Nevada Gaming Revenue Hits a Low In August

By Ben Hamill - October 04 2018
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Nevada Gaming

The absence of the Money Fight in August meant fewer visitors to Nevada, and with those smaller numbers came the state’s weakest numbers this year. The state’s total gaming win dropped 7.7% from $989.5m to $913m year-on-year.

The casinos on the Las Vegas Strip saw revenue tumble by 12.4% to $477.9m, while racebook pari mutuel was down 3.8% to $3.5m. The lack of headline events was particularly evident in year’s sports pool win, which plunged almost 63% to a mere $12.6m.

Disappointed But Not Surprised

To state gambling control board senior research analyst Michael Lawton, Nevada’s soft August figures were disappointing, but they were to be expected. Furthermore, he hopes the downward trend is short-term, and limited to the third quarter.

According to Lawton, last year’s leap in the numbers was driven mostly by the Mayweather-McGregor fight. The observation was one shared by Caesars Entertainment Corporation and MGM Resorts, whose executives also blamed poor conference attendance figures for the revenue drop.

New Challenges for Nevada

Champion fighters doing other things in other places has not been the only challenge faced by the state’s gambling dens. In addition to online casinos continuing their encroachment on an industry Vegas has dominated for decades, the Supreme Court overturned PASPA.

Gaming and sports betting providers and operators barely waited for the ink to dry before offering their services and products to bettors in other states. Because of it, Sin City’s Blackjack revenues fell 25.7% to $80.5m, Roulette was down 18.5% to $22.2m, and slots dropped by 1% to $618.3m.

As disappointing as these numbers must be for Nevada’s gambling executives, the overall trend this year has been positive. Elsewhere, gaming revenues are on the rise.

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A Thriving Industry Elsewhere

Atlantic City, as well as Springfield, Massachusetts, both saw new casinos open recently, and online operators have reported satisfactory, if not stellar, figures in Q2 – especially if they are new to the US market, as in the case of 888 Holdings, whose drop in UK revenues was offset by increases in new markets.

Todd Eilers of research company Eilers & Krejcik Gaming thinks that, by 2021, New Jersey will be the biggest sports betting market in the US, far surpassing that of Nevada. In fact, the researcher went as far as to say the former would see a yield of $442m as opposed to its current $35m, while the latter would see a less-dramatic increase from $279m to $410m.

Sin City’s bigwigs are at a crossroads. They can ignore the diverse, growing US market around them and carry on regardless, or they need to find innovative ways to diversify their offerings. Either way, they cannot rely on conferences and Money Fights to sustain what was, because that status quo is no more.

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