LAS VEGAS (KLAS) — Nevada casinos won $761.8 million in January, a 26.5% decrease from January 2020’s gaming win, which topped $1 billion.
That follows December figures that show a 35.3% drop.
The COVID-19 surge in November caused tighter restrictions and capacity limits, and the state is only now loosening those limits in stages. Tourism has been slow to return to normal levels with air travel among the slowest to recover.
While casinos were optimistic about performance in October, some companies scaled back mid-week operations during traditionally slow holiday months — November and December.
Hope that January would be the start of a turnaround for casinos was muffled by continuing restrictions on travel and capacity.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board’s monthly report shows that Clark County’s gaming win was down 31.7% from last January. The Las Vegas Strip took the biggest hit — 43.8% down, with a win of $321.5 million compared to January 2020’s $572.2 million. The downtown gaming win was 17.2% lower than last year.
There were some increases in wins in some smaller markets around the state, including North Lake Tahoe (23.7%), Wendover (23.1%), the Carson City area (12.9%) and Mesquite (6.3%). Reno also did better than January 2020, coming in with a 1.8% increase for a total win of $48.4 million.
Casino companies have expressed optimism about progress with vaccinations, but predictions about a return to normal tourism levels have been conservative. Air travel, international tourism and convention business are all still far below pre-pandemic levels.