Nevada Casinos Win Nearly $567M in June, First Month Back in Business

Posted on: July 29, 2020, 08:25h. 

Last updated on: July 29, 2020, 09:56h.

Nevada casinos won just shy of $567 million last month, the first month the gaming venues were permitted to reopen following their closures because of COVID-19.

Nevada casinos gross gaming revenue
Operating in limited capacities, Nevada casinos won roughly half of the gaming dollars in June 2020 that they did in June 2019. (Image: Ethan Miller/Getty)

Gross gaming revenue (GGR) totaled $566.8 million, which is a year-over-year drop of 45.6 percent. The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) reports the Strip won $238.3 million. That’s a plunge of more than 61 percent compared with the same month in 2019, when the casino floors were operating at maximum capacity.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak (D) warned residents and visitors this week that failure to abide by state health regulations will have consequences moving forward. The Democratic first-term governor says more people need to be complying with face masks and social distancing orders.

To put it bluntly: the time for education is over. Businesses, Nevadans and visitors should all be familiar with the expectations of reduced indoor capacity, required face coverings, and social distancing. We are close to 5 months in — no more excuses,” said Sisolak.

Though they’re back in business, it’s a new normal for Silver State casinos for the foreseeable future. Gaming floors are capped at 50 percent occupancy, and numerous health safety measures regulated by the state remain in effect. Convention business has been nonexistent.

The governor ordered casinos to temporarily shutter on March 18. He allowed the gaming facilities to begin reopening on June 4.

Down Across Most Boards

All but one Nevada gaming market posted a year-over-year decline. Mesquite was the exception, with GGR increasing 3.2 percent to $10 million in the small gaming region. Other Clark County markets include downtown Las Vegas (-56 percent), Laughlin (-15 percent), and Boulder Strip (-32 percent).

Washoe County fared slightly better, GGR dropping shy of seven percent. Reno casinos reported a win of $46.6 million, an 8.5 percent loss.

Blackjack and baccarat, typically the leading table game revenue generators, were respectively down 40 and 70 percent during June. Slot machines saw their win decline 38 percent.

The only casino game to post an increase was bingo, which saw revenue soar 246 percent.

For the 12 months from July 2019 through June 2020, Nevada casinos reported a win of $9.32 billion,  representing a decline of almost 22 percent. The Strip kept $5 billion, a loss of 23 percent.

Sports Ends Streak

For the first time since July of 2013, oddsmakers had a losing month, which ended an 83-month winning streak.

Bookmakers lost $483,000 on $78 million wagered. That’s down from the $322 million bet in June of 2019. The handle was higher last month in Pennsylvania ($89 million) and New Jersey ($165 million).

Nevada oddsmakers had little to offer odds on, the PGA Tour one of the few exceptions. Sportsbooks also issued lines on rather offbeat sports to fill the void, including table tennis and soccer in the Ukraine.

With MLB back, and soon the NBA and hopefully the NFL, Las Vegas oddsmakers will likely return to their winning ways in the months ahead, so long as the coronavirus doesn’t once again shutter mainstream professional sports.