North Nevada records revenue increases of more than 36% while South Nevada continues to struggle
A third straight decline amounting to 39% of gaming revenue was recorded this September on the Las Vegas Strip due to the COVID-19 pandemic. However, there was a silver lining, particularly in Northern Nevada communities such as Lake Tahoe, where casinos along the south coast recorded a revenue increase of more than 36%.
Gaming revenues statewide fell to 22.4% for September amounting to $821.1 million, according to figures released by the Gaming Control Board. However, the overall figures for September proved to be the highest single-month total in the state since gaming resumed in June. Having said that, gaming revenues in Nevada are still down 37.9% over the first nine months, when compared to the same period in 2019.
The Vegas Strip saw a slump of $354.7 million, continuing a slide that started in March and during the month of September it was responsible for more than 96.3% of the overall state decline. Downtown Las Vegas also recorded a 21.4% gaming revenue decline despite building the Circa Casino Resort, the first newly built casino in the market in 40 years. As a result of all this, the market is down by 37.6% for the calendar year.
Senior Research Analyst for the Gaming Control Board, Michael Lawton, identified that Las Vegas Locals, apart from North Las Vegas where many properties are still shut, only recorded a decrease of 1.6% in gaming revenue during the month of September.
Chad Beynon, an analyst for Macquarie Securities gaming, advised investors that business in Las Vegas had a “solid” third quarter. This was confirmed by the earnings report published by Boyd Gaming and Red Rock Resorts.
On the other hand, Northern Nevada tells a different story as Washoe County's monthly totals, which include Reno and Lake Tahoe, were boosted by favourable slot machine play, both in amount wagered and revenues. This resulted in Washoe County to record an increase of 3.4% ($78.8 million) while Reno reported a rise of 3.1% ($57.1 million), resulting in slot machine revenues jumping to 6.7% countywide while volume increased up to 3.2%, according to Lawton. In spite of this increase, Washoe County gaming revenues are still down 27.2% for Q32020.
Caesars Entertainments, who operate three out of four major casino properties, situated in South Lake Tahoe recorded revenue of $24.8 million, compared to $18.2 million a year ago. Lawton further added that a 40.9% increase in slot machine revenues was a solid contributing factor. Table games were also a contributing factor as they generated an increase of 22.6%, which included an 83.4% increase in blackjack revenues.
Furthermore, Nevada recorded their fourth-highest all time wagering total in sportsbook during September. Unfortunately, the sports bettors had a much stronger win percentage and therefore revenues still fell short by 36.8%.
Sports betting recorded revenues of $32.9 million, a decrease of 36.8% while the total amount wagered of $575.2 million adds to a 5.3% increase.
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