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Nevada Governor Brian Sandoval signed a bill that will allow pari-mutual betting on “other events.”
“By adding ‘other events’, we are able to capture events like esports and the World Series of Poker,” sponsoring Sen. Becky Harris of District 9 told ESPN. “This allows for Nevada operators to use a pari-mutuel system of wagering. This allows for operators to offer bets they might not otherwise make.”
The bill was proposed to amend the 464th chapter of Nevada Statutes, which covers pari-mutuel betting. Prior to its approval, traditional sportsbook-style betting had been allowed on other events. The law will now open new lines for other competitions not classified under the traditional Nevada sporting events and dog racing law.
Nevada’s betting handle for this April was slightly lower than it was last year.
April usually marks the start of a seasonal slowdown for sports betting, as basketball winds down and before bettors return in droves for football season in the fall.
Still, Nevada sportsbooks had generally been experiencing solid growth in the amount of bets flowing through their windows. That was the case in a big way last April.
But handle remained relatively stagnant year-over year. Last April: $292 million. This April: About $287 million. That comes after March saw a record high, thanks largely to wagering on basketball, via bets on the NBA and NCAA.
That didn’t impact the bottom line of the books, however, which won $15.1 million from bettors. That’s up from $13.5 million a year ago. Books paid out about $4.7 million for winning tickets left over from football season.
The plateauing of sports betting in some months might be expected after explosive growth in the segment in recent years. In 2014, sports betting handle clocked in at just $206 million.
The Las Vegas Review-Journal spoke with a sports book manager about NFL regular season win totals.
“These are so popular with the public,” Westgate sports book manager Ed Salmons said.
Salmons said he’s written the most action on unders for the Browns (4½, -130), Chargers (7½, -135) and Jets (5, -140), and overs on the Raiders (9½, -140), Dolphins (7, -150), Buccaneers (8, -110), Colts (8½, -110) and Vikings (8½, even).
“The public will always take the perceived worst teams and bet them under. It worked for them last year,” he said. “I’m on the opposite end of that. I think teams like Cleveland can always get better. With all the draft picks they got, how can Cleveland possibly play to the level they did last year? It would almost be impossible.”