Sharps dominated NBA in April, cost Nevada books big
If the sports betting calendar is a 12-round fight between bettors and books, the bettors took Round 4 in one-sided fashion.
According to the monthly revenue report by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, the state’s sportsbooks took in $4.9 million in April – a decrease of more than 50 percent (around $5 million) from April 2011.
The biggest blow to the books’ earnings was the $1.2 million lost in basketball, where sharps had their way with the NBA. Basketball earnings were down almost 129 percent statewide, from $3.7 million last April.
“I got a sense, from the people I talked to, that there was a lot of sharp money winning in the NBA,” Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board, told Covers. “I reached out to one of the larger operators and it was not good. And from what I related it was widespread, not just on the Strip but all over the place.”
According to the revenue report, sportsbooks on the Las Vegas Strip lost $1.6 million on basketball betting in April – a 214 percent drop in earnings from April 2011.
Another factor playing into such a dip in Nevada’s total sportsbook earnings was the $3.3 million lost in football. While there were no football games on the board to bring in money that month, people continue to cash tickets on games and futures well after the football seasons are over. Books paid out $8.6 million in football tickets in March.
The start of the baseball season put $6.7 million into Nevada sportsbooks’ pockets and was by far the biggest sports money winner for the state. Baseball betting was down eight percent from April of last year.
“Sometimes the lambs get away from the butcher,” Lawton says. “Overall, it was a good month. We’re feeling good. Good but not great.”
Nevada casinos’ total gaming win (including sportsbooks, table and card games, and slots) was $855,708,000 in April, which is up 6.16 percent from last year. However, those numbers were helped out by slot machine counts carried over from March, due to the end of the month falling on the weekend. Last April’s totals (which are compared) were also smaller because of a similar month end situation.
The Gaming Control Board has statewide earnings up 4.63 percent for the last 12 months (May 1 to April 30), at $10,857,998,000. Nevada books have earned 3.7 billion since Jan. 1 (2.1 billion on the Las Vegas Strip) and are up 4.5 percent compared to 2011 (Jan.1 - April 30).