Nevada casinos have been trying to recover from the pandemic-related financial crisis for the last four months. In June, too, they performed well with a total of $1 billion in revenue. In addition, the slot machine wins for casinos in June 2021 was $868 million, the highest ever recorded in the State. But all this progress may soon be undone due to a spike in Covid-19 cases from mid-May.
Both vaccinated and unvaccinated people will now be expected to wear a mask indoors on the casino floor. Alan Feldman, a fellow at the International Gaming Institute under the University of Nevada, feels that the casino industry is now living through an action-packed thriller full of ups and downs.
The Governor of Nevada, Steve Sisolak, had removed compulsory mask-wearing in May. But now, he has reinstated compulsory wearing of masks indoors on casino floors for both vaccinated and unvaccinated visitors. The Governor’s decision comes following a directive from the CDC in view of the rising number of Delta variant Coronavirus infections.
Government officials in Los Angeles, Hawaii, and even Chicago have now made official warnings for travel to Nevada. Community infections in Nevada have quadrupled from 3.4% in May to 15.5% at present.
June 2021’s total casino revenue for Nevada was $1.19 million, which was almost double the revenue compared to $567 million in June of 2020. The past four months since the pandemic restrictions were loosened, has been the first time for Las Vegas to cross $1 billion in revenue for four consecutive months since Jan to April in 2008.
Compared to the revenue of 2019, there was a decline of 10.5% over the last 12 months in Nevada casinos. Most of this decrease was focused on Las Vegas. This shows that in spite of strong performance for the last few months of this year, Nevada still has a long way to recover from the pandemic hit completely. The rise in Covid-19 cases is expected to be a further obstacle in the process of recovery.