For the first time in a long time, the house didn’t win.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board report for June said that Nevada sportsbooks lost $483,000. That’s the first losing month on record since July of 2013, when the books lost $548,000. Last June, sportsbooks won $16,587,000.
Of course, it’s a different world in 2020, and some odd circumstances led to the rare loss for the sportsbooks.
Why did sportsbooks lose money in June?
The biggest driver for the loss in June was football. According to the Control Board, there was a net loss of $5,261,000 on football bets. As we know, there weren’t any football games played in June. But as casinos opened up after being shut down for coronavirus, winning futures tickets from the 2019 season were cashed in.
That’s not unusual. The sportsbooks had a $637,000 loss on football tickets last June. But unlike June of 2019, there wasn’t much to make a profit on. Baseball profits for sportsbooks were $11,606,000 in June of 2019 and just $1,388,000 this June. Major League Baseball didn’t start up its regular season until July 23, leaving bettors to mostly try out Korean baseball before that. A modest $296,000 profit off basketball bets didn’t help much either.
In an odd year, odd circumstances led sportsbooks to take a loss for the first time in almost seven years.
As games return, profits should too
Profits are way down for sportsbooks this year, of course. The total win for sportsbooks for the first three months of the year were down from $83.2 million in 2019 to $59.7 million this year. The loss of the NCAA men’s basketball tournament this year was a big factor. Then the profits dropped way off from April through June, when sportsbooks made just $2.2 million profit. From April through June in 2019 sportsbooks made $49.5 million. There wasn’t much to bet on as sports shut down.
Sportsbooks should see a rebound as games return. MLB is playing, despite a COVID-19 outbreak with the Miami Marlins. The NBA and NHL return this week. NFL training camps are opening again and the league is still planning to start the regular season on Sept. 10.
Nevada sportsbooks are very unlikely to post a losing season for the first time, considering the profits before sports shut down in mid-March. But a losing month for the books is something you won’t see often.
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