Nevada casinos predictably experienced a second straight month with revenues at all-time lows in May as the state completed its second full month of a brick-and-mortar gaming shutdown in response to the outbreak of coronavirus.
According to figures released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, Silver State casinos won $5.8 million in May. The numbers represent a 99.4 percent year-over-year drop from May 2019. In April, the first full month of the coronavirus-induced gaming shutdown saw Silver State casinos pull in $3.6 million.
The only sources of revenue for May stemmed from online poker and sports betting. In Nevada, online sports betting requires in-person registration which stifled the limited sports betting available in April. In May, however, South Point Casino introduced drive-thru registration for its sports betting app, which helped spark the small increase from April.
The ability to register for a sports betting app coupled with the resumption of a handful of sporting events, most notably golf, NASCAR and UFC, can account for the more than $2 million increase in revenue from April.
The Las Vegas Strip, despite being closed for the month, was responsible for $3.77 million of the state’s total revenue. With Caesars Entertainment owning the only online poker client available to Nevadans, it’s likely that’s where the numbers stem from. Since Nevada regulators are not allowed to provide numbers for a single operator, which is the case here, those numbers were redacted in the report.
Downtown Las Vegas reported $1.98 million in total gaming revenue, which represented a 96.38 percent drop. It was the smallest percentage decline of any area in the state.
Elko County experienced a 100 percent retrace, while Reno, Laughlin and North Lake Tahoe saw drops of slightly more than 100 percent.
Nevada casinos reopened June 4 with social distancing guidelines in place to ensure the safety of staff and guests.