Nevada Casino Revenue Falls 45.6% in June Despite Reopening

  • June casino gaming revenue in Nevada was $566.8m on total handle of $8.02bn
  • June was the first month in almost seven years that sportsbooks took a loss
  • More than 70% of the total gaming revenue came from slot machines
Las Vegas Strip at night
Nevada’s casino revenue fell by 45.6% year-on-year in June, the first month casinos could reopen after the March shutdowns. [Image: Shutterstock.com]

Back to business

While Nevada casinos were able to reopen on June 4, the month’s casino revenue was still down 45.6% year-on-year.

In total, casino revenue of $566.8m was generated from $8.02bn worth of bets. The handle figure was down 31.4% year-on-year. June also was the first time sportsbooks experienced a monthly loss in nearly seven years. Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip, in particular, had a poor month, with revenue of $238.3m, a drop of 58.5%.

Table games revenue was down 57.3% to $172.7m.

Over 70% of the total revenue – $7.04bn – came from slot machines. Table games revenue was down 57.3% to $172.7m.

The most popular table game was blackjack, generating $54.5m in revenue, a 39.5% plunge. Baccarat had been the table game revenue leader when the casinos were fully functioning, but it slipped in the rankings with $16.5m in revenue generated in June. Craps was next on the list, followed by roulette. Texas Hold’em poker saw a 43.5% revenue drop.

Sportsbook losses

Full sports betting results were published for the first time since March. The specific figures for April and May were redacted as the authorities did not want to disclose exactly how much money was collected through online poker. The only online poker operator in Nevada is Caesars Entertainment’s WSOP.com brand. The Nevada Gaming Control Board is not legally able to disclose figures coming from just a single operator. Online poker revenue would be obvious if sports betting numbers were deducted from total revenue, hence the redactions.

In total, there were $77.9m sports bets placed in June, a drop of 75.9% year-on-year. The sportsbooks lost $483,000 to bettors during the month, the first loss for the state’s sportsbooks since July 2013. The main reason for the loss was retail sportsbooks having to pay winning bets from the previous couple of months when the casinos were closed. For example, sportsbooks lost $5.3m on NFL Draft bets from April, some of which still needed to be paid out.

Of the total handle, 79% was placed through mobile sportsbooks.

Pandemic in Nevada

Casinos in Nevada were shut down in the middle of March; most are now open again with significant restrictions in place. Everyone on the casino floor has to wear a mask and health protocols and social distancing, including limits on how many people are able to sit at a table, are in effect. Tourism levels are still down, sinking hotel room rates. One casino was even giving away flights to bring in customers.

There have been concerns about rising numbers of coronavirus cases in the state. Four counties still have restrictions in place. Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak is planning to outline a new set of long-term mitigation measures for the Silver State in the coming week. To date, there have been over 44,990 confirmed cases of COVID-19 in Nevada, with 760 deaths.