Las Vegas Strip October Casino Win Totals $375M, Best Month Since Pandemic Began

Posted on: November 24, 2020, 09:35h. 

Last updated on: November 24, 2020, 12:09h.

The Las Vegas Strip just had its best month since the COVID-19 pandemic began. But it comes as Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) is implementing new coronavirus restrictions.

Las Vegas Strip Nevada casino revenue
The Las Vegas Strip, seen here, is finally showing some signs of life amid COVID-19. (Image: Las Vegas Review-Journal)

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) on the Strip totaled $375.8 million in October, its largest haul since February. Sisolak ordered all gaming operations to shutter in mid-March and allowed them to reopen in early June.

Though the Strip’s October gaming win is still a 30 percent drop compared with October 2019, the month showed signs of life for the gaming industry in what’s been a most difficult and unusual year.

Statewide GGR came in at $822.7 million. That’s a 19.5 percent year-over-year drop. Slot machines were big winners, the terminals keeping $656.8 million of gamblers’ money. Blackjack was the most fruitful table game for the house, twenty-one winning $60.2 million.

Baccarat, the game of choice for Asian travelers, posted a surprising year-over-year gain. The table games won nearly $60 million, a five percent premium.

Sportsbooks took in $659.2 million in bets and won $42.4 million on a 6.4 percent hold.

Enthusiasm Curbed

Sisolak and neighboring California Gov. Gavin Newsom’s (D) latest directives will likely halt what momentum Las Vegas Strip casinos experienced last month.

Beginning today, and lasting for a minimum of three weeks, Nevada casinos and restaurants will be limited to 25 percent of their fire code capacity indoors. That’s a reduction from 50 percent. Indoor public gatherings are limited to 25 percent capacity, or 50 people, whichever is less.

Newsom has ordered a nightly curfew for nearly all of California, including Los Angeles County. Californians are to be at home between 10 pm and 5 am unless they have essential errands to complete, or are at their place of employment where their jobs do not allow for remote work.

Las Vegas Strip Casino Win

  • March — $299.9M
  • April — $3.4M
  • May — $3.7M
  • June — $238.2M
  • July — $330M
  • August — $317.3M
  • September — $354.7M
  • October — $375.8M

The minuscule GGR numbers in April and May when Nevada gaming floors were dark were generated by online poker and mobile sports betting.

Sisolak’s “Statewide Pause” announcement this week naturally drew critics, none more outspoken than Las Vegas Mayor Carolyn Goodman (I). The mayor called the governor “a dictator” whose new policies will be “crushing to the city.” It’s worth noting that the Las Vegas Strip is not part of the City of Las Vegas.

Regional Bright Spots

While Clark County casinos won fewer gaming dollars last month than they did in October 2019, smaller, regional metered markets performed well.

Washoe County, home to Reno, reported a GGR of $78.8 million. That’s a nearly six percent increase in 2019. South Shore Lake Tahoe saw casino floors win 12 percent more, gaming revenue totaling $22.2 million. Carson Valley also performed better in October 2020, gaming win there up to two percent to $10 million.

Other counties posting year-over-year gains include Elko, Humboldt, Lyon, and Nye.