Since the Covid-19 pandemic, wins at the Las Vegas Strip have been poor compared to figures from 2019. However, the October win totals $375 million, the best month since the pandemic.
The Strip’s Gross Gaming Revenue (GGR) for October totalled $375 million. This is the largest after the Governor, Sisolak, ordered the closure of all casinos in the state and allowed them to reopen in early June under strict laws and safety measures. Compared to October 2019, it is still a 30% drop in gaming win but this score shows signs of improvement for the gaming industry in what has been an unusual and difficult year.
The casino house statewide winnings stand at $827.7 million; a 19.5% drop compared to October 2019, as stated by the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Then, casino winnings were more than $1 billion.
Las Vegas has it tougher as there has been limited air travel, lack of mid-week convention business, and an absolute absence of arena events and entertainment options. Being a tourist city, these activities are what the casinos in Las Vegas thrive on. The Las Vegas Strip is down 43.6% in the casino win index for the calendar year.
Whatever momentum Las Vegas Strip casinos experienced last month will be halted in its tracks as new rounds of restrictions are being implemented in the state as a result of what seems to be the Covid-19 pandemic second wave. The number of active cases is rising, as well as hospitalization and deaths resulting from the virus. As a result, casinos operating in the state are now required to reduce their capacity limits to 25 percent for the next three weeks. That is half of what was allowed after their reopening earlier in June. Entertainment events could also be canceled since the cap on gathering has been drastically cut-down from 250 to just 50 persons. Concerning convention business, this new rule will not have so much as an effect as it has seemingly been non-existent since mid-march. It was starting to pick up, but this new order will nip it right in the bud.
The Governor, Steve Sisolak, stressed that he was not giving a shutdown order. Instead, his goal is to try to tackle the spread of the virus aggressively, concurrently maintaining some portion of the economy and daily lives of Nevadans. The virtual press conference was held from the home of the Governor as he is also recovering from Covid. Though his case was mild, all safety protocols were followed, and he seems to be recovering speedily.
Brin Gibson, the chairman of the Nevada Gaming Control Board, has said that enforcing this rule will be taken very seriously and that the board will be strict on erring casinos. He said, “The more successfully Nevada mitigates the current spread of Covid-19 over the next several weeks, the more likely we are to experience a complete return to current gaming floor occupancy percentages at that point.”
Las Vegas Mayor, Carolyn Goodman is distraught. She went ahead to label the Governor a “dictator” and warned that these restrictions will be “crushing” to casinos and other businesses in Las Vegas.
Vegas Strip Casino Wins Since February
In February, $596.2 million was recorded as casino wins coming from the Las Vegas Strip. Following the lockdown directive that came in mid-March, the win recorded dropped in March to $299.9 million. April and May recorded the worst figures as both months raked in $3.4 and $3.7 million respectively. Those minuscule numbers were generated by online poker and mobile sports betting as the gaming floors were completely shut down.
The restrictions were relaxed in early June, allowing casinos to reopen. That month brought in $238.3 million in casino wins. Since then, the numbers have continually increased as things were almost getting back to normal. In July, $330 million was recorded. August and September recorded GGR of $317.3 million and $354.7 million respectively.
The continued rise has shown that normalcy is starting to get restored and it will soon be business as usual. However, the new set of restrictions will put a halt to that.
In the region, smaller metered markets also performed well. Washoe County, went up nearly six percent compared to 2019. It reported a GGR of $78.8 million. South Shore Lake Tahoe recorded a GGR of $22.2 million, twelve percent more than what was obtained in 2019. Gaming revenue also went up two percent to $10 million in Carson Valley.