Casino revenues fell from last year, but Reno has a trick up their sleeve to keep their head above water.
Nevada’s total casino revenue fell flat during the month of February but still managed to rake in $1.02 billion. This revenue amount was down by .62% when compared to revenues made in February of 2018. Nevadans and those analysts from the Nevada Gaming Control Board reason the decline to less tourism due to severe winter weather.
Board senior analyst Michael Lawton shared that “every weekend it seemed like there was a large winter storm that impacted visitation and travel”. February is now the second consecutive month to report a decline in gambling revenue across the state. The state is hopeful as we progress into warmer weather that revenue will stabilize.
Reno casinos were also affected by these revenue declines. However, Reno venues are hoping to reverse any declines by amping up March Madness and their sports betting focus. The Grand Sierra Resort and Casino held a Grand Hoops viewing party on March 21st & 22nd to attract patrons, fans, and bettors. Tickets were low cost and included 2 drinks, cocktails, beer, a buffet for breakfast and lunch, and stadium-style food for dinner.
The Grand Sierra showcased their 130 TVs, bar, table seating, lounge area, and VIP rooms likely to attract returning visitors. Other Reno gaming venues, like The Row, followed suit and hosted their own NCAA men’s basketball viewing parties. It is very likely these Reno casinos will repeat this formula for the NBA Playoffs beginning April 13th.
Reno was also a recent campaign stop for Massachusetts Senator and Democratic Presidential Candidate Elizabeth Warren. During the Senator’s stop on Saturday, she expressed her concerns for expanded online gambling to The Nevada Independent believing that online gaming “presents a whole new set of challenges” which can be difficult for states to address themselves.
She continued by relaying her concern mainly sits with online undercutting state protections, which might allow children and addicts easy access to gambling.
Online casino gambling is the only form of online gaming not yet permitted in Nevada. The legalization of online casino gambling in Nevada could greatly benefit the state in terms of tax revenue and assist casinos will struggling attendance and revenue declines. However, Nevada’s major casinos are fearful they will be cannibalized by an online market, therefore, these efforts never come to true fruition.
However, Reno online gambling sites exist offshore that are licensed and permissible to use in Nevada.