Predictably, April turned out to be one of the worst months for Nevada casinos in the history of the Silver State. Casinos experienced a 99.61 percent drop year-over-year and reported just $3.65 million worth of revenue in April, according to numbers released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
The entire brick-and-mortar gambling industry was shut down for the entire month in response to the COVID-19 pandemic that caused Gov. Steve Sisolak to declare a state of emergency in mid-March and shut down all ‘nonessential business.’
The only revenue generated from Nevada gaming entities came from online gambling, which is limited to poker and sports betting. Sports betting requires in-person registration in Nevada, so anyone that didn’t have a valid account by the time casinos were closed in mid-March, were out of luck for the limited amount of sports betting available.
South Point Casino launched a sports betting app in May, allowing for drive-thru registration and deposits, but as far as April goes, sports betting was limited to those with existing accounts.
Other casino games such as blackjack and roulette are not offered online in Nevada. Those offerings are available online in New Jersey, however, which netted $82.6 million in revenue from its online-only operations in April, including online poker all-time highs. It was still a big dropoff from the nine-figures New Jersey operators have become accustomed to, but pales in comparison the decline Nevada saw.
With online poker making up nearly the entire monthly revenue, Caesars’ Las Vegas Strip properties were virtually the only casinos to report any revenue since Caesars owns the only online poker room in Nevada.
Other areas of the state actually posted negative revenue after delayed payouts from futures sports bets. Outside of Las Vegas, nearly every area experienced more than a 100 percent drop with North Lake Tahoe had it slightly worse than the rest of the state with a 100.28 percent fall from April 2019.
Elko County and the Carson Valley area were the only non-Las Vegas areas to post any revenue at all. With the entire industry closed for all May, revenue is expected to be similarly disastrous. But many Nevada Casinos will open on June 4, after Sisolak announced he would reopen the gaming industry on that date, with many social distancing restrictions in place.
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