Sin City might be in a bit of trouble. As casino and sports gambling continues to be accepted in other parts of the country, Las Vegas has found its majority stake of the industry begin to quiver. Las Vegas has already experienced some declines in revenue over the past year and the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB) has revealed that the trend continues. Not only is it losing its control, but New Jersey just became the sports gambling capital of the U.S. – for now.
In April, the combined gross gaming revenue (GGR) for casinos in the state was $981.8 million. This was 6% lower than the 22% seen a year earlier. Las Vegas Strip casinos, the anchor of the city, reported an aggregate decline of 11%. Baccarat was down 55% to $53.85 million and included a win rate of under 8%, and blackjack was down 14.8% to $67.4 million. Penny slots helped soften the blow, registering an increase of 6.3% to $117.8 million.
The aggregate drops for both the city and the Strip are following a trend that began six months ago. Since last December, Las Vegas has now seen consecutive year-on-year drops each month, and the May numbers are the biggest declines so far this year.
The casino floors aren’t the only areas feeling the pinch of expanded gambling. New Jersey’s sportsbooks did slightly better than those in Vegas, printing $318.9 million in wager slips last month. By comparison, Vegas sportsbooks only printed $317.4 million. Adding insult to injury, Nevada’s sportsbooks only registered a hold rate of 3.55%, taking $11.26 million of the $318.9 million in bets that were placed.
It isn’t a surprise to anyone in New Jersey that it is coming out on top. The state’s governor, Phil Murphy made a prediction in April that the Garden State would beat its gambling rival. Former New Jersey Senator Ray Lesniak, who helped pave the way for sports gambling in the state through the fight with the U.S. Supreme Court and PASPA, told ESPN earlier this week, “I’ve been saying all along that the Northeast and New Jersey is a hotbed of sports activity. We love our sports. We are well on our way, in overall gaming, to becoming the Las Vegas of the East Coast.”