The Nevada Gaming Control Board released August revenue totals for the casino industry this week, showing a drop in 22.1% for the market when compared to the same month in 2019. While the yearly total dropped, the month to month comparison stayed almost the same. In August 2019, $953.6 million was generated while the industry earned $743 million last month.
Coronavirus Still Affecting the Industry
The casino industry of Nevada is still being affected by the shutdown when the coronavirus first became an issue as well as now, with operators trying to get back to normal. Casinos were closed for 78 days and are back at work now, operating at a lower capacity and under state-mandated protocols for the health and safety of employees and guests.
The Strip is taking the hardest hit thus far, having seen gaming revenues drop 39.2% in August. Casinos in this location only earned $317.3 million. The decline is better when compared to June, when the Strip saw a 61% drop but still at the same level as July, showing no sign of gaining ground. The area actually counted for just over 97% of the total decline for the state last month.
Visitor Numbers Are Down
Las Vegas relies heavily on travel from outside the state each year. With airline travel declining due to the virus, visitation in Sin City has dropped dramatically and continues to be low at this time. There are also restrictions on crowd size when it comes to gatherings that have stopped conventions from taking place as well as live entertainment such as concerts.
Chad Beynon, a gaming analyst for Macquarie Securities, commented on the travel issue by stating that Las Vegas has turned into a super-regional market instead of a destination market due to the lack of convention and airlift business.
Earlier this week, Governor Steve Sisolak said that the 50 person cap on gatherings will be lifted later on Thursday. This will be the first step in getting events back on track, including conventions, sports, tradeshows, etc.
According to the state guidelines, venues that can hold over 2,500 people can provide operational plans to the state at 10% capacity. Smaller venues will be allowed to host up to 250 people.