Las Vegas Strip Suffers Double-Digit Revenue Drop, Fewer Sports Bets Placed in Nevada Than New Jersey

Posted on: June 27, 2019, 10:10h. 

Last updated on: June 27, 2019, 10:10h.

The Las Vegas Strip reported an 11 percent gross gaming revenue (GGR) decline last month. Statewide, casinos won $981.8 million, which is a six percent drop – or $22.2 million – compared to May 2018.

Las Vegas Strip revenue Nevada GGR
The gaming industry has been a bit stormy this year on the Las Vegas Strip. (Image: KTNV)

Figures released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) reveal a startling fact. The Las Vegas Strip Area – the most critical monitored market in the country’s richest gambling state – has seen casino revenue fall 1.9 percent over the last 12 months.

Baccarat was again the culprit last month, as the table game won $53.85 million for Strip properties, but that’s a more than 55 percent year-over-year plunge. A poor win percentage rate of less than eight percent was to blame.

Blackjack won $67.4 million for Strip casinos, but that too was down (14.8 percent). Penny slot machines were a rare bright spot, as the terminals won $117.8 million – a 6.3 percent increase.

Both Nevada’s six percent and the Strip’s 11 percent GGR decline were the largest monthly declines this year. May marked the Strip’s sixth consecutive monthly revenue loss.

Sports Betting Bust

The bad news from May didn’t stop with the tables. For the first time since the Supreme Court repealed the federal sports betting ban that had limited the gambling activity to Nevada, Silver State oddsmakers took fewer wagers than another legal market.

New Jersey sportsbooks printed $318.9 million worth of ticket slips in May. Nevada books printed $317.4 million. It was something many saw coming.

Nevada is clearly in our sights,” New Jersey Governor Phil Murphy (D) stated in April. “We can overtake it.”

Former New Jersey State Senator Ray Lesniak (D) – the lawmaker who led the legal fight to repeal the federal sports betting ban – told ESPN this week he’s isn’t surprised that Garden State books outpaced Nevada’s.

“I’ve been saying all along that the Northeast and New Jersey is a hotbed of sports activity. We love our sports. We are well on our way, in overall gaming, to becoming the Las Vegas of the East Coast,” Lesniak declared.

Baseball won $7.7 million for oddsmakers, and basketball $4.5 million. Both were substantial revenue declines compared to May 2018. Nevada sportsbooks won just $11.26 million on the $318.9 million wagered – a measly 3.55 percent hold.

Baccarat Guilt

Nevada Gaming Control Board Senior Analyst Michael Lawton said that with baccarat removed from consideration, the state’s gaming industry would appear much healthier.

“The silver lining to this month’s results would be that statewide slot win and volume continued to display strong fundamentals with a 1.5 percent increase in win on a 3.6 percent increase in volume. Statewide slot win has increased in eight of the last nine months and volumes have increased in nine of the last 10 months,” Lawton told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

Nevada casinos won $11.9 billion last year, the state’s third-best year in history.