Major online sportsbook operators like FanDuel, DraftKings, and potential newcomers like Fanatics may not be marking their entry in Nevada any time soon. This move indicates their hesitation towards the state’s requirement of an in-person registration for mobile sports betting accounts.
Nevada’s market share, in terms of handle, has been overtaken by more populous states such as Illinois, New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania due to their approval of sports wagering following the Supreme Court’s 2018 ruling on the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA). Despite this, Nevada retains its prominent role in the national sports wagering scene.
According to analyses by journalists from the Nevada Independent, the state accounts for a mere 1% of US online wagering revenue. Given that the state houses the gaming oasis of Las Vegas, this percentage seems negligible. Consequently, major online sportsbooks such as FanDuel and DraftKings, or even upcoming players like Fanatics and Penn Entertainment’s ESPN Bet, do not consider Nevada indispensable.
Currently, Nevada mandates that sports bettors who wish to wager via mobile devices must personally go to a physical casino to complete paperwork to activate mobile wagering accounts. This requirement stands in stark contrast to the majority of the 34 states and Washington, DC, all of which permit new sports betting account registrations via computers or smartphones.
On the backdrop of this, Nevada retains its importance in the sports betting market. As reported by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), state gaming operators accepted sports bets worth $4.9 billion through August alone.
However, in a trend where approximately 80% of sports wagers are placed remotely throughout the country, Nevada’s figure stands at about two-thirds. This implies that sportsbook operators in the state are potentially missing out on attracting new clients and realizing significant revenue potential.
Nevada sports bettors are tempted by the draw of states like Colorado and neighboring Arizona, which do not require in-person registration and offer more appealing sign-up bonuses and broader wagering options. This uptick in promotional offers and greater betting choices in these states are largely due to their openness towards operators like DraftKings, Fanatics, and FanDuel.
Despite the inconvenience of in-person registration, online sportsbooks are eager to enter Nevada. Online giants such as Penn Entertainment, which runs the M Resort Spa Casino and Henderson’s Cactus Petes Resort Casino Jackpot, are still contemplating their strategy regarding licensing Barstool Sportsbook in the state.
DraftKings could potentially tap into the state utilizing its 2021 acquisition of Golden Nugget Online Gaming. DraftKings could use Golden Nugget casinos as registration sites, despite Golden Nugget terminating its mobile betting application earlier this year.
However, FanDuel and Fanatics will likely need to establish partnerships with smaller Nevada-based casino operators to penetrate the state, as Nevada’s regulatory authorities seem unlikely to relax the in-person registration requirement soon. It is noteworthy that FanDuel already has a foothold in the state through an existing partnership with Boyd Gaming, a major operator of local Las Vegas casinos and holder of a 5% stake in FanDuel.