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Sports Betting Handle Was The Lone Bright Spot In August For Nevada Casinos

Silver State Casinos Experienced a 22% Decrease In Gaming Revenue, But Sportsbooks Saw A Huge Uptick In Action

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Nevada casinos took a hit in overall gaming revenue in August, but with all four major American professional sports underway, sportsbooks were uncharacteristically busy.

According to data released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Silver State casinos won $743 million in August. The numbers represent a 22 percent decrease year-over-year, but an improvement from the 26.2 percent drop in July.

As seen in previous months, the areas more reliant on tourism aren’t rebounding to pre-COVID-19 levels as quickly as areas with a local customer base. Clark County casinos made up the majority of the state’s gaming revenue with $593.9 million, with the Las Vegas Strip casinos winning $317.3 million of that figure.

The county as a whole was down 25 percent and the Strip was down 39.19 percent. Downtown Las Vegas, the state’s second-largest tourist area was down 21.5 percent with $35.6 million in revenue.

A good chunk of Strip or near-strip properties were closed for the entire month, however, which also added to the sinking revenue. Park MGM, Planet Hollywood, The Cromwell, Oyo, Palms, Rio and Tropicana casinos were closed for the entire month. The Mirage reopened with just a few days left in August.

Planet Hollywood announced recently that it will reopen in October. While the gaming floor will be operational 24/7, the hotel side of the property will only accept reservations Thursday-Sunday, indicating that the executives don’t believe mid-week tourism, driven mostly by conventions, will return anytime soon.

Reno casinos won $55 million, marking a 14.8 percent drop. North Lake Tahoe fell 14 percent and South Lake Tahoe saw a 7.6 percent decline.

The Boulder Strip area was up 29.6 percent with $70.9 million in revenue and Mesquite was up 9.48 percent with its casinos recording $9.9 million in gambling winnings.

But despite the discouraging numbers, sports betting was the lone bright spot for the state. Nevada’s sports betting handle was up 64.9 percent year-over-year as sportsbooks accepted $475.1 million in wagers.

Michael Lawton, an analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board, told the Las Vegas Review-Journal that 64.3 percent of those wagers were placed on mobile apps. Sportsbooks experienced a hold rate of 3.6 percent.

The state government collected $78.29 million in gambling-related taxes.