Casinos in Nevada took a heavy blow when it came to gaming revenue in December 2020. The only vertical growth that posted year-on-year improvement was sports betting.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board released the updated numbers last Thursday, showing some of the stats and figures for the past month. This clearly showed that the overall gaming revenue in December has significantly declined compared to the past year.
The reported revenue was $683.7 million, which is an entire 35.3% less compared to the same period last year. Moreover, that is a total of $87.5 million less than the November 2020 revenue. The last time that the state had had such a low monthly total was all the way back in August of 1997. In other words, the casino industry in the state of Nevada has hit a record low in the past 20+ years.
The NGCB’s figures were affected by the fact that all casinos had to operate at a limited and reduced capacity. Governor Steve Sisolak made a decision in November that all casinos must operate at just 25% of their full capacity. This decision was made after the coronavirus pandemic started taking its toll in the US and did not show signs of stopping during the holiday season.
The limitations mainly affected the casinos located on the Las Vegas Strip. The gaming revenue of all casinos in that area dropped by more than a half, as they reported total revenue of $292 million. On the other hand, casinos in Downtown Las Vegas displayed a somewhat milder drop of 28%, earning a total of $45.5 million.
Slot machines in land-based properties around Nevada earned a total of $459 million, which is 33% less compared to the same period last year. Moreover, table, counter, and card games in the Silver State earned a total of just $224.7 million, which is around 37% less year-on-year.
Every single game that belongs to that category experienced a huge decline in comparison to the previous years. Baccarat reported a decline of 17%, earning $63.2 million, and blackjack declined significantly by as much as 54.9%, earning just $48.4 million in revenue. Finally, roulette’s revenue also drastically declined by 42.4% as the popular table game earned $14.8 million.
The only thing that kept Nevada’s casinos afloat were sportsbooks as sports betting becomes increasingly popular, which made a December revenue increase of 11.7% year-on-year, earning a total of $40.6 million. On the other hand, there was a huge decline compared to November 2020, as the reported revenue back then was $61.8 million. Football was the most popular sport, as sportsbooks earned a total of $25.9 million, with basketball coming in second to the NFL for $12.7 million. Parlay cards earned a total of $2.6 million.
Statewide gaming revenue in Nevada for the whole of 2020 was $7.87 billion, which is approximately 33% less than in 2019, when casinos earned about $12 billion. This was also the lowest annual income reported since 1999. Largely due to casinos in Nevada having to close their doors completely for more than 78 days after the worldwide Covid-19 pandemic was proclaimed. Ultimately impacting the necessary foot traffic that normally drives the land-based gaming industry experience.