Tag: Revenue

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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New Jersey, Pennsylvania Online Gambling Revenue See Big Uptick In March

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This was supposed to be a landmark time of the year.

Two of the biggest and flourishing legal sports betting industries were supposed to be reaping the rewards of one of the sporting year’s busiest times: March MadnessMLB, the Masters, and postseason pushes for the NBA and NHL.

What an incredible month — certainly one that would produce record-breaking sports betting handle and revenue numbers for both New Jersey and Pennsylvania.

Yet we were left wanting. The coronavirus pandemic shut it all down. All that’s left is what could have been.

That said, online gambling did not completely suffer. Rather, both online casinos and online poker saw an uptick. And last month, industries in both New Jersey and Pennsylvania seemingly compensated for a lack of sports.

New Jersey online gambling flourishes

Believe it or not, online gambling has been a mainstay in New Jersey for going on seven years. No month, however, has ever been as prosperous as March 2020.

Online casinos and poker operators reported a jaw-dropping $64.8 million in revenue. How big is that? Well, it sits nearly $13 million more than the previous month, for starters. More important, though, that total is the industry’s first month exceeding $60 million. And it’s actually nearly $10 million more than the state’s previous best monthly report.

If those feats aren’t enough, March 2020 numbers reflect an astonishing 65.6% increase year over year.

The kicker, though, lies with online poker. Entering March, this sector had not eclipsed $2 million in monthly revenue since August 2017. It hadn’t seen more than $3 million since October 2016. In January 2014, the state enjoyed its best poker month with $3.4 million in revenue.

You see where this is going: In March 2020, New Jersey online poker posted a whopping $3.6 million in revenue. Month over month, that’s a 101% spike.

All told, all but one online casino in the state reported record-setting revenue figures in March.

Certainly, these online platforms benefited from stay-at-home orders. Gov. Phil Murphy ordered the closure of Atlantic City casinos midway through the month. And when leagues began suspending and canceling events, online casinos and poker filled the void.

PA online gambling shows a similar trend

New Jersey was not alone in rewriting the history books.

Neighboring Pennsylvania was coming off a record-setting February. As the Keystone State nears the anniversary of its first online casinos, the industry put up yet another historic month.

Already trending upward, what with revenues up over 31% month to month since December, operators in March reported some $24.3 million in online revenue, marking a 24.5% increase from February. That total breaks down to a $12.4 million/$8.8 million/$3.1 million slash line for online slots/table games/poker.

It’s not just the revenue that stands out, but also the action. Consider players in Pennsylvania accounted for $871.6 million in total wagers, up nearly $170 million from the previous month. Staggering.

Like in New Jersey, the uptick in Pennsylvania can assuredly be attributed to mass shutdowns. With casinos closing down amid the coronavirus pandemic, overall gambling revenue in Pennsylvania actually dropped by 51%.

Takeaways from NJ, PA online gambling reports

Leagues and organizers suspending and canceling events sent a shockwave across not only the country but the world. What were fans and bettors to do?

From jump street, operators who integrated online casinos with online sportsbooks or vice versa made sure to cross-promote. The two industries appeal to different demographics. Get your slot players to notice the NFL lines, for example, or market table games to the everyday sports bettor.

March 2020 emerges as the most significant example of such strategies paying off.

What’s more, online gambling in New Jersey and Pennsylvania could open the eyes of lawmakers in other states. After all, those states could certainly use revenue from somewhere, right?



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Revised Nevada Sports Betting Data Could Reveal Deeper Revenue Breakdown

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Nevada was once the only face on the Mount Rushmore of US sports betting. 

When the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act (PASPA) was repealed in 2018, some thought this stature could change as more sports betting markets launched around the US.  

It won’t be a surprise when more populous states with major markets surpass the Silver State’s sports betting handle. For the time being, Nevada remains the top dog when it comes to the amount of sports wagers. Nevada even broke a new record when it took in $614.1 million in wagers in November.

But New JerseyPennsylvania and other new legal sports betting states are gaining traction. Besides increasing pressure on Nevada’s handle, the competition is pushing NV gaming regulators and sportsbooks to stay up on technology. We’ll get back to that in a bit, but let’s first look at mobile sports betting in Nevada overall.

Mobile sports wagering in Nevada

Nevada has offered mobile sports betting since 2012. However, its sportsbook operators are slipping behind newcomers in terms of technology. 

For starters, mobile bettors in NJ and PA can sign up for a sports wagering account without ever stepping into a brick-and-mortar casino. Nevada still requires in-person registration, and PA and NJ sportsbooks offer new players the ability to sign up online. 

It’s no coincidence, then, that mobile and online wagering in these states has taken off quickly. More than 80% of handle in New Jersey and Pennsylvania is from online and mobile wagering. 

PA and NJ both share their revenue reports monthly (by the states’ gaming control boards.) While Nevada has been offering mobile wagering for more than seven years, its numbers have all been anecdotal. 

The Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) doesn’t offer official information like the states that recently started taking online sports wagers. However, that could be changing soon.

Nevada considers changes to sports betting revenue reporting

NGCB Senior Research Analyst Michael Lawton recently told CDC Gaming Reports that the board hopes to provide reports on separate mobile and retail sports betting in the new year.

These numbers will provide greater context to compare Nevada sports betting revenue with other states. 

For reference, Lawton estimates that 48% of Nevada sports bets in 2018 were from mobile devices. That’s not too much of a surprise as anecdotally different sportsbooks have been saying mobile handle is anywhere from 35% to 60%

The sports betting handle in NV will be easier to compare with other states starting with its January 2020 report.

Baby steps to new reporting

Every state with legal sports betting has its own set of rules, and Nevada isn’t any different.  However, Nevada has a history with casino operators, so it must keep these companies in mind on how to approach all forms of gaming.

Nevada hasn’t been under pressure to change how it does business until now

Since the repeal of PASPA, there’s more national focus on the US sports betting industry. With all eyes watching, Nevada has to be as concerned with perception as it is gaming revenue.

Nobody wants to be seen as a relic. This small change to revenue reporting is a small step for Nevada to stay in line with the newcomers. It likely won’t be the only change.

More possible changes for Nevada sports betting

Most of the Nevada sports betting apps use technology from MiomniStadium Technology or both. 

If the Silver State wants to keep up with the competition, this will have to change, too. New Jersey and Pennsylvania host more sports betting technology companies that offer better (and worse) platforms than in Nevada.

The NGCB appears to be taking another step in the right direction. 

It recently gave preliminary approval to MGM Resorts and its sports betting partner, GVC, to operate BetMGM. The venture only operates in New Jersey right now. Once this receives full support, BetMGM will replace the current IGT-powered PlayMGM app.

Another huge step forward will be when the NGCB allows mobile registration on sports betting apps. Currently, anyone who wants to set up a sports betting account must do so at a Nevada sportsbook, which is inside of a casino. 

Mobile registration will allow customers to register from anywhere within Nevada state lines. Bettors could also use a credit card, debit card, or other online payment solution.

Once mobile sign-up comes to fruition, FanDuel could launch with its Boyd Gaming partnership. This shift could also open the door for other online sportsbook operators, including DraftKings and PointsBet.

With every advancement, Nevada could remain atop the sports betting landscape.

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WSOP Poker Plans, Plus MI Betting Nears While NJ Revenue Booms

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The holidays: A time for merriment, for joy, for celebration.

A time to give and to give thanks. A time known for miracles and Kodak moments.

Make no mistake about it, the same elements that you find in every Christmas movie ever made also apply to US gambling news these days.

There is no day off, it seems. The machine is always in motion. And this holiday season, uplifting news abounds.

Legal Michigan sports betting is a small step away

Merry Christmas, Wolverines. It appears sports betting is a mere signature away from legalization.

The bill to do such, allowing Michigan to regulate retail and online wagering, breezed through the Senate by a 35-3 vote. With the House of Representatives expected to agree with any changes made, only the mighty pen of Gov. Gretchen Whitmer separates the state from legalized sports betting.

As reported by Legal Sports Report, the governor is expected to sign the legislation in short order.

As the bill is written, Michigan’s three commercial and 23 tribal casinos would have the opportunity to offer betting. Each operator, though, will be afforded just one online skin.

Licensing fees include $50,000 for the initial application, $100,000 for the actual license, and then a $50,000 annual renewal fee.

Much of the state’s taxed revenue (a rate of 8.4% that increases by 1.25% for commercial casinos) will benefit Michigan’s School Aid Fund. To boot, some $2 million will go toward the First Responder Presumed Coverage Fund each year.

The state will require official league data for in-play wagers. Overshadowed by all of this: Daily fantasy sports also becomes legal.

WSOP hints at future relationship with Pennsylvania

I mean, the World Series of Poker didn’t not confirm that it has no future in Pennsylvania.

Each winter, the WSOP announces dates and plans for the following year. Among them, as announced by WSOP parent company Caesars, is the summer poker series, slated for May 26 through July 15. The headlining tournament, aka the $10,000 buy-in Main Event, goes from July 1 to July 14 in Las Vegas.

The interesting takeaway, though, was not about what was announced, rather what wasn’t announced.

Just after Halloween, PokerStars debuted the first legal online poker platform in Pennsylvania. With such a large state and market, it was assumed the PA would enter the WSOP future planning. Alas, the poker group did not mention Pennsylvania in 2020. That said, as tracked down by PlayPennsylvania, not all is lost.

A WSOP spokesperson noted that the company does not comment on markets in which WSOP is not licensed and operational. Harrah’s Philadelphia has its licensing but has yet to launch online poker. Time still remains for PA inclusion.

Remember, this past year’s online bracelet schedule emerged as late as February 2019.

New Jersey sports betting kills to tune of half a billion

Somehow, New Jersey sports betting continues to find ways to grow.

With still a month left of 2019 to account for, the Garden State has eclipsed more than $4 billion in accepted wagers this year. But no month in the young history of the industry matched up to November.

With still-rising powers FanDuel Sportsbook and DraftKings Sportsbook again leading the charge, New Jersey operators accepted a whopping $562.6 million in bets last month. Of that record-breaking total, some 86% of wagers came online.

For perspective, the previous state record for a single month stood at $488 million (set the previous month); and Nevada took in more than $581 million in November 2018.

It has been no secret that New Jersey has been the standard-setter in this new world of state-sanctioned sports betting. Yet somehow, the state continues to find ways to impress.

Aside from the jaw-dropping revenue numbers, consider these past 12 months, during which time New Jersey went from eight online sportsbooks to 17 mobile platforms.

On top of it all, there is little chance New Jersey doesn’t set another record in the near future. After all, Super Bowl LIV is less than two months away.

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