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Baseball remains big winner for Nevada sportsbooks in May

Baseball continued to be the big winner for Nevada sportsbooks with the state’s casinos earning more than $4.2 million on MLB in May, according to the Nevada State Gaming Control Board.

Nevada books have started the baseball season strong after raking in $6.4 million on the sport in April, the opening month of the MLB schedule. Sportsbooks on the Las Vegas Strip accounted for $3.47 million of May’s baseball earnings after winning $3.4 million on MLB in April.

While that seems like a good start to the baseball campaign, Nevada books were up over $12.2 million through April and May last year.

"(Baseball) Volume is up 20 percent and win is down 13 percent on lower hold than last year," Michael Lawton, Senior Research Analyst for the Gaming Control Board, told Covers. "Thus far, hold is not lower than normal (5.6%) but going up against very strong holds (for baseball) last April and May (7.7%)." 

Overall, the state's sportsbooks earned $5.69 million in May which brings their yearly total (January to May) to just under $47.4 million. Sportsbooks on the Las Vegas Strip accounted for $4.28 million in May 2013.

The NBA Playoffs helped Nevada sportsbook earn $1.77 million on basketball in May. However, since the Gaming Control Board does not differentiate between NBA and college basketball, NBA earnings were likely trimmed by outstanding tickets from the NCAA season being cashed. Last year, Nevada books earned more than $4 million on basketball in May.

The other breadwinner for Silver State sportsbooks were “other sports”, a grouping of outlining sports such as golf, tennis, soccer, hockey, auto racing, MMA and boxing. Those earned $1.18 million in May, with a boost coming from Floyd Mayweather’s bout with Robert Guerrero at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on May 4.

"From our perspective, we look at a big fight like that as a positive for visitation and how it spills over into other revenue centers and over all gaming volume and win," says Lawton.

Nevada books brought in $1.9 million on “other sports” in April but are still behind 2012’s earnings, which saw $2.66 million in April and $2.13 million in May on “other sports” last year.

Football remained a negative for the state’s sportsbooks, with outstanding tickets on NFL and college football coming in. More than $1.56 million was paid out in football wagers in May, down from $3.4 million in April.

Nevada casinos earned $897,232,001 in May, a 1.37 percent increase compared to the $885,086,491 in May 2012. Casinos won $854,293,047 in April. Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip pocketed $505,444,951 in May 2013 compared to $475,068,431 in May of last year - a 6.39 percent increase.

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