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For the 56th month in a row, Nevada sportsbooks posted a record $522 million collection. Bulk of the amount, $436.5 million to be precise, came from betting on both professional and college basketball, of which casinos kept $38 million.

The profit-making streak started in July 2013. If you remember, the previous month fan favourite Phil Mickelson won the British Open as a 14/1 longshot. Tiger Woods was the bookmakers’ favourite at 8/1. Mickelson’s win, coupled with a slow sports month, caused a small loss for the books. It was the first loss from November 2012.

David Payne Purdum, who writes about sports betting, posted on Twitter that losses were more frequent in the 1990s, but that the popularity of gambling on sports makes it more difficult for sportsbooks to post a loss.

“They used to lose more often, but market has grown so large that I don’t think that statewide they’ll ever have another losing month,” Purdum posted. “Some guys disagree with me.”

The popularity of the NCAA Tournament has been the main reason for the strong March figures. It was the seventh consecutive year March Madness wagering exceeded the preceding year.

In 2017 sportsbooks collected $429 million on the tournament. Five years ago they collected $324 million. Last year’s profit, however, was larger than 2018. The books kept $41.2 million last year, $3 million more than 2018.

The NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament, especially the first two rounds, is a boon to casinos, which host watch parties and special events and see hotel occupancy at capacity.

Derek Stevens, owner of the D Las Vegas, told Legal Sports Report it is a huge event for his casino.

“March Madness is the best weekend of the year in Las Vegas,” Stevens said. “It used to be the Super Bowl, but clearly now it’s March Madness.”

Not only is he a host for the tournament, but also a participant. A Michigan alum, he bets enthusiastically on his alma mater, as well as other contests throughout the three-week event.

This year Stevens bet $25,000 on the Wolverines to win the championship. If they had won, he would have collected $1 million. He made other bets throughout the tournament and finished ahead.


Source: European Gaming Media and Events