Even though it seems that the gambling industry is crashing due to Covid-19 related limits and shutdowns, there is still some good news coming from Nevada. Even though the casino gaming revenue dropped significantly, the licensed sports betting operators in the state were still able to report a record performance.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board released figures on Tuesday, stating that the casino gaming revenue for November 2020 was about $771.2 million. Compared to the same month last year, there’s a 17.8% decline. Moreover, the revenue also declined by about $50 million when compared to October 2020.
However, everybody expected this decline to happen as it followed the decision of Governor Steve Sisolak to limit the operating capacity of casinos in the state to just 25%. These restrictions were planned to last just a couple of weeks, but Sisolak decided to extend them to January 15 as the infection rate in Nevada didn’t show signs of slowing down.
The place that took the hardest blow was The Las Vegas Strip, which reported revenue of $349.8 million for November, which is more than 30% less compared to the same month last year. Other regions also reported a decline, except Downtown Las Vegas. That part of the city isn’t reliant so much on out-of-state customers and actually managed to report a slight increase of 1.7%. The main reason for this increase is the new property that opened its doors in the area — Circa. The total amount of money earned by casinos in Downtown Las Vegas during November is $53 million.
Slot revenue declined by 14.3% statewide in November, and table, counter, and card games reported a decline of 24.4%.
The only gambling category that actually reported an increase was sports betting, and sportsbook operators indeed have a reason to smile, as the reported revenue basically doubled year-on-year in November.
Sportsbooks earned a total of $61.8 million, which is higher than any table game in Nevada. The win rate was 10.1% and football recorded in the betting handle of $502 million. Most of the revenue was from football — a total of $55.9 million. This happened thanks to the November calendar that had five Sundays, meaning one more day of football action.
However, the overall betting handle in November didn’t set a record. The reported handle was $609.6 million, which is almost $50 million less compared to the record set in October 2020. One of the reasons why other sports performed so poorly in November 2020 was that there were no major leagues, especially for NBA and NHL (they were postponed for December due to Covid-19).
Nevada once again failed to compete with New Jersey in terms of betting handle, as NJ’s bettors made a total handle of $931.6 million, which seems unreachable by Nevada sportsbooks at the moment. Nevertheless, any kind of improvement is better than no improvement at all.