Nevada was once the biggest gambling hub in the world and everyone wanted to go to Las Vegas to play the casinos. Nevada lost its number one position to Macau over 7 years ago and since then has found it difficult to expand and grow its gambling revenue. Live poker which contributes heavily to Macau’s casino industry has been in decline.
Nevada’s live poker rooms were surveyed to calculate total revenue earned during 2014 and figures reveal that live poker revenue in Nevada has declined by 3% when compared to 2013.
Reports could not be collected from the online poker industry in Nevada as the new regulations forbid these reports from being shared.
The Nevada Gaming Control Board confirmed that the poker industry brought in $123,891,000 in 2013 and $119,904,000 in 2014. While the decline is only 3%, this is also the first time since the mid-2000s where the revenue from the poker industry has fallen below $120 million.
One of the reasons for the decline in poker revenue is directly related to the closure of poker rooms during 2014. Nevada had as many as 88 poker rooms during 2013 and at the end of 2014, there were only 79 poker rooms in operation. The last time Nevada had just 79 poker rooms was in 2004.
The revenue from online poker in Nevada has actually helped boost the overall revenue and make the final figures look better than they actually are. Online poker revenue in Nevada has contributed close to $10 million to the total revenue. However, even the online poker industry in Nevada has experienced setbacks with online player traffic declining and Ultimate Poker, the first online poker website in Nevada shutting down operations in 2014.
Nevada’s online poker industry could also decline in 2015 as online gambling companies are concerned about market stagnation and consistent player traffic. In a statement, Tony Alamo, chairman of the Nevada Gaming Commission said
For online gaming to work, you need liquidity. Liquidity means volume, lots of people playing. We do not have the population base to do it just within our state, or one or two smaller states, to make it viable.
The Nevada Gaming Commission will have to come up with a new strategy to promote the game of poker so that both live poker and online poker revenues can increase in 2015.