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State gaming win improves, but still down by 26.2% in July

Updated August 26, 2020 - 10:51 am

Casino gaming win continued to improve in July, but still lagged last year’s win totals by double-digit percentages, the Nevada Gaming Control Board said Wednesday.

Statewide, the more than 400 licensed casinos won $756.8 million, a 26.2 percent decline from win in July 2019 as effects of the coronavirus pandemic continue to plague the state’s leading industry.

Las Vegas Strip win was off 39.2 percent to $330.1 million, the second-worst percentage decline among 19 markets monitored by the state.

Downtown Las Vegas win was down 20.6 percent to $41.7 million. Clark County was off 28.8 percent to $612.9 million.

While declines are still in double-digit percentages, the month-to-month changes have gotten better since casinos were closed for 78 days beginning in March.

With win down 99.6 percent in April and 99.4 percent in May — months when everything was shuttered — it rebounded to being down 45.5 percent in June.

Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Control Board, said the improvement was due to three additional Strip properties resuming operations in July — Aria, Mandalay Bay and Bally’s.

“Sequentially, July 2020 was up 35.5 percent compared to June 2020 which exceeded our expectations,” Lawton said. “The Strip’s decline accounted for $212.7 million of the $268.1 million decrease or 79.3 percent of the decline. This illustrates the challenges this market is facing and will continue to face due to limited air travel, no midweek convention business and the lack of large-scale events and entertainment options.”

In a note to investors, gaming industry analyst Joe Greff of J.P. Morgan, New York, said the locals markets are recovering faster than the Strip and it’s all about the limited amenities and the requirement to operate at 50 percent of capacity.

“We note that July Las Vegas locals slot win decreased 8.8 percent, year over year, with handle down 21 percent year over year,” Greff said. “The locals market is exhibiting a faster recovery than the Strip gross gaming revenue, which makes sense given the general Clark County area population and retiree base in the area.”

Table game win declined 36.1 percent, or $210.4 million for the month, Lawton said. Players wagered $1.4 billion, down $912.6 million or 44.5 percent. Casino win percentage was the same this year as it was last year, 14.4 percent.

Baccarat win was down 22.7 percent, or $17.5 million, to $59.6 million for the month, and the win percentage increased to 15 percent from 12 percent a year ago. Baccarat drop — the amount wagered — was down $243.9 million, 38 percent, to $397.3 million.

Sportsbooks won $6.3 million in July, down 40.2 percent, on $163.6 million wagered. Gamblers were more successful, with sports pool hold at 3.8 percent compared with 4.5 percent a year ago.

Sports wagers made with mobile apps won $5.8 million on $112.9 million in wagers, holding 5.14 percent. That write amount accounted for 69 percent of total sports wagers.

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

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