Casino winnings flat in October; figures down 36% this year

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John Locher / AP

In this Aug. 27, 2020, file photo, a woman wearing a mask as a precaution against the coronavirus plays an electronic slot machine during the reopening of the Mirage hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

Tue, Nov 24, 2020 (10:26 a.m.)

Casinos in Nevada on Tuesday reported flat winnings in October, marking another sluggish month in a key index of statewide fiscal health.

The Nevada Gaming Control Board said casino house winnings of almost $823 million statewide were down 19.5% compared with the same month a year ago, when casinos on a hot streak reported winning more than $1 billion.

The new October figure was flat from the previous month when the regulatory agency reported so-called “gaming win” million.

Board analyst Michael Lawton noted that October had two additional weekend days compared with a year ago, and that house winnings on table games were the best since operations resumed in June.

Particularly in Las Vegas, casinos continue to face challenges due to limited air travel, lack of mid-week convention business and an absence of arena events and entertainment options.

For the calendar year, the casino win index is down statewide more than 36% and the Las Vegas Strip is down 43.6%.

The state collected $50.5 million in taxes based on the October revenues, down 18.9% compared with a year ago.

Casino taxes are second to sales taxes as a percentage of Nevada’s annual budget. The state has no personal income tax.

Nevada Gov. Steve Sisolak on Tuesday tightened coronavirus pandemic restrictions in response to a rise in COVID-19 cases statewide -- reducing capacity limits for restaurants, bars, gyms, and casinos to 25% or 50 people, whichever is less.

Crowd sizes also apply to private gatherings, including limiting Thanksgiving get-togethers to no more than 10 people from no more than two households.

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