Legal MLB Betting Sets Las Vegas Records For June
With increased attention on legal sports betting in the US, Las Vegas has seen a decided summer uptick in handles and holds, setting NBA and MLB records one after the next. Baseball isn’t generally all that popular for gamblers in the regular season (which is borne out by preseason NBA Summer Leagues being the big money draws in Las Vegas lately), but the growing allure of sports betting as it becomes a part of the national conversation is undeniable.
In June, Major League Baseball betting established two new high water marks. Las Vegas took in a total of $207.1 million in bets on the game, clearing $14.9 million in net income. That latter number represents only the fourth time Las Vegas sportsbooks have cleared the $10 million mark in a given month for pro baseball. And their $207.1 million handle is an MLB record not just for June year-over-year, but for any month ever.
While those numbers are impressive, here’s the really good news for the American marketplace: legal sports betting in Nevada, which is all that the above entails, only makes up an estimated three (3) percent of total US sports betting! The 97 percent remainder goes to overseas sportsbooks and is thus not disclosed in mandated earnings reports. That means that Las Vegas’ best month ever for MLB betting is peanuts (or, more aptly, the dust that comes off of peanut husks when you crack them open) compared against what could be earned nationwide once PASPA is eliminated.
Think of it: Without PASPA, June could have looked a heck of a lot better. Extrapolating the numbers above, the total handle would be around $6.9 billion, with sportsbooks clearing $496.7 million. On freaking baseball. Remember, those figures aren’t imaginary, either. They directly reflect the expected actual amounts that US gamblers spent on MLB betting in June. It’s just that almost all of it went overseas. Untaxed.
Now you can see why PASPA is on such thin ice in sports betting states.