Nevada Sportsbooks Had Record Year in 2014 with $227.4 million in Generated Revenue
Statistics released show that Nevada sportbooks had record revenues in 2014. The state’s 187 sportsbooks combined to rake $227.4 million in 2014. The turnover on bets was $3.9 billion. Both are yearly records, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Though 2014 showed a nice increase, Las Vegas gaming officials are quick to point out that sports betting winnings remain a small part of the financial picture. Blackjack tables accounted for over $1 billion in revenues in 2014, while penny slots (the most lucrative form of gaming for casinos) accounted for another $2 billion.
Football was the key event type for the sportsbooks in 2014. Nearly 40% of the yearly revenue came from wagers on football game, the most popular sport in the United States. The Nevada sportsbook had winnings of $113.73 million from football, which was a 40.73% increase from the previous year. Gamblers bet $1.74 billion on football games, which was only 12% more than the amount wagered in 2013.
Bad Luck for Betters in 2014
It is obvious sports gamblers had worse luck in 2014 than they did the previous year. Over the course of the first few weeks of the NFL regular season, oddsmakers discussed how they had had good luck on the season, winning outright when they were expecting to collect earnings on the vigorish, also known as the juice.
The massive rake from NFL and NCAA football is made more incredible by the fact pro teams play only 16 games and college football teams play 12 to 13 games per year. MLB baseball has 162 games, while NBA basketball and NHL hockey each schedule 82 games per year.
NFL Football Dominates the Action
The NFL remains the biggest of the American sports brands. While Las Vegas Strip sportsbooks do not separate the statistics for college and pro football, it is estimated that NFL games account for about 55% to 60% of the revenues generated.
2014 got off to a nice start. Super Bowl XLVIII brought in a record $19.6 million in winning, off approximately $117 million in bets. The Seahawks trounced the Denver Broncos in that event, though most gamblers believed Peyton Manning and the #1 offense in the NFL were going to win the game. The NFL season continued the streak of success for Vegas sportsbooks, as the rake was over $98 million for the season.
Mobile Sports Betting
Nevada Gaming Control senior research analyst Michael Lawton says that mobile sports betting is becoming more prominent. In fact, the mobile sports wagering is beginning to be a key component in the overall gambling world CG Technology, a Nevada gaming company, said 69% of its sports bets in 2014 came from mobile smartphones or tablet computers. According to Michael Layton, several gaming companies now offer mobile betting in the Nevada gaming market: CG Technology, Boyd Gaming, the South Point casino, and William Hill.
Baseball and Basketball Declined
The numbers were down for NBA and Major League Baseball betting, though. Nevada sportsbooks raked $54.2 million on NBA and NCAA basketball, while the rake was $21.2 million for American League and National League baseball games in 2014. The NBA numbers were down 8.36% and the baseball numbers were down 26.88% percent, respectively, from the bookmakers’ winnings in 2013.
No theories were presented on the reason for the decline, though it might simply have been a bad year for betting on those games. Sometimes, the betting public gets their wagers right more often. If a relative few high rollers had good years, it could hurt the numbers overall in those sports with smaller turnover.
One reason basketball and baseball might be down is the rise of daily fantasy sports. DraftKings and FanDuel gained major ground in the sports betting market by offering one-day fantasy contests. These are like the local fantasy football and Rotisserie baseball leagues which dot the American landscape, except the wagers cover only a certain number of games on one day. It is an alternative to traditional sports betting, and unlike wagers on sports, DSL sites are legal in 50 states. The UIGEA provides for it.
Seahawks Versus Patriots
Whatever the case, Super Bowl 49 is in many ways the launch of the next sports betting year. Vegas sportsbooks expect to have more than $100 million wagered this year, as the Seattle Seahawks try to defend their title against the New England Patriots.
For those wanting a prediction, the lines started out with the Seahawks 1 to 2 point favorites. The betting public has wagered the point spread to where the Patriots have a 1-point advantage. In these cases, go with the Las Vegas oddsmakers. Take the World Champions and the points, if you can find that wager.