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Another Brutal Month For Nevada Gaming As Revenues For May Down 99.4% From 2019

James Murphy
by in Gaming Industry on
  • Nevada’s gaming industry reopened on June 4 after a shutdown on more than two months.
  • The gaming industry shutdown devastated the Nevada economy pushing unemployment over 30%.
  • May’s gaming revenues were just fractionally better than April.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board released revenue figures for May earlier today and the numbers look very similar to the ones for April. With the state’s casino industry shut down for the entire month of May it was nearly a complete washout in terms of revenue. In May 2019, Nevada’s gaming licencees held nearly a billion dollars ($981,766,859 to be exact). In May 2020, the state’s casinos held $5.8 million ($5,808,507) for a decrease of 99.4%.

Once again, the only gaming revenue was generated from mobile sports betting and online poker. There isn’t much in the way of good news in the revenue and tourism figures for May but at least it was an incremental improvement over April. While April represented a 99.6% revenue decline from the year before May’s 99.4% drop was at least fractionally better and due primarily to more sports available on the betting board including international soccer, NASCAR and the UFC. The April revenue figures were the worst since detailed records began being kept in 1983. Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board spelled it out:

“The vast majority of the win amount was derived from mobile sports wagering and interactive poker. For the calendar year, the state is down 45.2 percent and the Strip is down 44.8 percent. As far as May’s gaming win compared to April, it is my understanding that due to the addition of events to this month’s sports betting options (NASCAR and UFC) the month of May was a bit stronger.”

While the Nevada gaming economy has a long way to go the next revenue report will certainly be better. The state’s casino industry reopened on June 4 with anecdotal reports of decent demand. As was the case in April there were a number of areas in the gaming revenue report that experienced declines of more than 100% due to refunds on canceled sporting events and cashing tickets for events that had already been decided. Clark County won more money than the state total overall with $5.9 million held down 99.3%. Areas that paid out more than they took in were Laughlin (-100.7%), Washoe County (-100.12%), Reno (-100.15%) and North Lake Tahoe (-100.15%). Elko County had a year over year revenue decline of exactly 100%.

With the state’s gaming industry on lockdown in May it was no surprise that most of the visitation metrics were down by 100% or close to it. We’ll take an in-depth look at these numbers later today.

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