The effects of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to plague the gambling industry in Nevada as the gaming win for August was down by 22% from the same month one year ago and below the July 2020 figures.
According to a Wednesday report from the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Nevada casinos reported a gaming win of $743M for August 2020 which is way below the $954M they collected from gamblers in August 2019. It also fell short, but not by much, of July 2020’s $756M gaming win.
Strip Takes Biggest Hit
The Last Vegas Strip took the biggest monthly hit as the gaming revenues fell to $317.M of 39.2%. Strip gaming wins decreased by 99% in April and May but improved to a 61% decline in June and 39.2% in July. For the month of August, the Las Vegas Strip contributed 97.1% of the state’s total decline.
Properties in Downtown Las Vegas also experienced a 22% decline in gaming wins. Revenues also fell 14% in Reno, 9.5% in Laughlin, and 7.6% in South Lake Tahoe. However, there were some bright spots like the Boulder Strip in Southern Nevada which saw an increase of 29.6% and North Las Vegas which had an increase of nearly 2%.
Record Sports Bets
Nevada sportsbooks were also a bright spot in August as they wrote a record number of sports bet for the month. With the NBA and NHL playing in a month where their season would’ve been over in previous years, sportsbooks in Nevada took a total of $475.1M in bets or a 64.9% increase from 2019.
64.3% of the total sports bets were made via mobile betting apps where casinos won $11M on a total of $305.5M in bets. Overall, revenue from sports betting totalled $17M which was a 9.3% decline from a year ago. The decrease was attributed to the cancellation of college football games and the lack of an NFL preseason.
Lifting Ban on Gatherings
Gov. Steve Sisolak said on Tuesday that the state would lift the 50-person cap on public and Private gatherings beginning Thursday. Venues with a capacity of more than 2,500 can submit proposals to operate at 10% capacity while smaller venues will be allowed to have a crowd of up to 250. The state is hoping that the move will kick-start conventions, concerts, sports events, and trade shows that not only power the state’s economy but help bring people to casinos as well.
August was the second full month of operations for Nevada casinos. The state’s gambling industry was shut down for 78 days starting March 18th due to the outbreak of the COVID-19 virus. They have since been allowed to reopen but subject to health, safety and cleaning protocols. Guidelines like social distancing and limited operating capacity have hampered their operations, thus affecting revenues.