Casino win keeps improving in Northern Nevada, smaller markets
CARSON CITY, Nev. — While major gambling markets continue to struggle, particularly in the south, Carson City casinos reported their fourth consecutive monthly increase in casino win in November.
The Carson Valley Area, which includes casinos in valley portions of Douglas County as well as those in Nevada’s capital, won $8.94 million, a 1.8%, $161,000 increase over November of last year, according to new statistics released Tuesday by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
The story was almost completely sports betting — sports pools that won just $4,000 a year ago raked in $274,000 this November, a 7,345% increase. The driver was the percentage of bets casinos held — 22.7% in November 2020 compared to 2% a year ago.
Statewide win totaled $771.2 million in November — down 17.75% from the $937.5 million Nevada’s casinos won a year ago.
Gaming Control Board Analyst Mike Lawton said that 87% of that decrease is due to dwindling gambling numbers from the Las Vegas Strip. The Strip was down 32.5% in November and is down a whopping 40.8 percent since casinos reopened in June.
Washoe County also suffered a year-over-year decrease in November, but only by 3.2% to $66.7 million. Lawton said Washoe, like some other areas, benefits significantly from being primarily a drive-in market that doesn’t rely as much on air traffic for customers.
As a result, Washoe is up in consecutive months and down just 3.6% since June.
South Tahoe casinos at Stateline, which also rely on drive-in customers, had a banner month, reporting $17.1 million in win, a 23.75% increase from a year ago. That is South Shore’s third consecutive monthly increase. Since casinos reopened for business in June, South Shore is down just 5.6%.
North Shore casinos reported $1.83 million in total win, a 3.97% YOY increase. Crystal Bay/Incline Village casinos are down 12.5% since reopening in June.
One drive-in market continuing to struggle is Elko, which relies heavily on customers from neighboring Utah. While the city of Elko was down just 1.3% in November, Wendover along the Utah border was off 17.25%. Total win in Elko County was $23.69 million, down 12.4%.
Churchill County reported $1.86 million in total gaming win, up just 0.27% up from a year ago.
Percentage fee collections — the state’s primary gaming tax — totaled $49.8 million for the month. That is about $9.5 million less than a year ago. Year to date, collections are down 9.9%.
From a national standpoint, research shows the embrace of digital commerce is a whole decade ahead of schedule thanks to the pandemic. We spoke with the Retail Association of Nevada, Downtown Reno Partnership and the Reno+Sparks Chamber of Commerce to give local context to the growth of online retail.