Gaming win down 22 percent in August as major Nevada markets struggle

While Nevada’s major gaming markets continue to struggle, smaller, primarily local markets are doing better and are at or above what they were a year ago before the pandemic shut down the economy.

Still hardest hit is the Las Vegas Strip which finished August at 39.2 percent or $317.3 million below what it was a year ago. The problem is the half-dozen major Strip resorts still closed including Park MGM, Planet Hollywood, the Rio and Tropicana.

Clark County as a whole was down 25 percent, clearly accounting for the 22 percent decline statewide. Total gaming win for the month was $743 million.

But the primarily local markets, balance of county casinos in Clark, Washoe and Elko, were actually up — 1.6 percent, 6.5 percent and 7.3 percent respectively.

The Carson Valley area, which includes valley casinos in Douglas County, was up a bit — six tenths of a percent to $9.3 million or $60,000.

In Carson Valley, pretty much everything except multi-denominational slot play was down. But that category was up more than 26 percent, accounting for $5.9 million of the total win. That increase more than offset the 34 percent, $148,000 decrease in games win.

South Shore Casinos at Tahoe were still down, reporting $21.9 million total win for a 7.6 percent decrease compared to August 2019. Table game play was up substantially — 26 percent to $6.5 million. But slot play was down more than 17 percent to $15.3 million.

The increase in games win was attributed to the “Other Games “category — the small market euphemism for Baccarat play. That category was up nearly 207 percent or $975,000 primarily because the percent casinos held was over 24 percent compared to 9 percent a year ago.

At the other end of the lake, North Shore casinos at Crystal Bay reported just $2.3 million in win. That is 14 percent or $376,000 less than a year ago. Game and table win was actually up six tenths of a percent to $537,000. But the majority of north shore win comes from slots, which were down 17.6 percent to $1.77 million.

Washoe County overall was down 12 percent to $76.3 million for August. The majority of the problem was in Reno itself where total win was $55 million, a 14.8 percent decrease. Sparks was also down but only by 6.7 percent.

In Churchill County, total win was $1.7 million. That is a 4 percent decrease from a year ago. The problem was the 78 percent decrease in game and table win — $413,000 in all. But slot win was also down a bit — 1.47 percent.

While struggling overall, Clark County did have some bright spots. Mesquite was up 9.48 percent to $10.6 million and the Boulder Strip was up 29.6 percent to $70.9 million. Both are primarily locals markets.

In Elko County, Wendover, which depends primarily on visitors from Utah, was down 8.3 percent to $17.2 million. The “balance of county” which includes the city of Elko — again primarily local — was up 7.3 percent to $8.7 million. Total win was $25.9 million there.

Finally, sports pool win was down 9.3 percent or $1.7 million for the month. The total amount wagered was actually up 65 percent but the amount books held was cut nearly in half to just 3.56 percent. Notably, almost two thirds of bets were made on mobile apps.


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