Inside Gaming: Nevada Gaming Revenue Up in May, Tops $1B Again
This week's installment of Inside Gaming reports on the latest revenue numbers out of Nevada, looks in on how the launch of full-scale sports betting in Delaware has fared, and shares news of a deal between bet365 and the newly-opened Hard Rock Atlantic City.
Nevada Gaming Revenue Increases in May, Tops $1B Again
Last week the Nevada Gaming Control Board released its monthly report on the state's gaming revenues and collections, showing that for the fourth time in five months the state's total gaming win exceeded $1 billion. That marks the best first five months for Nevada casinos since 2008.
Statewide Nevada's gaming revenue totaled more than $1.04 billion in May, up 5.29 percent from the almost $991.6M gaming win in May 2017, and also up from the almost $953.7M in April, the only month this year the total has been less than $1 billion.
Revenue from table games was up nearly 14.5 percent year-over-year in Nevada, with all games showing increases including the two biggest, baccarat (up 16.1 percent) and blackjack (up 12.7 percent). Slot machines revenue was up just under 7.1 percent for the month.
Gaming revenue for Strip casinos was up over 6.3 percent, with just over $581.4M of revenue in May. Indeed, almost every area reported increases for the month aside from Downtown Las Vegas which saw a decrease of close to 3.5 percent year-over-year (from $55.2M to $53.3M), and the Boulder Strip which was just slightly down by 0.2 percent for the month.
One factor affecting the year-over-year comparison of Downtown Las Vegas casinos was the closing of the casino at the Lucky Dragon Hotel & Casino located near the Stratosphere on Sahara Avenue at the start of this year.
While the Lucky Dragon hotel has remained open, the casino has been closed since the first week of January.
Over $7M Bet on Sports During First Three Weeks in Delaware
Following the U.S. Supreme Court ruling in May that found the federal prohibition on state's offering sports betting to be unconstitutional, Delaware was the first new state to begin offering single-game sports betting in its three casinos in early June.
This week the Delaware Lottery provided figures covering the first 20 days the state has offered sports betting, showing that over $7 million was wagered with almost 70,000 bets being placed. The casinos collected just about $1 mllion of that total, minus $125K in vendor fees.
According to Delaware Online, Vernon Kirk, Director of the Delaware Lottery, said those totals were higher than he had anticipated. "In essence, we just had a good few weeks here," said Kirk.
Kirk noted that he was also surprised about 75 percent of bets thus far have been on baseball. There have also been a number of futures bets placed on both baseball and the World Cup.
Most of the action has taken place at Delaware Park where nearly 75 percent of the total was wagered (just over $5.23M), with about 17 percent ($1.18M) wagered at Dover Downs and the other 8 percent ($590K) at Harrington Raceway.
Delaware had already been one of the few states other than Nevada to have previously been allowed to offer sports betting, albeit in a limited way via parlay cards.
Hard Rock Atlantic City and bet365 Partnering to Offer NJ Sports Betting
Speaking of sports betting, we've been reporting in this space the last couple of weeks how two new casinos have opened in Atlantic City — the Hard Rock Atlantic City and Ocean Resort Casino, both of which opened on June 27. Of the two, only Ocean Resort Casino was ready right away to offer sports betting, although it appears the Hard Rock will be doing so very soon.
This week came news that Hard Rock Atlantic City has partnered with the bet365 Group to begin offering sports betting. The New Jersey Division of Gaming Enforcement posted correspondence this week indicating the agreement its temporary approval by regulators, although neither party has publicly confirmed the partnership.
As PlayNJ.com explains, "the temporary approval is valid until July 31 while bet365 works to obtain its license to operate in NJ."
Of note, this will mark bet365's first entry into the US market. William Hill US currently operates sports betting at both the Ocean Resort Casino and Monmouth Park in New Jersey.
By contrast, Hard Rock Atlantic City's online gambling operations went live this past Tuesday, while Ocean Resort Casino's online operation remains in a testing phase with state regulators, per the Associated Press.