Why Did May's Nevada Gaming Numbers Decline So Much?

Gaming revenue numbers are way down this May compared to the same month last year according to the latest release from the Nevada Gaming Control board. 

The 'Games & Tables' win amount is down 18.4 percent overall compared to last May and the sports pool win or 'hold' is down a staggering 70 percent. That equates to wins of $328 million and $5.9 million respectively for the House, numbers that fall far short of 2015. 

Before you start wondering if the economy is in trouble - there is a perfectly logical explanation for the dip. 

"Last May had an extra Friday and Saturday (vs. this May) and the event calendar was much stronger than this May," says Michael Lawton, senior research analyst with Nevada Gaming Control. 

Last year's Manny Pacquiao-Floyd Mayweather fight was a massive boon for Nevada's gambling and entertainment industry and hotels and sportsbooks saw one of their biggest revenue months ever. 

The proof to that can be found in the numbers for the "other sports" category, which includes everything other than football, basketball and baseball for Nevada sportsbooks. 

Last year books won $7.5 million on a 10 percent hold in other sports while this year they won just $660,000 on a 2.4 percent hold. That's a decline of over 90 percent. 

Lawton also pointed out that Mariah Carey kicked off a two-year residency last May 5th at Sportsbook Palace while the Rock in Rio Music Festival also was last May. UFC 187 gave another nice boost last May 23rd. 

But the calendar wasn't the only contributing factor, at least in sports. Sportsbooks earned a hold of just 1.89 percent this year compared to a 6.26 percent hold last year. 

Baseball has been a real sore spot for books in the early going especially. Books won just $2.9 million on a 1.56 percent hold this May versus a win of $9.9 million on a 7.35 percent hold last May.