Nevada sports betting is big and will likely get bigger. The state of Nevada has long been considered the sports betting capital of the world, but that changed since 2018. The entire United States can now offer betting, and more than 30 states have already launched the industry.
Sports betting in Nevada dates back to the 1940s, and Las Vegas is known for its gambling and sports betting scene. Outside of “Sin City,” there are plenty of other great betting options throughout the state as well.
There are sportsbooks in almost every single casino in Nevada, and sports betting kiosks are set up as well. The state has some restrictive laws regarding mobile betting, which has allowed states like New Jersey and Pennsylvania to pass it up.
Look for Nevada to see a huge resurgence in sports betting soon, and it could once again regain its title as the sports betting capital of the world.
The History Behind Legal Sports Betting in Nevada
Nevada has a long and impressive history in the gambling industry, and it has paved the way for other states in recent years. Regulated gambling in Nevada dates back to 1931, with sports betting becoming officially legal in 1949. The Nevada Gaming Control Board oversees gambling in the state.
In 1975, the first retail sportsbooks were opened in the state, giving bettors from all across the country a place to bet on sports. Casino gambling was still more critical to the economy in the state, but sports betting was prevalent.
When the United States Congress passed a bill outlawing sports betting in the United States, Nevada was exempt from that law, allowing the industry to continue. This took away some potential competition from the state and allowed the industry to expand.
In 2001, the state was able to pass a law that legalized betting on collegiate sporting events. In 2010, the first mobile sportsbook apps were released, allowing bettors to place a bet from anywhere inside the state border.
The state of Nevada made another huge move in 2013 by legalizing online poker. Casinos could now launch an online casino app to help bring in additional revenue.
There hasn’t been any real change to the sports betting industry since 2010, even though some other states have now passed up Nevada. The in-person registration requirement for creating a mobile account has kept the state from staying on top of the industry.
Financial History Behind Legal Sports Betting in Nevada
Looking at the financial history of legal sports betting in Nevada can be a bit overwhelming since it started back in 1949. The best thing to do is begin in June 2018 when other states joined the US industry.
In June 2018, Nevada posted $286.5 million in total betting handle, which was easily the highest in the US. Revenue that month was over $20 million, which was again higher than any other state.
November proved to be the most successful month for the state in 2018 as the total betting handle jumped up to $581 million. The state brought in more than $27 million in revenue during that month.
The numbers would fluctuate over the next several months, but Fall 2019 proved to be a huge time for the state once again. In November 2019, the sports betting handle topped more than $614 million, which was an industry record at that time.
This was also about when New Jersey started to become a real threat to Nevada, and it wouldn’t be long before there was a changing of the guard.
Sports Wagering Handle Declined in 2020
The year 2020 was challenging for the Nevada sports betting industry, and the handle never topped more than $166 million in any one month from March to July. August brought in $474 million in handle, with a revenue of close to $17 million.
The month of September 2020 showed that the industry has almost fully recovered as sports betting handle rose to $575 million. This number still fell well short of what New Jersey brought in, but Nevada is once again seeing plenty of sports betting action.
Sports and related betting came back with a vengeance in the post-COVID years. In 2022, Nevada sportsbooks recorded $8.7 billion in handle, with a wi of about $446 million. The hold was just over five percent, which is among the lowest in the country. That is because Nevada is home to massive straight bets, which have a house advantage of about 4.5 percent, as opposed to parlays that can hold 10, 20, or even 30 percent. There is also a high level of sharp bettors in the state.
Another way that Nevada is different compared to modern sportsbook states is that about one-third of the action comes from retail counters. Mobile apps are only two-thirds of the action. Most states see 95 percent or more of its sportsbook action on apps.
Sportsbook Apps in Nevada
Sports betting regulations in Nevada allow for mobile betting, but there is a major catch to this process. Customers must first visit a physical sportsbook to complete the account registration before placing a bet on their mobile devices.
The state also doesn’t allow any online-only operators to offer sports betting in the state, limiting the number of big operators. Companies such as DraftKings and FanDuel have yet to be able to launch a physical sportsbook needed to complete this requirement. FanDuel has a retail sportsbook in downtown Las Vegas. However, it is just a branding for a Boyd Gaming operation.
The biggest names in the retail sports betting industry in Nevada all offer mobile apps, and these are available for download on both Android and iOS devices. Many of these operators offer retail betting in several locations, and customers can easily choose a casino to complete the registration requirement.
Here is a list of some of the biggest sports betting apps available for download in the state of Nevada:
- Boyd Gaming
- Golden Nugget (no longer has a mobile betting app)
- MGM Resorts
- Station Casinos
- South Point
- William Hill
Retail Locations to Bet on Sports in Nevada
Nevada, specifically Las Vegas, is known for its casino gambling industry. Those casinos almost always come with a sportsbook of some kind now, especially the industry’s biggest names.
When the discussion of allowing mobile sports betting has come up, these casinos have been protected by the in-person registration requirement. This forces bettors to enter these properties before they can bet from anywhere in the state.
It would be nearly impossible to list all of the retail sports betting locations in Nevada, as new ones are constantly popping up. It’s easier to point out some of the industry leaders, as many of these companies offer sports betting at several different properties.
In October 2020, Circa Casino opened in downtown Las Vegas with the largest sportsbook in the world. This title was previously held by Westgate. Circa Sportsbook has a few satellite locations also. Superbook is located inside the Westgate Casino, which has changed names several times. Wynn Las Vegas is another operator with just one location, but it is an extremely large operation. Wynn also offers sports betting at Encore in Las Vegas.
Station Casinos has 15 properties throughout the state, and this is a popular operator with the local residents. Caesars and MGM Resorts International are two of the most recognizable names in the Nevada sports betting industry, and each operator has more than 10 locations. Caesars also has four large properties that aren’t located in Las Vegas, while MGM has all of its properties on the Las Vegas Strip.
William Hill operates in the state as a skin for Caesars Sportsbook. This branding is commonly found inside non-Caesars casinos. Boyd Sportsbook consults with FanDuel in Nevada. However, outside the state, FanDuel operates all Boyd Gaming sportsbooks. South Point operates its sportsbook, NV Sportsbooks, and the one inside Rampart Casino.
Sports Teams to Bet on in Nevada
Professional sports have long been against letting a team in due to the sports betting nature of Nevada. That changed just a few years ago, and now Las Vegas could become one of the top sports cities in the United States.
The Vegas Golden Knights of the National Hockey League have quickly become the most popular team in the state. It helped that Vegas was extremely successful in their first season of 2017-2018, and won the Stanley Cup in 2022-2023.
In 2020, the Las Vegas Raiders officially kicked off their inaugural season. The Raiders are a proud franchise, and the team constructed a $1.9 billion state-of-the-art stadium across Interstate 15 from the Las Vegas Strip.
Nevada is located in the heart of Pac-12 country, which provides plenty of other great betting opportunities. The Pac-12 Conference is loaded with some historic and successful teams, and these programs are popular to bet on.
Nevada also borders California, which is one of the best sports states in the country. California residents routinely flood to Las Vegas to place bets or watch some of the biggest sporting events.
The Vegas Golden Knights and the Las Vegas Raiders will be extremely popular with the local bettors, but Nevada offers betting on a wide range of sports and teams.
FAQ for betting in Nevada
When did Nevada first legalize sports betting?
Nevada officially legalized sports betting in 1949. Live and off-track horse betting was legalized at the same time. It is the first state to regulate the sports betting industry.
When did the sports betting industry take off?
Sports betting launched in 1949, however, sports betting was already underway. Congress passed the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act in 1992 to limit expansion in the sports betting industry. Since Nevada was grandfathered in, sports betting continued.
What group regulates the sports betting industry in Nevada?
Since 1955, the Nevada Gaming Control Board has regulated gambling in the state. It also plays a role in the sports betting industry.
What is the legal age to place a bet in Nevada?
The legal betting age in Nevada is 21 years of age, including sports betting. Nevada set the standard betting age, and most other states have followed suit.
Is mobile betting available in Nevada?
Yes, several sports betting apps are available in Nevada. Customers must visit a retail sportsbook to complete their mobile betting account.
Do I have to live in Nevada to place a bet?
No, but you do have to be physically inside of the state to place a bet.
Are there other places to bet outside of Las Vegas?
Las Vegas is the biggest sports betting market in Nevada. Most cities also offer betting, like Reno, Carson City, Laughlin, Primm, Mesquite, Pahrump, Jackpot, and West Wendover.
Does Nevada have any professional sports teams?
Yes, Nevada is now home to the Las Vegas Raiders (NFL) and the Vegas Golden Knight (NHL).
Are parlay betting options available in Nevada?
Absolutely. Nevada has plenty of betting options available to sports bettors in the state. Nevada has long been considered the sports betting capital of the US, and most betting types were first offered in this state.