Nevada Has Big June for Sports Betting, But COVID Concerns Remain

Both the win amount and the volume of sports betting in June were "all-time records" for Nevada, according to the state's gaming control board.

Posted: Jul 30, 2021 1:46 PM ET Updated: Jul 30, 2021 1:46 PM ET Est Time: 2 min
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Nevada had a booming month for sports betting in June, but the lingering COVID-19 pandemic might make repeat performances more of a challenge. 

The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported numbers on Thursday that show the state’s sports-betting handle for June (or its sports pool drop) was $545.2 million, an increase of 597 percent compared to the pandemic-affected June of 2020 and 69.3 percent versus June 2019. Last month’s drop for Nevada also topped May’s total of around $477.4 million.

Sportsbooks won $29.2 million off June’s handle as well, making for a hold of 5.35 percent. May’s revenue and win percentage were approximately $27.1 million and 5.67 percent, respectively. 

“Both win and volume are all-time records for the month of June,” NGCB senior economic analyst Michael Lawton noted in an email to Covers. 

The big month for Nevada sports betting also came after the state’s full economic reopening on June 1, which included loosening COVID-19 mitigation protocols at casinos. 

There was a hint of a retail resurgence in the latest revenue figures from the NGCB, as there were $314.6 million in sports wagers made online in the state in June, or 57.7 percent of all bets. In May, mobile sports bets accounted for about 62.4 percent of all wagers. 

All masked up, but somewhere to go

Yet the tailwinds for in-person betting are already coming under threat because of the COVID-19 pandemic. Notably, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention on Tuesday recommended everyone should wear a mask indoors when there is high risk of transmission.

Citing this update, Nevada Gaming Control Board chairman J. Brin Gibson sent a notice to licensees on July 27 stating licensees in counties “deemed an area of substantial or high transmission” will need to ensure all employees and guests are wearing appropriate face coverings as of Friday. This mandate extends to Clark County, which includes Las Vegas. 

“Each licensee subject to this Industry Notice must have dedicated signage throughout its establishment notifying patrons where face coverings are required,” Gibson wrote. “In conjunction with state and local health officials, the Nevada Gaming Control Board will continue to ensure that best practices are used in the mitigation of COVID-19, and its effect on licensee operations, and will issue further notices as appropriate.”   

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