Although it represented a sizable year-on-year decline, month-on-month gaming revenue in Nevada grew by just over a third last month.
Sports betting was a particular high point, with revenue somewhat recovering thanks to the return of many major US sports to the calendar.
Players in the state reflected this, with sports betting handle more-than-doubling what had been placed over the course of June.
Slots were another big source of income for the state’s gaming industry, which again was higher than in June but also lower than July 2020.
A market on the way back up?
Regulated gaming revenue across all verticals and platforms in Nevada last month stood at $756.8 million. This was 33.5% more than had been the case in June, but 26.1% lower than in the same month last year. However, there’s the obvious thing to point out that Nevada (or the world for that matter) wasn’t on the receiving end of a global pandemic last year.
Of the Battle Born State’s overall gaming revenue in July, $210.4 million was derived from table, counter and card games. This represented an annual drop of 35.9%. Baccarat was the most profitable game in this category, generating $59.6 million. That was 27.7% lower than in July 2019, but 22.5% higher than had been the case in June.
Blackjack, which had been top in terms of revenue from table, card and counter games both in June 2020 and July 2019, was subsequently knocked from its perch. This game brought in $53.9 million for Nevadan operators.
Slots continued to be vital for Nevada’s gambling industry. Revenue from these machines stood at $546.4 million in July, which was 21.5% lower than had been the case in July 2019. But again, it was higher than June 2020 – 38.6% higher, in fact.
The Las Vegas Strip once again demonstrated its importance for the Nevadan economy. Operators based here generated $330.1 million between them, which was 43.6% of the state’s overall revenue share in gambling. Including Las Vegas, the whole wider Clark County Area contributed $612.9 million in gaming revenue last month.
Sports betting and horse racing showing positive signs
Nevadan sportsbooks generated $6.3 million collectively, which was higher than the loss of $483,000 they suffered in June – their first monthly loss in almost seven years. They made less than had been the case last July, when they brought in $10.5 million, but it’s still a clear improvement.
Sports bettors wagered $163.5 million across the entirety of last month, which was much higher than the $77.9 million that they had done in June. Over half of July’s handle – $112.9 million, to be precise – was placed via mobile devices. $65.4 million of overall stakes came within baseball, which returned to the calendar towards the end of the month. Operators made $4.4 million in this sport alone.
Horse racing was one vertical where revenue actually went up year-on-year. The $3.1 million generated in this respect was slightly higher than what operators had brought in during July 2019.
What next for Nevada’s gambling industry?
That’s anybody’s guess. At the moment, Nevada’s daily positivity rate for COVID-19 testing is 11.1%. The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that the rate remains at 5% or lower for at least 14 days before reopening businesses; the rate in Clark County on June 4th, when casinos began welcoming back customers, was 4.9%.
In recent weeks, it has been suggested that tourists visiting Vegas could be a contributing factor in the spread of coronavirus. According to an article recently published by the Reno Gazette-Journal, ProPublica has been told by six health experts that casinos are high-risk areas for COVID-19.
Casinos are currently operating at a limited capacity, with various other safety measures also needing to be adhered to.