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Las Vegas casinos still suffering COVID cruelty

The glittering casinos of the Las Vegas Strip were once the standard bearers for the worldwide gambling industry. Those temples of gaming were, and are, the model for practically every large scale casino on the planet. But in the wake of the chaos caused by the corona virus revenue for Silver State casinos is way down from years past.

According to numbers recently released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, gambling action across the casinos of Nevada was down 19.5 across the state. That’s terrible news for casino operators in a year where terrible news is all too familiar.

If there’s a bright spot in the October Nevada casino numbers, it’s that there’s any action at all, and that revenue at local casinos was only down about 11 percent over the previous year. But that’s about it for good news, especially in Las Vegas.

Across the Strip, casinos that were once hives of activity are now all but empty due to a lack of both tourists and convention attendees. Midweek occupancy on the Strip is a mere 35 percent and visitation as a whole was down almost 50 percent over October 2019.

In a statement reported on by, Joseph Greff, a J.P. Morgan gaming industry analyst emphasized that local casinos were a better bet for investors than the big chains saying, “The Las Vegas Locals market is exhibiting a faster recovery than the Las Vegas Strip gross gaming revenue, as evident on Boyd and Red Rock Resorts third-quarter earnings conference calls — which makes sense given the general Clark County area population benefit from payroll protection programs and unemployment checks and the retiree base in the area. We continue to prefer Las Vegas Locals exposed operators, Boyd and Red Rock Resorts over Las Vegas Strip operators.”

Though October was terrible, and November and December could be worse. With any luck, mass vaccinations in the late winter and early spring will help Nevada’s casinos halt their terrifying tailspin.