Nevada iPoker and B&M Gaming Revenue Down in September

Posted on October 29, 2014

On Tuesday the Nevada Gaming Control Board released the state’s September revenue figures. Needless to say, September’s results were not what the industry was hoping to see, especially coming off the industry’s disappointing August numbers…

Revenue declined for the first time since February.

Whether it was Strip revenue, total gaming revenue, or online poker revenue, the numbers were bleak in September. In fact, the September revenue numbers can best be summed up by the following song:

September 2014 Revenue Numbers

Strip revenue was down 12% year-over-year ($495 million), while Downtown revenue was down 4% ($43.5 million), and total gaming revenue took a 6% hit year-over-year ($901 million).

This was the second consecutive month total gaming revenue declined, following a more palatable 4% drop in August.

While these numbers are quite depressing, Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the NGCB did add some perspective, telling Vegasinc.com, “I wouldn’t say it’s cause for concern. We are facing some difficult comparisons the past two months. No reason to push the panic buttons yet.”

Lawton is referring to the fact that in August of 2013 revenue was up 11.1% from 2012, while September 2013 revenue increased 7.4% year-over-year.

Basically, Nevada would have had to have two fantastic months in August and September to keep pace with 2013’s tallies.

Online Poker Revenue Numbers

Nevada’s online poker industry took a pretty major hit in September as well, pulling in just $693k for the month, down close to 9% year-over-year, and down over 6% from August.

Revenue is down some 30% from the peak in June/July. In June, in the midst of the World Series of Poker tournament series, online poker revenue surpassed $1 million.

The $693k in revenue during September is the lowest output the state has seen since it started releasing iGaming revenue figures in February, a dubious record previously held by August 2014.

  • February 2014 – $824k
  • March 2014 – $926k
  • April 2014 – $792k
  • May 2014 – $862k
  • June 2014 – $1.04 million
  • July 2014 – $985k
  • August 2014 – $742k
  • September 2014 – $693k

Where Does Nevada iGaming Go From Here?

A post-WSOP drop was expected following the back-to-back million-dollar months (pretty much) the state’s online poker providers posted in June and July. That being said, the dynamic drop from July to August, followed by another significant drop in September is a bit alarming, especially considering historical online poker trends for this time of year.

So what is causing it?

The drop could be fallout from Ultimate Poker’s recent troubles in New Jersey, which led to significant operating and personnel cuts in Nevada. Ultimate Poker’s cash game liquidity has been inconsistent over the past six months, with the trend line pointing down based on pokerscout.com’s charts.

More troubling is the drop WSOP.com has endured. Setting aside the traffic surge that occurred during the WSOP the site’s traffic is well below their pre-WSOP numbers according to pokerscout.com’s data.

Fortunately there is some potential hope on the horizon, as Nevada is not only waiting for several new online poker sites to launch, but also for their interstate agreement with Delaware to be implemented. Both of these events should help overall liquidity in the state; the latter more than the former.

Sports-betting has a historic month

The only real positive in September was sports-betting, where the state had one of its four best months in its history.

In terms of total amount wagered, Nevada saw the fourth highest total in the state’s history, with $450.9 million bet on sports in September. September sports-betting revenue was up over 12% month-over-month, and up 2.4% year-over-year.

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Steve Ruddock

Steve Ruddock is a longtime member of the online gambling industry. He covers the regulated US online casino and poker industries for variety of publications, including OnlinePokerReport.com, PlayNJ.com, USPoker.com, and USA Today.

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