The closure of land-based casinos and a continued limited selection of sports continued to hit gaming in Nevada throughout May.
Year-on-year gaming revenue plummeted by 99.4%, totaling $5.8 million. This was, however, an increase on April’s $3.6 million figure.
Brick-and-mortar outlets were allowed to reopen from the beginning of June, albeit at a limited capacity and with other safety measures implemented.
Venues’ closure during May meant that Nevadan players only had access to mobile sports betting and poker, plus some land-based slot machines.
Year-on-year revenue drops, but gaming in Nevada shows signs of recovery
The majority of May’s revenue – $5.6 million of it, in fact – came from online betting and poker. This represented a 56.4% rise on April’s figures.
Meanwhile, slot machines in the state brought in $220,000 for operators. This was also better than April’s total, which stood at just $79,000. However, it was also 99.7% lower than what they had brought in over the course of May 2019.
Last May, operators in Nevada had brought in a total of $981.8 million between them.
Nevada casinos allowed to reopen; regulations updated regularly
Since casinos in the original US home of gambling reopened last month, regulations have changed twice. Since June 18th, wearing face masks has been obligatory for everybody while at gaming tables.
Some operators, such as Caesars and MGM, have made it mandatory to wear face masks at all of their venues anyway.
Land-based operators are still operating at just half of their usual capacity, as has been the case ever since they were allowed to reopen.
Cashless gambling coming to casinos in Nevada?
Across the US, casinos are doing what they can to limit physical contact as much as possible. This includes technological innovations such as digital menus.
And some have hinted that cashless payments might improve safety measures further. Some stores in the UK are making card payments mandatory, while this is also being encouraged in cash-loving Germany.
An article published by the Wall Street Journal has suggested that Nevada – especially Las Vegas – might soon move down this path.
“The Nevada Gaming Commission, which oversees casinos, on Thursday approved rule changes that clear the way for wider use of cashless wagering in casinos. The American Gaming Association, an industry trade group, this month gave state and tribal regulators a list of priorities for modernizing payment systems.
“Cashless payments through mobile phones and digital wallets – paying for poker chips or slot-machine credits like a cup of coffee from Starbucks – would bring brick-and-mortar casinos more in line with modern life.”
COVID-19 still causing problems in Nevada
As of this Tuesday (June 29th), coronavirus-related hospitalizations in the Silver State had risen for the eighth consecutive day. Moreover, that day’s figure of 407 was higher than the previous record of 376 in March.
According to data shared in an article published by 3 News Las Vegas, Nevada has the highest COVID-19 transmission rate in the US.
One problem for Nevada could be that the virus spreads quicker indoors. In July, the outdoor day temperature in Las Vegas can reach and exceed 102 degrees regularly. As such, staying away from air conditioning and outside for extended periods is both near-impossible and poses other health risks.
18,456 cases have been reported in the state of just over three million people. 506 deaths have been linked to the virus.