The bounce back from the pandemic has continued in Nevada where, driven by locals casinos and a record slot haul, state casinos generated revenues of more than $1bn for the fourth consecutive month in June. They generated more than in 2019 before the pandemic and narrowly missed out on surpassing the best ever month in May. The Las Vegas Strip was the only market not to show growth.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board said casinos generated $1.19bn in June, more than double the $567m reported in the same month of 2020, and more than the $1.04bn generated in June 2019.
Michael Lawton, senior analyst with the Nevada Gaming Control Board, said: “Every market increased over June 2019 with the exception of the Las Vegas Strip. The Strip was down compared with June 2019, but it had an incredibly strong comeback for the quarter—the third best quarter for the strip.”
The Strip still accounted for more than half of all casino winnings statewide but was one per cent down.
Across the state, slot machines generated $868m in June, breaking the previous record set in October 2007, and sports betting win and volume were better than any June in state history with $315m spent on sports. Mobile betting generated 58 per cent of the total.
The reinstatement of the need to wear masks, which was relaxed in mid-May, hasn’t been welcomed by casino operators.
MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle said: “This is another disheartening step backward, when we should be focusing on continuing our recovery. In addition to the heart-wrenching thought of more illness and death, I fear that progressively more restrictive measures, including a return to social distancing and capacity restrictions, could be around the corner if we continue on this path. This would be a significant blow to our community, industry and economy.”
“Our region’s low vaccination rate is putting us back on the path to overrun hospitals, unnecessary deaths, fewer tourists and possible furloughs and layoffs”, he added. “None of us want that. After the pain endured by so many these past 16 months – and the tremendous progress we made in 2021 – I can think of no more damaging scenario for us as a community.”