98°F
weather icon Partly Cloudy

With Nevada casinos closed, how much in winnings have disappeared?

Updated April 19, 2020 - 8:07 am

We know it’s bad, but just how much money are the state’s closed casinos losing every day as a result of the coronavirus pandemic?

Based on win data from the state Gaming Control Board, the total ranges from nearly $42,000 a day for each casino in small markets like Mesquite to nearly $700,000 a day at each of the largest Strip properties.

Declines in gaming win represent lost jobs for hundreds of thousands of people and a severe loss of tax revenue that pays for everything from education and health care to parks and police.

Based on calculations of win from slot machines, table games and racebooks and sportsbooks at Nevada’s 457 licensed nonrestricted casinos — properties with more than 15 slot machines — the average amount won between March 1, 2019, and Feb. 29 was $72,435 a day over 366 days.

That amount is only for casino games of chance and doesn’t include revenue from hotel rooms, food and beverage, retail, entertainment and other amenities.

Jeremy Aguero, an economist with Las Vegas-based Applied Analysis, said that on average, Clark County casinos generate 34.3 percent of resort revenue, with 27.2 percent coming from hotel rooms, 17.4 percent from food, 8.4 percent from beverage and 12.7 percent from entertainment, retail and other amenities.

The so-called “burn rate” — the amount calculated that properties lose every day — is much higher and varies from resort to resort because some companies are paying their employees through the closure period while others are paying percentages of paychecks or furloughing workers.

The Control Board gaming win figures are posted on its website monthly and are tabulated by one-month, three-month and 12-month periods.

Gross gaming win is important because the state’s gaming tax is calculated based on a percentage of win, with the largest revenue generators paying 6.75 percent to the state. Smaller operations pay a lower percentage. Gaming tax revenue goes to the state’s general fund to support government functions from schools to public safety.

It’s hard to pinpoint exactly how much casinos are losing in the more than a month they’re going to be closed.

The 12-month win totals offer a snapshot of how much casinos took from gamblers in their various games. The Control Board breaks down win in 19 geographic markets and statewide.

Some of the markets overlap. For example, the Control Board tabulates win in Clark County and further breaks down totals for the Las Vegas Strip, downtown Las Vegas, the Boulder Strip, North Las Vegas, Laughlin, Mesquite and the balance of the county.

In some of those geographic markets, like the Strip, the board totals win for the entire market, properties with more than $1 million in revenue, properties with between $12 million and $36 million in revenue, properties with between $36 million and $72 million in revenue, and properties with more than $72 million in revenue.

The board won’t identify revenue from properties by name, but it will say how many of them are in each category.

For example, on the Strip there are 51 licensees, which won $6.632 billion from players from March 1, 2019, to Feb. 29. That breaks down to $18.1 million per day. That means each of the resorts, on average, won $355,288 a day.

The breakdown of the largest Strip resorts — those that generated $72 million or more monthly — won $6.141 billion, or $16.8 million per day. There are 24 resorts in that category, resulting in an average win of $699,118 per property, per day.

It’s difficult to tabulate how much casinos would have won during the shutdown period. Compared with the previous year, Strip resorts were generating 1.2 percent more win than they had through Feb. 29.

Unlike 2018, Strip resorts enjoyed the massive once-every-three-years arrival of ConExpo-Con/Agg in March, but they missed out on the annual National Association of Broadcasters trade show in April. Both normally bring tens of thousands of people to Las Vegas — many of whom play in the casinos.

The state’s March numbers will be reported by the Control Board in late April, and that’s where the statistical dropoff will begin. Gov. Steve Sisolak ordered all casinos closed on March 17.

The April numbers will be published at the end of May. While many markets could show zero revenue in April, others might have minimal amounts thanks to online sports wagering. The major sports leagues are not playing, but some companies are taking bets on such offbeat sports as pingpong and sumo wrestling.

Contact Richard N. Velotta at rvelotta@reviewjournal.com or 702-477-3893. Follow @RickVelotta on Twitter.

Don't miss the big stories. Like us on Facebook.
Business Videos
Status of renters and homeowners during COVID19 pandemic - Video
Rj reporter Eli Segall discusses how COVID19 is affecting renters and homeowners in Nevada. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Health experts: Smoking in casinos should be banned - Video
Experts say smoking can spread the COVID-19 coronavirus. But not because of airborne particulates. The virus could spread from a smoker’s likely pattern of fingers-to-mouth-to-gaming-device. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Knights’ empathy questioned
A sports talk host called this week a public relations disaster for the Knights and a tourism official said it may shorten the honeymoon period between the team and its devoted fan base.
Chinese visitors in Las Vegas - Video
There were 236,970 visitors from China in Las Vegas in 2018, according to data from the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Resorts World Las Vegas lights up - Video
Construction crews tested exterior lights at Resorts World on the Las Vegas Strip, May 19. (David Guzman/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Station Casinos releases health and safety plan for reopening - Video
Station Casinos rolled out new health and safety protocols Monday morning, May 18, including the use of thermal scanners, testing all employees for COVID-19 and “enhanced cleaning technologies.” (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Maverick Helicopters offers 250 free tours for two - VIDEO
Maverick Helicopters will restart its flights on Friday, according to a news release. To celebrate, Maverick will give away 250 flights for two with its “Our Vegas” promotion. (James Schaffer/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM Resorts to bring back free parking on Las Vegas Strip - VIDEO
MGM Resorts on Monday announced free parking for all guests at its Strip resorts for the foreseeable future. New York-New York and Bellagio are the first announced hotels to reopen for casino business and return to the golden days of no-cost parking.
Laughlin’s iconic Colorado Belle to stay closed indefinitely - VIDEO
The Colorado Belle, an iconic hotel-casino on the Colorado River in Laughlin, will stay closed for the foreseeable future and lay off its 400 workers. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Laughlin’s iconic Colorado Belle to stay closed indefinitely; 400 to lose jobs - VIDEO
The Colorado Belle, an iconic hotel-casino on the Colorado River in Laughlin, will stay closed for the foreseeable future and lay off its 400 workers.
MSG Sphere construction site remains dormant - Video
The MSG Sphere at The Venetian construction site remains sidelined and representatives of MSG Entertainment offered no updates on when workers might return. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Gaming Control Board keeping reopening plans confidential
The state Gaming Control Board requires every licensee, from the megaresorts to the corner gas station convenience store slot machine operators, to submit reopening plans, but they intend to keep them confidential.
Natural turf added to Allegiant Stadium field tray
The massive field tray, which will roll in and out of the stadium, has a fresh layer of natural grass turf for Raiders home games.
Players show up at Gila River Casino in Arizona - Video
Gila River Casino at Wild Horse Pass in Chandler, Arizona, is packed with players on the casino’s reopening day, Friday, May 15, 2020. (Elizabeth BrumleyLas Vegas Review-Journal)
Casinos reopening in Phoenix area - Video
Harrah’s Ak-Chin Casino reopened in Maricopa, Arizona, on Friday, May 15, 2020. It was closed during the government shutdown for coronavirus. (Elizabeth Brumley/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Caesars Entertainment to phase In reopenings - Video
Caesars Entertainment, the operator of Caesars Palace and eight other Las Vegas resorts, on Monday announced it would phase in reopenings with a comprehensive safety and health plan with employees wearing masks across its network of properties. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Nevada Gaming Commission meeting
Full meeting of the Nevada Gaming Commission on Thursday, May 7, 2020.
Sisolak says businesses will begin reopening under phase 1 - VIDEO
The first phase of reopening Nevada’s businesses will begin Saturday, May 9, Gov. Steve Sisolak said Thursday. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Henderson winery reacts to Sisolak's economic plan - VIDEO
Governor Sisolak's reopening plan is easier said than done for the only winery in Clark County. Grape Expectations is trying to figure out how to open up shop when they are three businesses in one. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Southwest requiring face coverings
In an effort to increase safety for passengers and staff during the COVID-19 pandemic, Southwest Airlines is updating protocols that include requiring passengers to wear face coverings beginning May 11.
Locals rush to reopened tennis courts
Daniel Nunez and Sarah Germain made immediate plans to go to their local tennis court, Darling Tennis Center, when they received an email that the facility would open on May 1.
Businesses in Henderson begin reopening - VIDEO
In downtown Henderson and at The District at Green Valley Ranch, small shops are opening their doors for business. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
MGM CEO: Bellagio, New York-New York to reopen first after shutdown - VIDEO
The head of MGM Resorts International isn’t sure when he’ll be able to open properties in Las Vegas, but said Thursday that New York-New York and Bellagio will likely be the first to open their doors. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
New visitation report shows plunging numbers for March
The Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority reported Thursday that convention attendance fell 54.8 percent to 249,800. March normally is one of the city’s strongest months for conventions and trade shows.
US jobless claims climb to 30 million in 6 weeks - VIDEO
The Labor Department released the tally of the most recent jobless claims on Thursday. First-time claims for the week ending on April 25 increased by more than 3.84 million. (Las Vegas Review-Journal)
The Venetian to have EMTs, thermal cameras upon reopening - VIDEO
The hotel-casino operator, Las Vegas Sands Corp., announced updated protocols on April 28 for when its Las Vegas properties reopen, sometime after May 31. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Unions contracts expiring - VIDEO
RJ investigations reporter Arthur Kane and Renee Summerour discuss the uncertainty of union contracts expiring in June, and how the extent of the financial damage from the crisis will make it difficult for unions and governments to negotiate collective bargaining agreements, possibly sending many to arbitration. (Renee Summerour/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Las Vegas Strip hoteliers outline cleaning plans upon reopening - VIDEO
Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak has yet to confirm when casinos will be able to reopen, but operators are already preparing for the day they’ll have to reassure guests their properties are clean and safe amid the virus outbreak. (James Schaeffer / Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Treasure Island plans to reopen May 15 - VIDEO
Treasure Island is planning to open its doors to guests May 15, despite Gov. Steve Sisolak saying Wednesday that gaming shutdowns, currently set to end April 30, will probably be extended an undetermined amount of time. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
Raiders logo goes up on Henderson headquarters - VIDEO
The iconic Raiders emblem gets installed on the team's headquarters and practice facility in Henderson on April 22, 2020. (Michael Quine/Las Vegas Review-Journal)
THE LATEST