April gaming win? Believe it or not, it wasn’t zero

Geoff Dornan

With gaming floors completely dark, Nevada casinos reported just $3.65 million in win for the month of April.

That is a 99.6%, $932.9 million decrease compared to April 2019 when the casinos raked in $936.5 million.

That resulted in a nearly $51 million decrease in gaming tax collections to just $19,107 for the month.

The April numbers follow the 40% decrease in gaming percentage fees reported in March when casinos were shuttered for half the month. Operators reported a $400 million decrease in win and a $42.8 million decrease in state tax collections.

May numbers will be just as bleak as April since the properties were closed all month.

But casinos across the state are now preparing to reopen for business on Thursday, June 4, with the blessing of the Gaming Control Board and serious restrictions on the number of people allowed in, social distancing, masks for all employees and enhanced sanitization requirements.

Gaming Control Board Analyst Mike Lawton said calendar year to date, the state is down 31.7%. Washoe County, North Shore and the Carson Valley area suffered similar declines in win — all over 30% with Carson Valley, which includes valley portions of Douglas as well as the capital, highest at 34.4%.

South Shore casinos did a bit better, with win falling 22.7%.

Lawton said the tiny amount of win statewide was the result of mobile sports betting and interactive poker, which were not suspended in April or May.

But a significant number of markets reported a net negative win. Lawton said those losses are the result of sports wagers paid out by the casinos including wagering on the NFL Draft in addition to bettors cashing in winning tickets from before sporting events were all canceled.

Every market in Washoe County was in the red for the month because of those factors, the worst being Reno that reported a negative $64,397 out of the total $78,633 countywide.

South Shore casinos at Stateline were also in the red, reporting a negative $1,480 for April as was North Shore where casinos reported a negative $3,681

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