The August numbers are in, and the casino industry in Las Vegas has yet to get back to where it was a year ago. Even though the gross gaming revenue has climbed significantly since casinos were allowed to reopen in June, the industry is still struggling.
The Las Vegas Strip posted a gross gaming revenue of $317.3 million during the month of August, which was actually a small decrease from July. The casinos in Las Vegas brought in $330 million in July, which was 3.8 percent more than the August totals.
Even worse for the casinos is that the August gross gaming revenue numbers represent a 39 percent decrease year-over-year. The summer months are usually some of the biggest of the year in Las Vegas, but that is no longer the case.
Slot machines represented the highest amount of winning, bringing in $173.8 million. Table games and sports betting on the Las Vegas Strip brought in $143.5 million.
Nevada sportsbooks brought in over $475 million in bets during the month of August as that industry has gotten back on track in a hurry. Those numbers are still well below the figures reported from New Jersey, but that state thrives on a much bigger mobile industry.
The entire state of Nevada reported a gross gaming revenue of $743 million, which was 22 percent lower than what was reported in August 2019. Nevada saw just a 1.8 percent loss in total gross gaming revenue.
Tourism Has Yet to Recover
One of the biggest reasons for the low gross gaming revenue numbers is that the entire tourism industry has yet to fully recover. Visitors have mostly stayed away from Las Vegas, as it was a hotspot for COVID-19 during the first few months of the pandemic.
Governor Steve Sisolak has also placed some strict limitations on leisure activities in the state, and that includes setting capacity limits at casinos and sportsbooks. Hotels have had to turn guests away, and numerous conventions have been cancelled.
Sisolak has given the tourism industry a break as he has started to loosen some of these restrictions this week. Starting on October 1, the 50-person limit on indoor gatherings will be lifted, which should provide a boost to the tourism numbers.
The governor has also urged companies to keep conventions within the state of Nevada and not look for other options. Las Vegas is also hoping to attract company conventions from other states now that these restrictions have been lifted.
The new restrictions still place a limit of up to 250 people in place, but that is five times the number of the previous limit. Sisolak will keep a close eye on positive COVID-19 numbers before determining if those restrictions can be loosened once again.
Not All Properties Open
Even though Governor Sisolak allowed casinos to start reopening in the first part of June, some of the properties in Sin City remain closed. Some casino companies have struggled to implement the new health and safety protocols, and they have decided to remain shut down.
The properties that are still closed as of the end of September are: Cromwell, Oyo, Palms, Planet Hollywood, and Rio. It’s unclear when these sites will decide to open their doors as an official announcement has not been made.
ParkMGM is the most recent casino property to open in Las Vegas, and it also became the first property to prohibit smoking. The Mirage and Tropicana have both reopened since August 27, and these are two of the most popular properties in the city.