The land-based gambling industry is trying to cope with the biggest blow in decades. Around the world, casinos and betting shops are struggling to retain their customers who are migrating in larger numbers than before to online operators. The strict measures imposed by governments have only amplified the pain suffered by brick-and-mortar casinos, including Las Vegas once. Sin City is one of the few places where people still go in large numbers to avoid the thrills of land-based gambling. Even this booming casino hub in the Nevada desert is reeling as the gaming revenue has plummeted in May.
Storm clouds are gathering in Las Vegas
April was nothing short of catastrophic for the land-based gaming industry, but there were hopes that May would be slightly better. Unfortunately for Las Vegas casinos, the Covid 19 shutdown crippled their revenues and the future doesn’t look much better. The numbers released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board for May are catastrophic and casinos are digging deep in their pockets. There were instances in which they had to pay more than they made, so their reserves are dwindling.
Nevada central economic engine has virtually shut down and the Silver State is feeling the aftershock. To put things into perspective, the statewide total win of less than $6 million represents a job of more than 99% compared to the number posted last year. These figures are simply not sustainable and unless things take a turn for the better, some casinos are likely to go bankrupt. The fact that casinos generated slightly more money in May compared to April is only a pale consolation if we look at the bigger picture.
2020 could be the worst year in decades
One would have to look back decades to find a year comparable to 2020. Things are bad across the state not only in Las Vegas according to FruityKing.co.uk, with Reno casinos also paying less than $100,000 in May. The numbers are bad overall, with the gambling revenue generating less than 50% statewide in 2020, compared to the previous year. The fact that they generated revenue altogether is a bit surprising since casinos had to shut down there doors, just like all the other nonessential businesses. It was mobile sports betting and interactive poker that produced this tiny influx of capital, so at least Nevada collected some gambling taxes after all.
Casinos have opened their doors in June and more are expected to follow suit in July, but nobody expects a meteoric growth. Las Vegas businesses are also losing money, since the number of visitors plummeted and few people choose to travel to Nevada for entertainment. The number of tourists shrunk by 95% and the total occupancy of Las Vegas hotels followed a similar trajectory. Not surprisingly, they tried to look more attractive by decreasing the daily room rate by more than 60%, but this didn’t change much.