Last month reportedly saw an aggregated drop in the number of patrons visiting casinos across the United States although this slump could be short-lived as the prevalence of the omicron variant of coronavirus continues to decline.

According to a Monday report from CDC Gaming Reports, foot traffic at American casinos in January was down by 2% when compared with the previous month and 33% lower than the comparable period in pre-pandemic 2019. However, David Katz from American brokerage Jefferies Financial Group Incorporated purportedly declared that he is adopting a ‘broader bullish stance’ and believes ‘a second leg of recovery for consumer demand’ is on the horizon.

Vexed Vegas:

Katz reportedly explained that January foot traffic at casinos in Las Vegas was down by 8% month-on-month, which reflected seasonality and the impacts of the omicron variant, while venues in Reno had suffered through a 2.8% depression. Nevertheless, the analyst purportedly disclosed that properties in the fellow Nevada communities of Laughlin and Lake Tahoe had last month enjoyed analogous swells of 24% and 13.9% respectively although these comparisons were likely colored by severely low December comparables.

Reportedly read a statement from Katz…

The omicron strain of coronavirus likely hampered foot traffic in early January as consumer sentiment may have temporarily declined in the near term. But with declining cases, we expect trends to improve through 2022. Although 2021 attendance was meaningfully lower than 2019, we continue to believe there remains a second leg of recovery for consumer demand, which supports our broader bullish stance on casinos.”

Regional reversals:

Elsewhere and Katz reportedly divulged that January foot traffic at the three casinos in the Michigan city of Detroit descended by 5.6% month-on-month and 42.5% year-on-year while aggregated gaming revenues from facilities in the states of Illinois and Ohio posted double-digit dips when compared with December. Although several openings may have skewed results, the source asserted that gambling venues in the southern state of Kentucky nonetheless purportedly chalked up a 27.5% plunge in overall visitation for 2021 followed by an uptick of 5.5% for last month.

Katz reportedly stated…

“Lastly, we highlight Black Hawk, Colorado, which saw its $100 bet limit removed on May 1 of last year and the significant addition of lodging and gaming capacity by Monarch Casino Resort Spa Black Hawk. In January, Black Hawk’s traffic volume was down 41.6% from 2019 and 3.7% lower from December.”

Considerable consolation:

Turning his attention to investor issues and Katz reportedly noted that operators Penn National Gaming Incorporated and Boyd Gaming Corporation both recently saw their regional markets perform well despite seasonal weakness. He purportedly went on to pronounce that the casino market in Las Vegas is ‘more sensitive to omicron’ and the lack of a robust first-quarter convention schedule.

The statement from Katz reportedly read…

“Some omicron impacts started in mid-December but business largely recovered by the end of January. Margins are slightly weaker versus second-quarter and third-quarter but still elevated versus pre-coronavirus and should be sustainable going forward.”