(Kimberly James) – The coronavirus pandemic has been most challenging for the gaming and tourism industries, but both are continuing to remain optimistic as certain restrictions remain in place.
“We continue to watch trends closely, and we’re encouraged by what we’re seeing as momentum continues to build,” Dawn Christensen, vice president of communications and corporate responsibility at Nevada Resort Association, told The Center Square. “The resort industry is doing everything it can to help Nevada’s tourism-based economy recover as quickly as possible while reassuring guests Nevada remains a safe and fun place to visit.”
Even though total commercial gaming revenue fell 78.8 percent in the second quarter, Bill Miller, president and CEO of the American Gaming Association, remains hopeful that the industry as a whole will recover well.
While brick-and-mortar casinos were closed and sports betting declined because of postponed pro sports seasons, iGaming revenue was nearly three times higher than the same time last year.
“The gaming industry is certainly looking for innovative ways to offer new experiences in light of COVID-19, and states are also looking for ways to fill those budget gaps,” Miller told the Las Vegas Review-Journal. “It certainly creates another alternative and has shown itself to be an important driver during the brick and mortar shutdown.”
Sports betting is expected to see a strong surge after the NHL, NBA and MLB leagues returned to live play in late July.
In several states, reopened casinos report an increase in daily gross gaming revenue, even with limited capacity and reduced amenities.
Nevada’s average daily slot and table game revenue fell 23 percent in the second quarter compared to the same time last year. Even so, industry leaders are hopeful that those itching to get out will venture to Nevada’s casinos during the holiday weekend.
“It’s a great time to visit given the attractive values and offerings leading up to Labor Day weekend,” Christensen said. “We’re looking forward to the long holiday weekend where we’re optimistic we’ll see an influx of visitors, particularly from the drive-in markets, head to Las Vegas as well as Reno/Tahoe and provide Nevada with an economic boost.”