Record March Shows Nevada Still Wears The US Sports Betting Crown

Written By Martin Derbyshire on May 1, 2019 - Last Updated on March 7, 2022

Numbers coming out of Nevada last week left no doubt that the Silver State is still the gold standard for US sports betting.

The NCAA Tournament is far and away the top sports betting event in the country. So, when March New Jersey sports betting figures dropped showing March Madness helped the state’s sportsbooks set a new revenue record, it appeared as though a threat to Nevada’s sports betting crown had emerged.

The $31.7 million in March 2019 NJ sports betting revenue from $372.45 million in handle was still under the $34.2 million in revenue from $522 million in handle posted in Nevada in March 2018. However, it was close enough to think a down March in Nevada could leave New Jersey on top.

Plus, pundits have been predicting a slide at Nevada sportsbooks ever since legal sports betting started spreading to other states.

But Nevada showed it still dominated with a new record for monthly handle at nearly $600 million and revenue of $32.5 million.

NJ claims $100 million bet, but Nevada is still March Madness king

At the Betting on Sports America conference last week, NJ regulators even went as far as announcing local sportsbooks had taken in more than $100 million in bets on the NCAA Tournament this year. Of course, that includes the numbers from March and the Final Four, which took place in April.

However, Nevada answered all the questions about both states places in the US sports betting hierarchy when it released those March 2019 figures.

Nevada regulators don’t go as far as listing handle and revenue numbers for individual sporting events. However, they do divvy up the numbers by sport. This showed Nevada sportsbooks took in an incredible $495 million in basketball bets during March Madness.

The facts are clear: The US bets more on March Madness than anything else. Plus, they’re still doing it in Nevada more than anywhere else.

Legal sports betting is now in eight states and spreading like wildfire. This week, four other states appear close to passing sports wagering legislation of their own:

  1. Tennessee sports betting
  2. Iowa sports betting
  3. Colorado sports betting
  4. Indiana sports betting

The March numbers make Nevada a huge favorite to stay on top with New Jersey closely in tow. That is until larger states like California and New York come aboard.

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Mobile sports betting is key

Any state looking to compete now need only look at where the majority of the wagers are coming from.

More than 80% of bets in NJ in March came via mobile sports betting apps. Nevada doesn’t keep the same statistics, but most put the number between 50-70% mobile in that state.

Around the same time, Pennsylvania regulators announced March Madness helped that state’s eight new retail sportsbooks take in $44.5 million in bets and turn it into $5.5 million in PA sports betting revenue. They also said they were ready to jump on the PA mobile sports betting bandwagon.

PA regulators will start testing the state’s first mobile sports betting apps sometime this month. A public launch will come soon after.

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Martin Derbyshire

Martin Derbyshire has more than ten years of experience reporting on the poker, online gambling, and land-based casino industries for a variety of publications including Bluff Magazine, PokerNews, and PokerListings. He has traveled extensively, attending tournaments and interviewing major players in the gambling world.

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