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US – Nevada’s October revenues show lowest year-on-year drop since pandemic

By - 25 November 2020

Some good news came out of Nevada’s monthly revenues with October’s 19.5 per cent year-on-year fall in GGR the state’s lowest monthly drop since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic but with two extra weekend days compared to a year ago, the results may be skewed a little.

The state’s casinos generated $822.7m from customers during the month, which compared with more than $1.02bn in October 2019. Table revenue was the highest since the reopenings in June with $256.8m total being just 20.4 per cent less than a year ago. Strip casinos saw baccarat generate revenues of $57.7m, marking an increase of 3.5 per cent despite a fall of 42.7 per cent in actual bets with casinos getting lucky and holding 14.6 per cent of all baccarat bets.

The Strip was the source of 82 per cent of October’s total decrease. Las Vegas Strip saw revenues fell 30.2 per cent in October with Downtown down 22.7 per cent, despite the contribution of Circa, and the Boulder Strip down 25 per cent. Casinos in Washoe County, Reno, North Lake Tahoe and South Lake Tahoe market all experienced increases.

Michael Lawton, Senior Research Analyst for the Control Board, said: “The performance of several markets which showed year-over-year increases was the result of the favorable calendar in addition to the fact that these markets rely on a combination drive-in traffic and local play. The recovery is going to be uneven between markets that rely on local play vs. markets that rely more on destination air travel.”

“The performance of markets in Northern Nevada, in addition to Mesquite and the balance of Clark County, was the result of the favourable calendar and the fact that these markets rely on a combination drive-in traffic and local play. The recovery is going to be uneven between markets that rely on local play versus markets that rely more on destination air travel,” Mr Lawton added.

Wall Street analyst Joe Greff added: “The Las Vegas locals market is exhibiting a faster recovery than the Las Vegas Strip gross gaming revenue, as evident on Boyd Gaming and Red Rock Resorts third-quarter earnings conference calls — which makes sense given the general Clark County area population and retiree base in the area. We continue to prefer Las Vegas locals exposed operators over Las Vegas Strip operators.

Macquarie Securities gaming analyst Chad Beynon said the latest restrictions to limit visitation to 25 per cent of capacity would curb revenues over the next month.

“Gaming revenues should face continued headwinds given the increase in cases in Nevada and heightened restrictions,” he said.

Caesars stated: “Caesars Entertainment remains focused on the well-being of our team members, guests, and the communities we serve. In compliance with the recent directives from Governor Steve Sisolak, we will move to 25% occupancy on our casino floors and in our restaurants and bars at our Nevada properties, effective Tuesday, November 24.

“Our restaurants and bars will remain open. Outlets serving food will require reservations for dine-in and will also continue to provide convenient to-go options. In addition, and as a seamless and contactless alternative to dining in, guests can utilise our expanded mobile ordering service for pick-up or delivery to their hotel rooms at most of our Nevada resorts.

“Along with these changes, we will continue to maintain our best-in-class enhanced health and safety protocols throughout our resorts, including physical distancing practices; daily temperature and health screenings for all team members; temperature checks for all hotel guests; the mandatory requirement of masks, which Caesars makes abundantly available; and hand sanitiser stations throughout all properties.”

MGM Resorts International said: “We are aware of the Governor’s new restrictions, effective Tuesday and in place for three weeks, and are immediately working to adjust our operations to comply. This will clearly have a major impact on entertainment and we are working with our partners to determine the path forward. We will share that information as quickly as possible to minimise guest inconvenience. The health and safety of our employees and guests is our number one priority and we remain committed to the comprehensive plan we have put in place. While we recognise these are challenging times, we are encouraged by positive news of vaccines on the horizon and believe deeply that our resilient community will rebound.”

Caption: Derek Stevens marking Circa’s move in Downtown’s revenue total

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