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Las Vegas Strip Casino Revenue Tumbles 39%, Even With Cheap Hotel Rooms

(Bloomberg) — Casino revenue on the Las Vegas Strip fell 39% to $330.1 million in July from a year ago, the first full month properties were open after the coronavirus shutdown, showing the city is struggling to win back customers.

Nevada’s total casino revenue tumbled 26% to $756.8 million, officials said Wednesday. That will hurt tax revenue at a time when virus-related expenses are rising, since gaming furnishes a large share of the state budget.

The Las Vegas numbers underscore the difficulties faced by economies dependent on air travel, with consumers still reluctant to venture far beyond their homes for entertainment. Nevada casinos began reopening June 4, with restraints on capacity. Some properties remain closed.

Casinos whose guests typically arrive by car are seeing strong business because there are so few other entertainment options open. Gaming revenue in Ohio and Mississippi rose in July from a year earlier, buoying the shares of regional casino operators such as Penn National Gaming Inc., which has seen its stock fly to $55 from under $5 in mid-March.

Las Vegas resorts have also been hurt by their inability to offer live entertainment or host meetings of more than 50 people. That’s led hotels to offer deep discounts, particularly midweek. Rooms at MGM Resorts International’s MGM Grand and Caesars Entertainment Inc.’s Paris can be had for under $50 a night.

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