The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) released its monthly report for July showing gaming in the state continued to improve compared to June, but still fell short of the levels achieved in July 2019. Commercial casinos in the state had been closed down for 78 days to support state and federal efforts to contain the spread of the coronavirus.
Casinos across the state managed to generate $756.8 million in gaming revenue during their first full month of operation, a 26.2% slump compared to the $1.02 billion delivered in July last year. Strip gaming properties reported $330.1 million in gaming win, 39.2% drop from the previous year figure, while Reno’s gaming establishments performed better, just 10.2% decrease, to $51.5 million, compared to July 2019.
There Were Also Winners
Of all the markets the NGCB monitors and collects financial data from, there were markets which managed to perform slightly better in July figures-wise compared to last year. The Reno-area community of Sparks, where casino patrons are mainly local residents posted just under 3% growth, $11.95 million, with $11.62 million being the July 2019 figure. The Balance of County in Clark and Washoe counties also posted increase in casino win, 6.2% and 16.5%, respectively
Month-to-month comparison showed the industry was slowly picking up after the sudden impact from the virus outbreak. Being 99.6% and 99.4% down in April and May, casino win gained some ground in June, 45.5% down from June 2019, and now 26.2% down only.
Air Travel and Conventions Define the Strip
According to the NGCB’s senior analyst Michael Lawton, the slight rebound was due to three more properties on the Strip resuming operations during the month, Aria, Mandalay Bay and Bally’s.
“Sequentially, July 2020 was up 35.5 percent compared to June 2020 which exceeded our expectations. The Strip’s decline accounted for $212.7 million of the $268.1 million decrease or 79.3 percent of the decline. This illustrates the challenges this market is facing and will continue to face due to limited air travel, no midweek convention business and the lack of large-scale events and entertainment options.”Michael Lawton, Senior Analyst, Nevada Gaming Control Board
By verticals, the biggest slump was represented by sports books, which won $6.3 million in July, down 40.2%, on $163.6 million wagered. 69% of that, $5.8 million, was due to mobile sports wagering, with a total of $112.9 million in wagers. The total casino hold for the vertical was 3.8%, down from the 4.5% in July 2019, despite the 5.14% hold from mobile sports betting.
Table game win was $210.4 million for the month, down 36.1% from the previous year’s figure, due to the total wagered amount, $1.4 billion, being 44.5% down from the $2.3 billion in 2019. Casino win for the vertical remained unchanged, at 14.4%.
Casinos won from baccarat $59.6 million in July, $17.5 million or 22.7% short of the win in July 2019, as the baccarat drop, the amount wagered, was 38% down, to $397.3 million. Casinos managed to increase their win percentage from the vertical, to 15%, compared to 12% for the previous year period.