Tag: Nevadas

With Closed Casinos, Nevada’s March Gaming Revenue Suffered Major Drop

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Last week the Nevada Gaming Control Board reported that the amount of money won by Nevada casinos in March fell by almost 40% compared to the same period last year. Gaming revenue for the state was $618 million in March. That’s a decrease of 39.57% from March of 2019 when casinos won $1.022 billion.

The reason for the huge decrease in gaming revenue for Nevada is the closure of all casinos in the state on March 17 to help slow the spread of coronavirus.

Different drops for different regions

Nevada casinos in different parts of the state have different customers. In fact, even casinos in the Las Vegas area have different gambling guests. The Vegas Strip is dominated by high rollers and large casino corporations. Downtown Las Vegas and the suburban casinos cater to different tourists and local residents.

Not only are there different casino operators but the guests play varying games and have varying budgets. Casinos on the Vegas Strip won $299.9 million from gaming customers in March. That’s a decrease of 45.67% from last year.

Meanwhile, casinos in downtown Las Vegas weren’t hit as hard on a percentage basis. These casinos won $43 million. That’s only a decrease of 25.92% from the previous year.

Nevada sports betting demolished

The amount of money won by Nevada sportsbooks was crushed before casinos were even closed. The NBA suspended its season five days before casinos were told to close their doors. Other major sports, including the NCAA basketball tournament (AKA March Madness), followed the NBA’s lead.

March is chock full of college basketball games for bettors. Between the large volume of college basketball conference tournament games and the 63 games (plus play-in games) during March Madness, Nevada sportsbooks lost one of the largest cash generators of the year. For comparison, the entire NCAA basketball tournament typically sees as much money wagered as the Super Bowl.

Nevada sportsbooks saw a massive 76.3% decrease in its sports betting handle compared to last March. This was the lowest monthly handle for Nevada since 1993. March Madness typically draws less experienced sports bettors which means that sportsbooks typically win more of the wagers placed.

Without March Madness, Nevada sportsbooks only won $1.5 million from $141 million wagered in March. This is a 95.5% drop from a year ago.

April gaming revenue will be much worse

April’s gaming revenue in Nevada will be much worse. While casinos were closed in the middle of March, they’ve remained closed for the entire month of April. Additionally, video poker and slot machines in bars, taverns, supermarkets, and gas stations have also been turned off.

The only gaming revenue in Nevada for the month will come from one of the following sports wagering apps that remained open for the month.

  • BetMGM
  • Caesars
  • Circa Sports
  • William Hill

These four sportsbooks were only available to existing customers. Players must visit a brick and mortar casino to first set up a new sports wagering account. Since casinos were closed, no new accounts could be opened and funded.

Nevada doesn’t have full online casinos like New Jersey or Pennsylvania but it does have an online poker website. WSOP.com was also operational while brick and mortar casinos were closed in April.

Nevada casinos reopening

Nevada casinos won’t reopen on until mid to late May at the earliest. Governor Steve Sisolak says casinos will be able to open again during the third or fourth phase of his reopening plan.

Regardless of the opening date for brick and mortar casinos, the four sportsbook apps will have company. The Westgate SuperBook says the app will be turned on again on May 7.

When casinos do open for business again, don’t expect to see a return to normal business right away. During its first-quarter earnings call, MGM Resorts CEO Bill Hornbuckle said the company would open properties in phases. Bellagio and New York-New York will be MGM Resorts’ first two Las Vegas casinos to reopen. There could be another casino opening depending on demand.

While MGM Resorts doesn’t have a health and safety plan for reopening yet the company will have one in the next two weeks. They say that casino floors will have to be reconfigured to allow proper spacing. This should mean fewer table games and machines will be available right away. As a result, gaming revenue should be lower even after casinos reopen.



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DraftKings, Nevada’s New Record, & A Congressman’s Focus On Tribal Betting

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We have hit the homestretch of 2019. A new year awaits.

It is a time to look ahead, to make resolutions, to leave the past in the past and move forward.

For some, however, simply putting 2019 in the rearview is not enough. They want to go out with a bang.

DraftKings merger makes waves

Turn back the clock to summer 2019, when Legal Sports Report caught wind of DraftKings standing on the threshold of a monumental deal.

Now, six months later, that deal has come to fruition.

The daily fantasy sports and sports betting power announced that it was entering into “a definitive business combination agreement” with betting technology provider SBTech and special purpose acquisition company Diamond Eagle Acquisition Corp.

Diamond Eagle already operates as a publicly traded group. Under this deal, Diamond Eagle would take on the DraftKings name. As such, DraftKings will become a publicly traded company.

This merger creates the only vertically integrated sports betting and online gaming company in the United States. DraftKings Sportsbooks is obviously a major player in the sports betting world with operations open in four states; SBTech has partnerships in five states. DraftKings currently leverages Kambi Group to develop its sports betting platform, but SBTech now provides the company with an in-house solution.

The deal is expected to close in the first half of 2020.

Nevada sports betting has a mammoth month

For those who thought the Nevada sports betting industry would take a hit because other states were coming online: think again.

The Silver State took in $614.1 million in wagers during November. It was not only a state record for that specific month but also a state record for any month in Nevada and national legalized sports betting history.

In fact, in no other month prior has a state sports betting industry exceeded $600 million in handle. The previous best for Nevada was $596.8 million, set in March 2019.

This data shows that Nevada remains a heavy hitter amid the ever-expanding world of regulated sports betting. Boasting Las Vegas as a destination certainly helps, as does the existence of online wagering. That said, other states have instituted better and easier ways for users to sign up for betting apps.

That at least cracks the door open enough for New Jersey and Pennsylvania, each of which features an online market that accounts for more than 84% of their respective state handles.

Congressman proposes tribal sports betting bill

As states continue to introduce and pass legislation legalizing sports betting, one Congressman has turned his focus toward Native American tribes.

Rep. Anthony Brindisi, from New York, has introduced bill HR 5502, which aims to “remove Federal barriers regarding the offering of mobile sports wagers on Indian lands when the applicable State and Indian Tribe have reached an agreement, and for other purposes.”

While not necessarily needed for tribes to offer online sports betting, it would definitely help clear the air. For example, there is the belief that the federal Indian Gaming Regulatory Act mandates that mobile wagering could only occur via servers existing on tribal lands.

This new legislation, however, would help eliminate such confusion. Per the bill, a wager occurs entirely on tribal lands if:

  • The person placing the sports wager and the server or other computer equipment through which the sports wager is accepted are in the same State
  • The applicable State and Indian Tribe have entered into a Tribal-State compact under the Indian Gaming Regulatory Act authorizing the placing of sports wagers through interactive sports wagering platforms

New York does not have online wagering available, although stakeholders remain persistent in correcting that; the state does feature retail sportsbooks run by tribes. Tribes also operate brick-and-mortars in OregonNew Mexico and Mississippi, and Michigan just legalized sports betting that would become available at 23 tribal casinos.

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