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January 2020

An extra November Saturday, a big Encore, and confident consumers make a good combination

November’s reported win was $3.528 billion, an increase of 5.6 percent compared to a year earlier. Except for Nevada and Rhode Island, every state had an increase in total gaming revenue. One reason was new casinos and VLTs. More importantly, sports betting is really starting to gain traction. The month also had an extra Saturday, which is worth a theoretical increase of 4.5 percent.
In November, the betting handle from the eleven states with active sports betting was $1.878 billion, with a win of $109. 3 million, twice the sports win of $53 million from seven states in November 2018. The only weak point in the national picture was Nevada, which was down more than three percent. Nevada is about 26 percent of the national total, so Nevada’s ups and downs are significant. However, everything else looked pretty good in November.
For the first 11 months of 2019, the revenue was $40.975 billion, up 4.3 percent from 2018.

November 2019 Casino and VLT Revenue

Atlantic City gaming revenues rose 16.5% to $288.6 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Colorado casino revenue fell 2.4% to $66.6 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Detroit casino revenues rose 5.6% to $124.2 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Illinois gaming revenues rose 10.6% to $257.0 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Indiana gaming revenue rose 3.6% to $ $1171.9 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Iowa casino revenues rose 8.2% to $124.0 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Kansas gaming revenue rose 11.3% to $35.3 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Kentucky historic racing machines rose 5.4% to $19.8 million. Racing Commission, 12-19
Louisiana gaming revenue rose 1.3% to $255.9 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Maine gaming revenue rose 8.0% to $10.8 million . Gaming Commission, 12-19
Maryland gaming revenue rose 0.5% to $140.8 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Massachusetts gaming revenue rose 125.8% to $78.1 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Mississippi gaming revenues rose 3.9% to $169.4 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Missouri gaming revenues rose 4.5% to $144.4 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Nevada gaming revenue fell 3.1% to $937.4 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
New York casino/VLT revenue rose 9.0% to $223.9 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Ohio gaming revenues rose 8.8% to $161.1 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Pennsylvania gaming revenue rose 13.1% to $292.0 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
Rhode Island gaming revenue fell 4.6% to $53.3 million. Gaming Commission, 12-19
South Dakota gaming revenue rose 2.6% to $27.3 million. Gaming/Lottery Commission, 12-19
Total gaming revenue rose 5.61% to $3.528 billion. David Rohn, 12-19
Total gaming revenue year-to-date rose 4.31% to $40.975 billion. David Rohn, 12-19

The other categories:
Connecticut slot win rose 2.6% to $81.1 million. New London Day, 12-17-19
Macau gaming revenue fell 8.5% to $2.8 billion. Reuters, 12-1-19
Down Jones Industrials rose 3.7% to 28,051.41. Yahoo Finance, 11-19
Adams Index rose 4.8% to 643.67. CDC Gaming Reports, 11-19

Across the Country - November 2019

Atlantic City had a combined casino, sports, and online gaming win of $305.9 million in November, an increase of 18.9 percent over November 2018. The casino win was $223.9 million, up 7.1 percent, which consisted of slot win of $156.8 million, up 5.7 percent, and table game win of $67.1 million, up 10.5 percent. The sports win was $32.9 million, a 54.8 percent increase, and the online gaming win was $49.1 million, up 82.4 percent.
Borgata led the market with $69.3 million in gaming revenue, up 12.5 percent; Golden Nugget was second with $36.2 million, up 41 percent. Combining Resorts Digital and Resorts puts that company in third place with $34 million. Hard Rock was fourth with $26.1 million in win, up 14.9 percent from 2018. For online win, Golden Nugget was the leader, with $18.9 million, up 105 percent, with Resorts Digital next with $10.9 million, up 207 percent. But if sports win for Resorts Digital, which was $9.1 million, up 27.3 percent, is added in, then Resorts becomes the leader with $20 million in online revenues. Borgata was third with $8.2 million, up 71.4 percent.
Maryland’s six casinos reported a half a percent decline in November, making it the fourth consecutive month of declines. The elephant in the room, MGM National Harbor, reported a win of $53.9 million, down 5.9 percent from 2018. Live! Casino had a win of $52.9 million, an increase of 8.7 percent. Horseshoe Casino Baltimore won $18.3 million, a drop of 5.7 percent, Hollywood Casino Perryville was up 6.3 percent to $5.7 million, Ocean Downs Casino was up 3.7 percent to $5.4 million, and Rocky Gap reported an 11.1 percent increase to $4.4 million. The casino market in Maryland is dividing itself into three groups: the two large casinos with over 70 percent of the market; the Horseshoe in the middle, with 14 percent; and the three small casinos. But it’s still a very competitive market between segments as well as within a segment.
Massachusetts is still adjusting to its latest casino, Encore. In November, Encore had 60 percent of the market in Massachusetts, with $47.3 million in revenue, $22.7 million from slots and $24.5 million from table games. MGM Springfield reported $19.9 million in revenue, $14.7 million from slots and $5.2 million from tables. MGM Springfield’s revenues were down 6.1 percent from 2018, with all of the decline being in table game revenue; that can probably be directly attributed to Encore. Plainridge Park had $10.9 million in slot revenue, down14.8 percent from last November.
Rhode Island gaming revenue was down 4.6 percent, most of which was from Twin River casino - Twin River table games were off 32.1 percent to $7.8 million and slots were off 7.5 percent to $32.0 million; it also had $1.8 million in sport betting revenue. Tiverton was up 15.6 percent to $11.1 million, with slots up $1.0 million, sports adding $400k, and table games up $100k. Tiverton is benefiting from its move and Twin Rivers is suffering a little more each month from the opening of Encore. As Encore increases its local marketing, that trend should become more pronounced.
New York’s combined casino and VLT revenue was up 9.0 percent. VLT win was up 7.8 percent to $172.5 million, though the number of VLTs dropped from 18,511 in 2018 to 17,485 in 2019. Casino win was up13.4 percent to $45.3 million, with all four casinos reporting increases. Resorts World was the market leader with $17.0 million, up 17 percent; Rivers was second with $14.6 million, up from $12.2 million; del Lago Resort won $13.0 million, up 3 percent; and Tioga Downs reported revenue of $6.8 million, up from $6.0 million in 2018. The casinos also reduced the number of slot machines on the floor from 6,212 in November 2018 to 5,302 this November.
In Illinois , casinos reported an 8 percent increase to $115.7 million; even more encouragingly, admissions increased from 826,997 last year to 861,591 this year. VLT revenues increased 12.9 percent to $141.3 million, with the number of units increasing by 7.4 percent to 33,019 in 7149; compared to October 2019, there were 196 more VLTs and 28 more locations with VLTs.
Missouri casino revenue was up 5 percent from $138.1 million to $144.4 million. Admissions at the state’s thirteen casinos were 3,052,179, up 3 percent from 2018. The Kansas City market was up 6.6 percent to $50.5 million, with slots up 10 percent to $42.9 million and admissions up 7 percent to 1.0 million. St. Louis’s four casinos reported $72.9 million in win, up 2 percent; slots were up 6.4 percent to $61.9 million; and admissions were up 1 percent to 1.5 million. The Out of State market reported $20.8 million in win, with slot win at $18.7 million compared to $17.3 million in November 2018.
Louisiana total gaming revenue rose 1.3 percent to $255.9 million. The state’s 12,927 VLTs produced $51.4 million in revenue, up 5.9 percent. Slots at the tracks were up 4.7 percent to $26.8 million. Harrah’s New Orleans reported an increase in win of 2.6 percent to $26.0 million. The riverboat casino’s revenue fell 0.99 percent to $149.9 million. Admissions across all venues were 2,188,292, down 1.4 percent, due to a 3.4 percent drop in admissions to the riverboat casinos.
In Louisiana, by market, Shreveport/Bossier was up 3.0 percent to $51.0 million; Lake Charles was down 4.2 percent to $59.1 million; New Orleans was down 2.3 percent to $21.3 million; and Baton Rouge was up 0.7 percent to $18.7 million. Without an extra Saturday, Louisiana would have had a revenue decrease, primarily because of the struggling riverboat casinos.
Ohio’s four casinos and seven racinos reported an 8.8 percent increase in gaming revenue to $161.1 million. The four casinos had a win of $70.4 million, up 3.9 percent; slots were up 5.1 percent to $47.3 million. Individually, Jacks Cleveland had $18.7 million, Hollywood Columbus $18.5 million, Jacks Cincinnati $17.3 million, and Hollywood Toledo $15.7 million. The win at the racinos was up 12.8 percent to $90.7 million. MGM Northfield had $21.4 million, Miami Valley $15.5 million, Scioto Downs $15.3 million, Jacks Thistledown $11.8 million, Hollywood Mahoning Valley $10.0 million, Hollywood Dayton $9.6 million, and Belterra Park $6.8 million. Since November 2018, the racinos have added 120 slot machines for a total of 11,515 and the casinos have reduced their inventory by 30 to 7,286.
Pennsylvania gaming revenue, including table games, slot machines, sports betting (online and retail), VLTs, online gambling, and fantasy sports totaled $292.0 million, up 13.7 percent. The top three casinos were Parx with $54.2 million, up 12.5 percent; Wind Creek Bethlehem (formally the Sands) with $40.1 million, down 0.48 percent; and Rivers Pittsburg with $33.4 million, up 14. 4 percent. Statewide slot win was $189.3 million, up 3.4 percent; table games had $74.7 million, up 4.8 percent; internet gambling win was $9.6 million; sports win was $14.7 million, $3.2 million from retail and $11.4 million online; VLTs had $600k; and fantasy sports reported $2.9 million, down 8 percent from 2018.
Nevada was once again bushwhacked by decreases in baccarat and other table games. The trade war, demonstrations in Hong Kong, and more competition for Chinese high rollers all over Asia ate away at the high-limit games. The total revenue for the state was $937.4 million, a drop of 3.07 percent. The troublemaker, baccarat, was down 22.7 percent to $75.5 million. Baccarat revenue may never return to its high point, but comparisons will get more favorable in the next year or two. Statewide, slots were down 2.8 percent to $616.7 million and all table games were down 3.4 percent to $320.7 million. The decline in slot revenue should be a cause for concern, because it cannot be blamed on one demographic or a bad hold. And in a month with an extra Saturday, a nearly 3 percent decrease is significant. The one bright light for Nevada in November was sports betting, where the win was up 14.3 percent to $31 million and the handle was up 5.7 percent to $614.1 million, a record for one month.
By market, the Las Vegas Strip was down 3.0 percent to $717.9 million; Downtown Las Vegas reported $52.0 million, down 6 percent; Laughlin had $41.1 million, off 2.3 percent; and Boulder Strip was at $57.9 million, down 9.3 percent. In the north, Reno was down 1.3 percent to $50.3 million; Sparks was up 9.2 percent to $12.0 million; North Lake Tahoe win was $1.7 million, down 0.2 percent; South Lake Tahoe fell 19.7 percent to $13.8 million; Elko Country increased 6.7 percent to $26.9 million; and the Carson Valley was off 2.1 percent to $8.7 million.
The year 2019 is winding down. Sports betting is on center stage, together with Encore Boston Harbor and the ongoing expansions in Pennsylvania, Illinois, and Indiana. Standing offstage and away from the applause are the states suffering from competition, including Rhode Island, Maryland, Massachusetts, and Nevada. Nevada is new to this narrative, but by now, the long-term trend of declining baccarat revenue and the weakness of slot performance are changing the current narrative.
Nevada is particularly important to national statistics since it is over one fourth of the national revenue total. But its decline has been more than made up by – arguably, caused by – the increases in other states.
This report is written by Ken Adams