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How Soon Could The Las Vegas Economy Recover From The COVID-19 Pandemic?

Monday, May 4, 2020   /   by Ken Couture

How Soon Could The Las Vegas Economy Recover From The COVID-19 Pandemic?

New numbers show another hard hit for our state’s gaming industry during this pandemic. 


Nevada gaming companies report a nearly 40% drop in gaming revenue, compared to the same time last year. Near The Strip, numbers are down nearly 46%.


In total, Nevada casinos raked in more than $600 million in gaming revenue last month, much lower than usual due to COVID-19. Gaming experts expect the number to fall even further in April with properties still closed.


As those numbers fall, how will they rise?


Jeremy Aguero is the principal analyst with “Applied Analysis.” He says, with the Las Vegas Strip closed, seeing the revenue numbers down isn’t a surprise.


“These are the lowest I’ve ever seen in terms of reduction in such a short period of time,” Aguero said. “We had every expectation they would be down by about half this last month and then really down by to approaching zero for April.”


Aguero says they’ve done a lot of comparisons to prior economic downturns like September 11, the Great Recession and even 1 October, but the COVID-19 crisis is completely different.


“In this particular situation, we got one where essentially the high point from our economy and the low point for our economy are within 45 days of each other,” Aguero said.


During the Great Recession, which started at then end of 2007 and lasted through June of 2008, the recovery for Las Vegas took some time. After 9-11, we bounced back a lot faster.


“We were really doing pretty well about six months after that, and within a year after 9-11 our economy was really kind of heading back in the right direction,” Aguero said. “We’re going to spend about a 60 to 90 days kind of along the bottom and at the recovery cycle somewhere between 18 and 36 months for us.”


Aguero says it’s going to take longer than what we saw after the events of September 11, but is hopeful that science can fast-track this and bring back tourists to The Strip.

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