November 2019

Sporty September:
Sports Dominate the National Narrative

September was another good month for gaming nationally. Even though there was one less Saturday than in 2018, gaming win for the month was up 3.9 percent to $3.75 billion. Year-to-date the win is $33.723 billion, up 4.1 percent from 2018.
There are three major reasons for the increase in September: Nevada was up nearly 7 percent, and Nevada represents between 25 and 30 percent of the total national revenue; there are more VLTS and casinos this year than last; and finally, sports betting is becoming significant.
On that last point: in September 2019, the total reported sports win was $138.9 million, from ten states offering sports wagering. (In fact there are actually twelve, but Arkansas has not published its numbers yet and the Indian casinos in New Mexico do not publicly report any numbers.) If sports betting was a state it would be in ninth place on the revenue chart. And it’s going to get much higher in the rankings – as of November 6 th , 19 states had approved sports wagering.

September 2019 Casino and VLT Revenue:
Atlantic City gaming revenues rose 7.8% to $303.5 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Colorado casino revenue fell 1.1% to $71.7 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Delaware gaming revenue rose 0.71% to $42.3 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Detroit casino revenues fell 2.5% to $112.3 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Florida VLT revenue fell 1.7% to $44.0 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Illinois VLT/casino revenue rose 6.4% to $246.2 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Indiana gaming revenue fell 2.0% to $166.0 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Iowa casino revenues fell 1.7% to $120.4 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Kansas gaming revenue fell 4.3% to $31.4 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Kentucky historic racing machine win rose 79.4% to $18.8 million. Racing Commission, 10-19
Louisiana gaming revenue fell 7.8% to $231.3 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Maine gaming revenue was flat at $12.4 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Maryland gaming revenue fell 1.1% to $142.2 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Massachusetts gaming revenue rose 94.6% to $80.2 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Mississippi gaming rev enues rose 1.0% to $184.7 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Missouri gaming revenue fell 2.9% to $139.8 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Nevada gaming revenue rose 6.8% to $1.059 billion. Gaming Commission, 10-19
New York VLT/casino revenue rose 3.3% to $226.3 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Ohio gaming revenue rose 1.9% to $155.1 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Pennsylvania gaming revenue rose 5.4% to$285.3 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
Rhode Island gaming revenue fell 10.9% to $48.9 million. Gaming Commission, 10-19
South Dakota VLT/casino revenue rose 2.1% to $29.1 million. Gaming/Lottery Commission, 10-19
Total gaming revenue for September rose 3.9% to $3.750 billion. David Rohn, 11-19

The other categories:
Macau Gaming Revenue rose 0.6% to $2.7 billion. Reuters, 10-1-19
Connecticut slot win fell 5.5% to $80.5 million. New London Day, 10-16-19
Down Jones Industrials rose 3.67% to 26,916.83. Yahoo Finance, 9-19
Adams Index rose 0.79% to 569.60. CDC Gaming Reports, 9-19

Across the Country - September 2019

In September, Atlantic City had total revenues of $303.5 million, up 7.8 percent over 2018. Casino win fell 3.2 percent to $224.5 million, online gaming was up 59.7 percent to $41.1 million, and sports betting was up 59.3 percent to $37.9 million. Slot win fell 4.5 percent to $159.2 million and table games rose 0.1 percent to $65.2 million. For individual casinos, the Golden Nugget was up 12.7 percent, Hard Rock win rose 20 percent, and Ocean Resort had a 46.9 percent increase in win; the other casinos saw decreases in total win.
The most significant changes in Atlantic City were in the internet win. Borgata was up 52.5 percent to $6.9 million; Golden Nugget had a 68.5 percent increase to $15.6 million; and Resorts Digital revenue increased 160 percent to $8.9 million, and also had 26 a percent increase in online sports wagering, to $10.7 million. Resorts’ bricks and mortar combined with online revenues totaled $34.6 million, second to Borgata’s $65.8 million. Golden Nugget was third with $32.3 million and Hard Rock was fourth with $31.8 million in win.
Maryland has probably reached the end of the growth spurred by MGM National Harbor. In September, state revenues declined 1.1 percent to $143.7 million. Although MGM did report a 6 percent increase in win to $57.7 million, Live! had a 5.1 percent decrease to $47.7 million, the Baltimore Horseshoe was down 10.1 percent to $18.5 million, Ocean was off 0.4 percent to $7.4 million, and Hollywood dropped 4.7 percent to $5.9 million. Rocky Gap, which reported a 3.2 percent increase to $4.7 million, was only other casino on the positive side.
Massachusetts had a 94.6 percent increase in casino win in September, to $80.2 million, due to the addition of Encore Boston Harbor in June. Encore accounted for 60 percent of the total win with $48.9 million, including $27.0 million from table games and $21.8 million in slot win. Encore is clearly having an impact on the other casinos in Massachusetts: MGM Springfield had a 26.3 percent decline in win to $19.8 million, with $5.0 million from tables and $14.8 million from slots; and Plainridge Park Racino was off 19.5 percent to $11.5 million.
Encore it is also impacting casinos in Rhode Island and Connecticut. The two tribal casinos in Connecticut reported their 15 th straight month of revenue declines. In September, Mohegan Sun fell 5.5 percent to $44.6 million and Foxwoods fell 5.6 percent to $35.9 million. (The revenue from Connecticut is from slots only; table game numbers are not published monthly.)
Rhode Island’s two casinos both reported less revenue in September 2019 compared to 2018. Twin Rivers had a decline of 13.2 percent to $38.0 million, including $1.5 million in sports betting win, and Tiverton was off 6.3 percent to $10.4 million, with $400k from sports. Without sports betting, the casinos in Rhode Island would have been down 14.7 percent, rather than the 10.9 percent reported. Twin Rivers is trying to restructure and adjust to the existence of Encore, which has been a painful process thus far.
The revenue from the four casinos in New York rose 10.2 percent in September to $53.9 million. All the casinos reported increases in win. Resorts World was the market leader with $18.1 million, up 13.8 percent; it had 1603 slot machines in September, 550 fewer than in 2018. Combined, the four casinos had 5295 slot machines, 917 less than last year.
In New York, VLT revenue increased by 1.3 percent to $172.4 million, while the number of units dropped by 5.3 percent to 17,525. Resorts World and its Nassau OTB accounted for 42.2 percent of the total VLT win, with Resorts World down 12.9 percent to $50.9 million, and Nassau up 78 percent to $22.0 million. Clearly the strategy of reducing the number of slot machines is working for both the racinos and the casinos in New York.
In the state of Illinois , total win was up 6.4 percent to $246.2 million. Casino win was up 1.9 percent to $111.6 million, but admissions fell 3.0 percent to 885,641. VLT win increased by 10.5 percent to $134.6 million, with the number of VLTs increasing to 33,013, up 10.4 percent. The increase in VLTs has been a relentless process that eats into the customer base of the casinos, but with the major expansion legislation that passed in the summer, over the next two years the gaming narrative in Illinois will much more than the number of VLTs that are added each month.
Indiana is in the Illinois VLT rain shadow; its casinos fell the pain as much as those in Illinois. However, the casinos in Indiana are also impacted by the casinos in Ohio, a double whammy as it were. In September the casino win in Indiana dropped 2.0 percent to $166.0 million, with slots down 3.6 percent. Indiana also passed expansion legislation this year; the most immediate effect of the new law will be seen in sports wagering.
Missouri casinos reported a 2.9 percent decline in revenue to $139.8 million. Slots were off 4 percent to $123.2 and table games were up 1.0 percent to $21.0 million; admissions were down 6.0 percent to 2,997,871. Kansas City’s four casinos were down 5.5 percent to $47.9 million; St. Louis’ four casinos were down 1.9 percent to $71 million; and the five casinos in the “Out of State” market were essentially flat at $20.4 million.
Mississippi casinos’ win was up 1 percent to $184.7. The central region was up 2.1 percent to $23.4 million; the casinos on the coast were up 6.3 percent to $114.9 million; but the Tunica win was down 10.6 percent to $46.3 million. The state had a total of $5.6 million in sports wagering win, an increase of 0.5 percent from 2018. There were 25,086 slot machines in Mississippi in September, 8.1 percent less than last year; Tunica’s slot count was down 22.4 percent to 6371. The only positive number for Tunica came from sports betting, which was up 18 percent to $1.3 million. The New Orleans Saints have a good team this year and the bodes well for sports betting in Mississippi.
Louisiana’s combined gaming revenue in September fell 7.8 percent to $231.3 million. The riverboat casinos were down 13.0 percent to $133.7 million, and admission were down 10.9 percent to 1,543,606. The Shreveport/Bossier market was down 16.7 percent to $44.1 million; Lake Charles casinos were off 16.9 percent to $50.1 million; the New Orleans riverboats were down 2.4 percent to $21.4 million; and Baton Rouge was down 3.4 percent to $17.9 million. The land-based Harrah’s New Orleans reported a 2.9 percent increase in casino win to $24.1 million Throughout the state, VLTs were up 6.1 percent to $48.0 million, slots at the tracks were down 10.8 percent to $25.5 million, and total admissions in Louisiana were down 7.5 percent to 2,198,488.
Ohio gaming win from the state’s four casinos and seven racinos was up 1.9 percent to $155.1 million in September. Casino revenue was up 2.8 percent to $68.4 million; table game revenue was up 8.2 percent to $22.2 million; and the win from slot machines rose 0.43 percent to $46.1 million. The Hollywood Columbus casino had the most revenue, $18.5 million, up 5.7 percent compared to 2018; Jack Cleveland was second with $17.2 million. For racinos, slot revenue was up 1.1 percent to $86.7 million. MGM Northfield Park generated $19.4 million in September, down 11.4 percent from last year, but still led all gaming outlets in Ohio; Hollywood Columbus was in second place. Eldorado’s Scioto Downs was second among the racinos with $14.8 million, up 2.7 percent; that’s still less than any of the casinos, which averaged $17.1 million in September.
Pennsylvania gaming revenue was up 3.9 percent to $281.2 million. Table games were down 2.3 percent to $70.6 million, while slots were down 3.9 percent to $188.3 million. Sports, fantasy sports, and online gaming made up the difference. The win from sports betting was $14.8 million, of which $9.8 million was from online wagering and $5.6 million from bricks and mortar casinos; the total for sports betting was up 144 percent from August. Fantasy sports generated $2.9 million, up 38.0 percent compared to 2018. Internet gambling on slot machines and table games amounted to $4.1 million. The Keystone state now also has VLTs, but in September there were only 15 installed with a total win of $324k. The latest round of expansion in Pennsylvania is just starting. In the coming months, the numbers to watch will be online wagering on sports and traditional games and the spread of VLTs.
Nevada had a record September, up 6.8 percent to $1.06 billion, an all-time high for September. The Las Vegas strip was up 7 percent to $584 million, Downtown Vegas was up 19.8 percent to $65.9 million, North Vegas reported a 13.6 percent increase to $26.9 million, the Boulder Strip grew 10.4 percent to $74.5 million, and Laughlin increased 4.5 percent to $39.8 million. September was a good month in Las Vegas all the way around. The Las Vegas airport had 4.3 million passengers in September, a 6.8 percent increase; and room occupancy, room rates and convention attendance were all up. It is amazing what 125,000 rooms can do for casino revenue.
The northern part of Nevada did not fare as well. Reno was down 4.2 percent to $55.3 million, Sparks fell 2.8 percent to $11.5 million, North Lake Tahoe was up 0.9 percent to $2.5 million, and the South Shore was up 2.4 percent to $18.1 million. Carson Valley casinos were down 3.9 percent to $9.7 million, and Elko County was down 1.7 percent to $27.3 million.
Statewide in Nevada, table games were up 15.3 percent to $369.0 million, slots were up 7.2 percent to $690.2 million, and sports win fell 7.6 percent to $52.0 million on a handle of $546.3 million. Even with that drop in sports win, Nevada sports beat out New Jersey in September - the handle in New Jersey was $445.5 million, with a win of $37.8 million.
Sports betting is fast becoming the narrative of the gaming industry. If that’s not quite the case for the entire year of 2019, then it certainly will be in 2020. According to Legal Sports Report , the total handle nationally since June 2018 is $12.399 billion, with a win of $858.0 million, a 6.9 hold percentage. An article in the Indian Business Journal said the October handle in Indiana tripled when compared to August, crediting mobile betting for the growth.
Nationally the win from sports betting is growing impressively in the states which have introduced it in the last 15 months. But in the states with mobile or internet wagering it is growing exponentially, a phenomenon unlike any other in the history of gaming. The closest thing to the current growth rate of sports betting was the initial increase in lottery sales when Powerball and Mega Millions jackpots first climbed over $300 million, but that was a one-time thing. Due at least in part to sports, 2019 is going to be record year.
This report is written by Ken Adams