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July Gaming Revenue Is An Encouraging Sign For Nevada Casinos

Although The Market Saw A More Than 26% Drop Year-Over-Year, There Was A 35.5% Jump From June

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In the second month since resuming gambling after the COVID-19-induced casino shutdown, Nevada casinos experienced a 26.16 percent decrease year-over-year, but showed slow and steady growth from its first month back.

According to numbers released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, casinos won $756.8 million from gamblers in July. It’s a steep drop off from the more than $1 billion worth of revenue generated in July 2019, but a roughly $190 million increase from June when the state’s casinos won $566.8 million.

Gov. Steve Sisolak allowed casinos to reopen June 4, and only a handful of Las Vegas Strip casinos opened in the first few days of eligibility, so it is not completely an apples-to-apples comparison.

But when taking into account that there are still several Strip casinos that have yet to reopen, large mid-week conventions are still a thing of the past, and the casinos are open for business are doing so at reduced capacity, the numbers are an encouraging sign for the state’s biggest industry.

Michael Lawton, an analyst for the Gaming Control Board, told the Associated Press that the numbers were better than what regulators expected.

“July 2020 was up 35.5% compared to June 2020 which exceeded our expectations,” said Lawton.

Once again, Clark County made up the overwhelming majority of Nevada’s gross gaming revenue with $612.9 million, representing a 28.85 percent drop, on par with the statewide decrease.

The Las Vegas Strip generated more than half of Clark County’s revenue with $330.1 million but experienced a steeper drop than the rest of the state as those figures were a 39.19 percent fall. The lost revenue from the Strip casinos accounted for a little more than 79 percent of the overall state decline.

South and North Lake Tahoe were the only other areas of the state that dropped more than 30 percent, plummeting 39.7 and 33.2 percent decline, respectively.

Areas that were more reliant on tourism were hit much harder than those that have a steady, local clientele base. Elko County in northeastern Nevada only saw a 5.59 percent fall in its casinos. The Carson Valley area only lost 2.59 percent of its revenue year-over-year.

From the $756.8 million lost to casinos, the state government took $32.3 million in taxes. Tax revenue took the biggest hit of them all, down 56.3 percent from this time last year. For nearly three months, while the entire brick-and-mortar gaming industry forced to halt operations, those numbers were close to zero.