Nevada was once the only face on the Mount Rushmore of US sports betting.
When the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was repealed in 2018, some thought this stature could change as more sports betting markets launched around the US.
It won’t be a surprise when more populous states with major markets surpass the Silver State’s sports betting handle. For the time being, Nevada remains the top dog when it comes to the amount of sports wagers. Nevada even broke a new record when it took in $614.1 million in wagers in November.
But New Jersey, Pennsylvania and other new legal sports betting states are gaining traction. Besides increasing pressure on Nevada’s handle, the competition is pushing NV gaming regulators and sportsbooks to stay up on technology. We’ll get back to that in a bit, but let’s first look at mobile sports betting in Nevada overall.
Mobile sports wagering in Nevada
Nevada has offered mobile sports betting since 2012. However, its sportsbook operators are slipping behind newcomers in terms of technology.
For starters, mobile bettors in NJ and PA can sign up for a sports wagering account without ever stepping into a brick-and-mortar casino. Nevada still requires in-person registration, and PA and NJ sportsbooks offer new players the ability to sign up online.
It’s no coincidence, then, that mobile and online wagering in these states has taken off quickly. More than 80% of handle in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is from online and mobile wagering.
PA and NJ both share their revenue reports monthly (by the states’ gaming control boards.) While Nevada has been offering mobile wagering for more than seven years, its numbers have all been anecdotal.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) doesn’t offer official information like the states that recently started taking online sports wagers. However, that could be changing soon.
Nevada considers changes to sports betting revenue reporting
NGCB Senior Research Analyst Michael Lawton recently told CDC Gaming Reports that the board hopes to provide reports on separate mobile and retail sports betting in the new year.
These numbers will provide greater context to compare Nevada sports betting revenue with other states.
For reference, Lawton estimates that 48% of Nevada sports bets in 2018 were from mobile devices. That’s not too much of a surprise as anecdotally different sportsbooks have been saying mobile handle is anywhere from 35% to 60%.
The sports betting handle in NV will be easier to compare with other states starting with its January 2020 report.
Baby steps to new reporting
Every state with legal sports betting has its own set of rules, and Nevada isn’t any different. However, Nevada has a history with casino operators, so it must keep these companies in mind on how to approach all forms of gaming.
Nevada hasn’t been under pressure to change how it does business until now.
Since the repeal of PASPA, there’s more national focus on the US sports betting industry. With all eyes watching, Nevada has to be as concerned with perception as it is gaming revenue.
Nobody wants to be seen as a relic. This small change to revenue reporting is a small step for Nevada to stay in line with the newcomers. It likely won’t be the only change.
More possible changes for Nevada sports betting
Most of the Nevada sports betting apps use technology from Miomni, Stadium Technology or both.
If the Silver State wants to keep up with the competition, this will have to change, too. New Jersey and Pennsylvania host more sports betting technology companies that offer better (and worse) platforms than in Nevada.
The NGCB appears to be taking another step in the right direction.
It recently gave preliminary approval to MGM Resorts and its sports betting partner, GVC, to operate BetMGM. The venture only operates in New Jersey right now. Once this receives full support, BetMGM will replace the current IGT-powered PlayMGM app.
Another huge step forward will be when the NGCB allows mobile registration on sports betting apps. Currently, anyone who wants to set up a sports betting account must do so at a Nevada sportsbook, which is inside of a casino.
Mobile registration will allow customers to register from anywhere within Nevada state lines. Bettors could also use a credit card, debit card, or other online payment solution.
Once mobile sign-up comes to fruition, FanDuel could launch with its Boyd Gaming partnership. This shift could also open the door for other online sportsbook operators, including DraftKings and PointsBet.
With every advancement, Nevada could remain atop the sports betting landscape.