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Covid-19 cuts into Nevada gaming revenue in March


The closure of Nevada’s casinos from 17 March as a result of the novel coronavirus (Covid-19) pandemic has resulted in gaming revenue falling 39.6% year-on-year, with the state’s sportsbooks hit especially hard. 

Total revenue fell to $618.1m, down from $1.02bn in March 2019, and bringing to an end a run of three consecutive months in which revenue has topped $1bn. 

The state’s sports betting market was hit especially hard, after the National Basketball Association, Major League Baseball and Major League Soccer suspended fixtures from 12 March, with the National Hockey League following a day later.

The vertical saw handle drop 76.3% to $141.2m, of which $88.9m came from betting on mobile devices. 

While mobile contributed revenue of $3.8m, this was wiped out by losses of $5.3m on football, and while this was offset by a $5.9m contribution from basketball, total sports betting revenue plummeted 95.5% year-on-year. 

March may have been a particularly difficult month for Nevada’s sportsbooks, but the decline for table, counter and card games – including sports – was less pronounced, with revenue falling 57.0% to $149.5m. 

Slot machines, meanwhile, saw revenue decline 30.6% to $468.7m. 

The Las Vegas Strip saw revenue fall 45.7% year-on-year to $299.9m, which broke down to $114.9m for table, counter and card games – down 55.5% – with slot revenue declining 37.1% to $185.0m. 

While exact plans are yet to be determined for the reopening of the state’s casinos, discussions are underway between operators and the Nevada Gambling Control Board. Measures such as restricting occupancy of venues to allow for social distancing to be maintained have been mooted in local media.