Inside Gaming: Nevada Casinos’ Endure Slight Revenue Decrease in March

Inside Gaming: Nevada Casinos’ Endure Slight Revenue Decrease in March

Inside Gaming: Nevada Casinos

Table Of Contents

  • NV Tops $1B in Revenue Again Despite Decline
  • Indiana, Iowa, and Montana Lawmakers Pass Sports Betting Bills
  • Tennessee House Also Votes in Favor of Sports Betting

NV Tops $1B in Revenue Again Despite Decline

It was another billion-dollar month for Nevada casinos in March, even if the total gaming win represented another decline for the state.

The monthly revenue report from the Nevada Gaming Control Board arrived yesterday, with the bottom line showing a win of almost $1.023 billion for the month, a slight decline of 0.12 percent year-over-year.

That marks a third straight month of declines in Nevada, adding up to a 1.25 percent decline for the first quarter of 2019. That said, over the past year (April 2018 through March 2019) the total win amount for casinos is up 1.92 percent.

Drilling down a little shows baccarat to have had a meaningful impact, where the win was down more than 54 percent from a year ago. Casinos took just over $53.6 million from the baccarat tables for the month compared to $117.2 million in March 2018 — enough of a difference to change the overall win amount from positive to negative.

Regarding to baccarat, NGCB Senior Research Analyst Michael Lawton noted that "volumes were down significantly compared to last year," and "wagering on the game was down 42.1 percent," per .

Countering the baccarat dip was a 43.5 percent increase in roulette revenue where a win of just over $41.7 million was the second-highest monthly total ever.

Sports betting, on the other hand, was down almost 4.8 percent after taking in $32.5 million in revenue despite $596.8 million being wagered — the most ever for a single month. According to Lawton, an estimated $346.6 million of that amount (about 58 percent) was bet on the NCAA Men’s Basketball Tournament.

Also having an impact was the Las Vegas Strip where casinos were down 3.83 percent from $573.9 million a year ago to $551.9 million in March.

Indiana, Iowa, and Montana Lawmakers Pass Sports Betting Bills

This week a revised version of previous sports betting legislation was approved by Indiana lawmakers in both the state House and Senate, meaning if Governor Eric Holcomb signs the bill sports betting could begin in the Hoosier state as early as this fall, reports the .

The bill was approved by a 59-36 margin in the House while the Senate voted 37-12 in favor. In addition to permitting the state’s casinos, racinos, and other facilities to begin offering sports wagering, the bill further allows to Gary riverboat casinos to relocate, including one to Terre Haute. Also included is a provision enabling racinos to begin offering table games in early 2020.

That news came just a couple of days after Iowa lawmakers similarly passed a bill that allows the state’s casinos and racetracks to offer sports betting. As , after the state Senate passed the bill last week, the House did likewise on Monday, sending the bill to Governor Kim Reynolds for her signature.

And last week a couple of sports betting bills passed through the Montana House and Senate by comfortable margins. how one bill would set up the state’s Department of Justice as the regulator, while the other would establish sports betting under the aegis of the state’s lottery.

Montana Governor Steve Bullock is expected to sign at least one of the two bills into law. Meanwhile the governors in Indiana and Iowa are also expected to sign their states’ respective bills.

Tennessee House Also Votes in Favor of Sports Betting

Finally, Tennessee additionally joined the next-state-to-allow-sports-betting discussion after the state House voted 58-37 in favor of a sports betting bill on Wednesday.

The vote followed "a spirited debate from members worried about the effects of gambling addiction," reports .

The bill would permit online sports betting only, as it carries an amendment removing an earlier provision that would have also allowed brick-and-mortar sports betting. The bill prohibits anyone under age 21 from wagering on sports, and also excludes others (athletes, team owners, sports betting operators) from taking part. The legislation additionally earmarks anticipated tax revenue to fund education in the state as well as gambling addiction treatment.

Regarding the latter, Representative Andy Holt who voted against the bill said he believes "the legislature is pouring fuel on the addiction issues in our state."

"I’ve seen family members who don’t have money to feed their kids because they blew it on stuff like this," said Holt. "If we really want to talk about helping kids, this bill won’t do it."

Supporters of the bill such as its sponsor, Rep. Rick Staples, highlight the fact of the state’s residents currently "using online sports betting websites, which the state currently has no means of regulating or taxing."

Staples has also argued that Tennessee is in a unique position to benefit from offering sports gambling given the fact that most of the surrounding states — namely Kentucky, Arkansas, Alabama, and Georgia — have not legalized it.

Mississippi (to the south of Tennessee) was among the first states to legalize sports betting last summer following the . North Carolina’s Senate has passed a bill to allow tribal casinos in the western part of the state (on Tennessee’s border) to offer sports betting, with that bill now awaiting a House vote.

The Tennessee bill was also approved by the Senate Finance committee on Wednesday, and now heads to the full Senate for a vote. Should it pass that chamber, Governor Bill Lee would still need to sign the bill for it to become law. However, Lee has previously expressed opposition to gambling expansion in the state.

Photo: "Las Vegas Strip,” CC0.

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  • Inside Gaming: Baccarat was down & roulette up as Nevada casinos’ revenue declines slightly in March.

  • Indiana, Iowa & Montana all close in on sports betting bills becoming law; Tennessee in the mix, too.

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