- Nevada’s gaming industry will reopen in early June after a shutdown of more than two months due to the Coronavirus pandemic.
- For several gaming companies, the only revenue they’ve brought in during the shutdown has been via their mobile sports betting app.
- Station Casinos will reopen their sports betting platform on Friday making it a total of 7 apps available to Las Vegas area bettors.
As gaming industry observers await the release of what will easily be the most brutal monthly revenue report in Nevada history the state is slowly starting to reopen. Gyms, bars without food service, parks, pools and recreation areas will reopen on Friday. Clark County government facilities will reopen on Monday. Most significantly, Nevada’s gaming industry–which despite some diversification of the economy remains the state’s primary economic catalyst–will return to life on June 4.
While it will take some time to undo the devastation to the Silver State’s economy the return of casino gaming is a step in the right direction. The statistical metrics of the massive hit to Nevada’s economy are borderline incomprehensible. In April, Nevada’s unemployment rate was 28.2%–higher than the estimated 25% national unemployment rate in 1933 in the depths of the Great Depression. Nevada’s 28.2% unemployment rate was not only the highest in the history of the state but the highest ever recorded by any US state since consistent unemployment data became available in 1976.
On Thursday, the Clark County Department of Aviation reported that passenger traffic through Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport had declined by more than 96% year over year. In April 2019, 4.3 million passengers came through the airport. In April 2020, a mere 152,716 passengers traveled in or out of Las Vegas via McCarran International. That decline sets the stage for the May revenue reports from the Nevada Gaming Control Board which will give the ugly story of April’s gaming industry performance. With the state’s gaming industry closed for the entire month and only a trickle of revenue coming in through online sports betting apps offering whatever wagers they can during the worldwide pandemic sports shutdown anything less than a 99% year over year decline will be a surprise.
STATION CASINOS WILL REOPEN SPORTS BETTING APP ON FRIDAY
Station Casinos is preparing to reopen many of their Southern Nevada properties on June 4. The company closed all of their properties on March 17 and announced a ‘phased reopening plan’ on May 1. First to reopen will be Red Rock, Green Valley Ranch, Santa Fe Station, Boulder Station, Palace Station and Sunset Station along with six Wildfire Gaming branded locals properties and Barley’s Casino & Brewery in Henderson. Several properties will remain closed pending an assessment of demand and safety performance at the other Stations Casinos–Palms, Texas Station, Fiesta Henderson and Fiesta Rancho. The Nevada casino companies will take any semblance of positive news they can find right now so Stations has to be pleased with the solid turnout for the restaurants that reopened at three properties earlier this week (Santa Fe Station is offering curbside pickup for Leticia’s Cocina and Cantina while Green Valley Ranch and Red Rock Resort each have several options for takeout and dining in).
Another bit of positive news is the return of the STN Race & Sports mobile betting app. The company announced via Twitter that the app would be available for both race and sports betting starting on Friday. The app will operate from 7 AM to 11 PM daily until further notice. The report indicated that funds management will be ‘available in app’ presumably via the Play+ prepaid debit card which allows deposits via debit card and eCheck along with PayNearMe which offers 24/7 deposits at the Vegas Valley’s ubiquitous 7-Eleven locations along with CVS and Family Dollar. The Tweet included a video of Stations Director of Race and Sports Jason McCormick:
The return of Stations’ mobile betting app will make it 7 operational ‘outs’ for players in the Las Vegas Valley. William Hill, Circa Sports, MGM Resorts and Caesars Entertainment were the first four to get back online. They were joined in early May by the Westgate Superbook and South Point Casino. At this point, it looks as if the Stations STN Sports app will be available only to existing clients–at least until the previously mentioned properties reopen for gaming on June 4.