While casinos are closed to support the effort to contain the further spread of the coronavirus, the question how much exactly is being lost, especially in Nevada, arises.
Gaming Revenue Provides an Insight
Considering the official data from the Gaming Control Board, the state gaming regulatory body, casinos lose daily in the range between $42,000 for the smallest venues, to $700,000 for the largest properties on the Las Vegas Strip.
The statistics from the regulator refer to gaming revenue only and does not take into account the millions lost from the empty hotel rooms, food and beverage outlets, retails shops, entertainment venues and other amenities.
The burn rate that gaming industry analysts cite and use to estimate how long each casino operator will last before filing for bankruptcy protection, is actually much higher and variable due to the different approach to employees from the different operators during the closure period.
Some casino companies like Las Vegas Sands declared their workers would be fully paid for two months, while others like Eldorado Resorts paid for a month and then furloughed its workers, and a third group elected to deliver temporary layoff notices from the beginning of the closure.
Non-Gaming Revenue Significant Too
According to an economist from Applied Analysis cited by Las Vegas Review-Journal, casinos in Clark County account only for 34.3% of the total resort revenue, 27.2% generated from hotel rooms, 17.4% of revenue coming from food, 8.4% from beverage, and the remaining 12.7% generated from entertainment, retail and other amenities.
Therefore, it is hard to establish how much exactly casinos lose during the closure period which has already exceeded one month. The 12-month gaming revenue from March 2019 to end of February 2020 provided by the Gaming Control Board offers a snapshot of the total casino operators won from gamblers for the period, split into geographic markets, but some of these markets overlap making the number unreliable.
In some of the markets win is calculated for the entire market, as well as for different ranges of revenue, like for the Strip properties, split into 4 ranges, from $1 million to $12 million, from $12 million to $36 million, from $36 million to $72 million, and above $72 million. Breaking down the win totals for each category by the number of the licensees will give an average win per property, varying between $350,000 for the lowest range to $700,000 for the highest range per day.
Awaiting for the March Numbers
But even that approach will not provide a reliable estimate as it is based on the last year revenues, while the Strip properties for example have been generating 1.2% more before the closure compared to the year before.
There were also some events scheduled for this year that were not present during the previous twelve months, and these events bring tens of thousands of visitors and many of them play in the casinos.
As St. Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered casino closure March 17, the revenue data due to be published by the regulator in late April will definitely clear the picture, as it will contain a whole month of no operations.