Nevada Poker Downswing Offset by 2015 Casino Profits

February 4th, 2016 | by Kaycee James
Nevada poker revenue down.

Nevada online poker revenue took a tumble in 2015, but casino gaming improved. (Image: proserviceonline)

Nevada poker is hardly on life support, but the patient isn’t making a tremendous recovery either, based on 2015 revenue intake numbers now in. Despite a boom over the summer, poker in Nevada suffered a 1.57 percent year-on-year decline in 2015, according to the latest figures published by the state’s gaming authority.

The $118,023,000 in annual revenue reported by the Nevada Gaming Control Board reflected the amount won by the state’s 76 live poker rooms and its two online sites, WSOP.com (which runs on Caesars Interactive Entertainment’s online partner 888poker’s platform) and Real Gaming (which frankly represents a pretty negligible intake for the Southpoint online partnership).

Although the figure is only slightly down on 2014’s $119,904,000, it looks a lot bleaker when compared to the $123,891,000 the state earned in 2013.

But despite the news that figures had taken a tumble year-on-year, Nevada poker intake between May and July of 2015 was promising.

WSOP Upswing Can’t Boost Annual Revenue

Spurred on by the World Series of Poker, which welcomed impressive numbers for many of its events (6,420 in the Main Event and a record 14,284 unique entrants in the Colossus), Nevada poker rooms banked more money in May (0.62 percent increase), June (4.46 percent increase), and July (0.59 percent increase) over 2014.

Unfortunately, these gains weren’t enough to prevent the state’s poker economy contracting in 2015.

But while poker was down last year, casino revenue was up for the state across the year with a total haul of $11,114,081,000, representing a year-on-year increase of just under one percent.

Helping fuel that annual increase was a profitable December. According to results published by the Nevada Gaming Control Board, casino games in the state generated $982 million, which was 3.3 percent more than the $950 million taken in during the same period in 2014.

Overall, 2015 represented a year of mixed results for Nevada. Although poker was slightly down year-on-year, improvements in the casino sector were enough to negate this loss to just less than one percent.

Macau on a Downswing

If things in Nevada were slightly below par, the outlook in Macau continues to worsen. The latest report issued by the Gaming Inspection and Coordination Bureau showed that gaming revenue had declined for the 20th straight month in the Chinese gambling enclave.

January 2016’s casino revenue totaled $2.33 billion, which is 21.4 percent less than the $2.97 billion Macau’s live venues raked in during January 2015.

This latest drop only serves to compound the 34.3 percent decline Macau’s casino economy suffered during 2015.

For operators in Macau, the news is certainly not good, but anti-online poker advocate and Las Vegas Sands (LVS) CEO Sheldon Adelson believes a turnaround is in sight.

Adelson, who has casinos in Macau as part of his LVS empire, recently stated that “stabilization in gaming revenue” is on the horizon.

Regardless of what Adelson and other financial analysts may be predicting, the latest figures show that Macau’s casino economy is shrinking, while Las Vegas appears to be, at least in some sectors, on the upswing.

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