Though poker remains popular, it is no secret that it hasn’t really been performing in Las Vegas casinos. Since 2010, it has remained relatively flat while sports betting gained traction from many sports enthusiasts.
But does it mean that poker is already not a good option for casinos? This isn’t exactly the case. In fact, Poker remains a much larger source of income for different Las Vegas casinos according to report. In a report released by the Nevada casino regulators in the annual Gaming Abstract, poker rooms generated about $1,120 per square foot in 2017. On the other hand, race and sports betting offered on 80 casinos in Clark County have generated only $670 per square foot.
Poker rooms usually measure around an average of 2,724 square feet. On the other hand, you have books that averaged 4,718 square feet according to the report that was released every month of January.
Poker reached its peak in Nevada casinos around 2007. This was the time when poker and sports betting almost had the same revenues of around $168 million. However, Las Vegas has collected twice the amount of revenue from sports betting than it does from poker over the years.
By 2008, there were 63 poker rooms located in Clark County that generated an average of $1,170 per square foot. On the other hand, sports books averaged only around $670 per square foot almost identical to its numbers in 2017.
In recent years, poker and sports betting were behind other games offered in casinos. For instance, games such as baccarat, roulette, and blackjack have generated $2,700 per square foot in revenue while the slot machines took around $1,200. There are over 4,000 tables and more than 100,000 slot machines found in Clark County.
These are just some of the numbers based on the popularity of games played in casinos today. Should this signal casinos to focus more on things that produce the more for them?
A Ban on Sports Betting?
There are at least 18 states that are looking to regulate sports betting according to reports. The US Supreme Court is expected to decide by June whether or not to overturn the ban on sports betting in all states except Delaware, Montana, Nevada, and Oregon.
There are already companies based in Las Vegas and other parts of the world that are now working to position themselves to be able to get a favorable ruling. Chris Grove, managing director of Eilers & Krejcik Gaming in Las Vegas, mentioned that “I think any casino with any sort of regional footprint in the US is looking at this issue seriously”.
Mississippi has lifted the prohibition on sports wagering last year. State Representative Scott Delano mentioned that the modification to the states Gaming Control Act allows the Gaming Commission to regulate sports betting if it were to be overturned at the federal level.
MGM Resorts International is among the most likely companies that will be affected by the ban. If the Supreme Court decides to take part of the ban, it is possible that they’d lose money in the process. MGM has already invested $7 million worth of upgrade in its race book at Borgata.