After having its good name dragged through the muck by the recent indictments of former Cantor Gaming sportsbook director Michael Colbert and other individuals in connection with an illegal sports betting ring, online sportsbook Pinnacle Sports has issued a notice to customers clarifying its stance regarding US-based sports bettors. Pinnacle publicly pulled out of the US market shortly after passage of the Unlawful Internet Gambling Enforcement Act in 2006, but Pinnacle is now “investing in technology to assure that logins into our system do not occur from undesirable jurisdictions.” As of Nov. 19, Pinnacle “will automatically block access to our site from all IP addresses originating from within United States.” Account holders will be required to provide copies of either their passport or driver’s license as well as a copy of a utility bill under their name.
While New Jersey is desperately trying to get into the game, Nevada is currently the sole jurisdiction in which US residents are permitted to make single-game sporting wagers. The University of Nevada Las Vegas’ Center for Gaming Research has released a summary of betting activity at the state’s sportsbooks dating back to 1984, drawn from state Gaming Control Board gaming revenue reports. Between 1984 and 2011, the number of retail sports betting outlets went from 51 to 183. The total amount wagered by punters over the same period has risen from $894m to $2.87b.
The hold percentage of Nevada’s sportsbooks has ranged up and down over the years, from a low of 0.74% in 1987 to 7.89% in 2006. Not surprisingly, 2006 was also the year Nevada recorded its highest ever sportsbook win tally of $191.5m. In 1984, the total sportsbook win of just under $21m represented a 0.68% slice of the state’s total casino gambling revenue of $3.09b. In 2011, the $140m hold represented 1.32% of the $10.7b total revenue pie. The peak year for sports betting hold as a percentage of total gaming revenue was 1994’s 1.75%.
Broken down by individual sport, football win total has outpaced basketball in every year since 1989 except 2011, when roundball’s record $48.8m win edged out pigskin’s $44.3m. The peak year for football win was (again) 2006 with $91.1m. Baseball’s best tally was the $26.1m in 2005, the first of six consecutive years in which baseball win topped $20m. That streak ended in 2011, when win slipped to $19.6m. Parlay betting’s best year was way back in 1994, when win totaled $25.5m, a number that has since slipped to $17.6m in 2011.
The total handle Nevada’s books have processed since 1984 is $57.3b, of which the books kept $2.6b. Since 1989, football has contributed $963.7m to sportsbooks’ bottom lines, while basketball has provided $620.1m. A further $317.2m came from baseball, $417m from parlays and $143.7m from ‘other’ bets. Average win per sport since 1992 is as follows: football = 4.53%; basketball = 4.69%; baseball = 3.01%, parlays = 29.71% and ‘other’ = 5.48%.