Pandemic-related restrictions have dragged down the Silver State’s gambling revenue in 2020 to its lowest point since 1996.
All Reported Units Experience Annual Decrease in 2020
Nevada gaming revenue went down 34.6% to $7.87 billion in 2020, hitting its lowest annual total since 1996, as a result of the shutdowns and ongoing restrictions to mitigate the spread of Covid-19.
Slot machines accounted for over two thirds of the total revenue or $5.42 billion, down 31.7% in annual terms, as players staked $78.61 billion. Players staked $43.84 billion on multi-denomination slots compared to $24.14 billion on penny slots. In terms of revenue, multi-denomination slots brought in about $2.38 billion, down 27.3%, while penny slots contributed with $2.35 billion, down 32.8%.
One dollar slot revenue experienced a 34.3% decrease to $365 million and 25 cent slots declined by 49.1% to $143.7 million.
Players waged $19.09 billion on table games, which turned into $2.46 billion in revenue. Twenty one was the biggest contributor to revenue at $643 million from $4.59 billion in stakes, though this corresponds to a 42.2% decline.
Online Registration for Sports Betting is Not On the Table
Despite the slump in gambling revenue, Nevada has dropped efforts to introduce remote sports betting registrations. One of the reasons why the industry is reluctant to remove in-person requirements is that it depends heavily on land-based operations and introducing such options may eventually have a negative effect on the sector.
Sports betting revenue was another segment to experience an overall decrease. It was down 20.2% to $262.8 million in 2020, with state casinos’ bets amounting to $4.34 billion, 18.4% less than in 2019. In November, players placed $609.6 million in bets with Nevada sportsbooks, a 0.8% decrease from the amount wagered in November last year. In October, sports betting handle stood at $659.2 million or 27.3% higher year-over-year.
This is the first year in which Nevada posts a breakdown of online betting revenue, which totalled $117.6 million.
Football was wagers’ favorite sport, which attracted $1.92 billion in stakes. Sportsbooks reported $172.7 million in revenue, down 40.4% from 2019. Sports betting handle from hockey amounted to $149.8 million or $9.7 million in revenue.
Basketball bets stood at $1.17 billion, the equivalent of $56.3 million in revenue or a 40.4% decrease. Baseball betting revenue plummeted due to the disrupted Major League Baseball (MLB) season, which was the shortest one since 1878. Bets amounted to $518.7 million, while revenue stood at $22.1 million, down 61.3%.