The coronavirus pandemic continues to affect the casino industry and big names within it, including Caesars Entertainment (NASDAQ:CZR) and MGM Resorts International (NYSE:MGM), with conditions in Nevada, the USA's biggest gambling destination, being particularly important. The Nevada Gaming Control Board released its "Monthly Win" report today, showing a total state gambling win of $822.7 million, down 19.5% year over year, for the month of October.
Some counties actually registered October gambling win growth in 2020 compared to 2019. Foremost among these gainers was Washoe County, including North Lake Tahoe and the city of Reno. Gambling in this county rose 6.1% since last year. However, Clark County, home of Las Vegas, saw a 23.6% loss, and the Las Vegas Strip itself registered a 30.2% drop year over year.
Decreased gambling activity on the Strip affects the big casino companies most directly, with MGM Resorts alone operating 13 locations on the Strip. While the major gambling enterprises are still taking a hit from the pandemic, the Associated Press reports casino winnings are flat in October compared to September. The casinos got their biggest house winnings from table games since the June reopening in October, according to Michael Lawton, an analyst working for the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
The news comes two days after Governor Steve Sisolak signed off on new capacity limits, slashing allowed capacity in casinos in half, from 50% to 25%. The move was in response to the second surge in COVID-19 cases in the state. Despite the capacity reductions and the lackluster gambling win, however, most of the major casino stocks are up in trading today, with hopes rising for near-future SARS-CoV-2 vaccine releases putting a gradual end to the pandemic.