$1.303BNJ by $203M
September 2021$786.509M$1.011BNJ by $224.6M
August 2021$427.425M$664.676MNJ by $237.3M
July 2021$409.660M$578.729MNJ by $169.1M
June 2021$545.368M$766.888MNJ by $221.5M
May 2021$477.191M$814.271MNJ by $337.1M
April 2021$458.210M$747.987MNJ by $289.8M
March 2021$640.985M$859.618MNJ by $218.6M
February 2021$554.058M$742.953MNJ by $188.9M
January 2021$646.492M$958.718MNJ by $312.2M

Sport Betting Revenue Hits the Skids

While the handle was relatively steady from November, the December 2021 sports wagering revenue nosedived, coming in at about $16 million — a decline of 77.8% from November’s nearly $72 million according to figures sent Thursday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

As it turned out, November was an exceptionally good month for sports gambling revenue in its own right, seeing a 49% increase from October. So, being compared to terrific revenue numbers from November, the December revenue figures appeared especially anemic.

The online-retail split in handle has been creeping more and more toward the online side in Nevada. The Silver State requires in-person registration for online sports betting, and that has dampened the online side of the financial figures. However, online does keep making inroads with bettors as 75.4% of the total sports handle was from mobile wagering in December. In November, the online share was 71.6%. Prior to November 2021, the online share of sports betting was often in the 50-to-60 percent ranges.

Football Leads the Pack

Not surprisingly, football led the way in December 2021, attracting about $477 million in sports betting handle — about 47% of the total. Basketball drew about $409 million (nearly 40.5%) followed by ice hockey with $67 million in handle (about 6.6%). The category labeled “other” attracted $57 million.

Overall gaming revenue for Nevada, including casinos, in December 2021 was $1.15 billion. The December gambling revenue trailed November’s $1.32 billion but still kept intact a 10-month string of billion-dollar months. Currently there are no real money online casino options in Nevada.

On Jan. 20, the Nevada Gaming Commission approved the remote registering and funding of cashless accounts by customers. It allows casino visitors to set up spending accounts and fund them on a computer or smartphone before they get to the casino. It doesn’t apply to online sports betting registration.



A longtime reporter and editor who began writing on casinos and gaming shortly after Atlantic City’s first gambling halls opened, Bill covered the world Series of Poker and wrote a syndicated column on travel to casino destinations for a decade.

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