The Nevada Gaming Control Board reported Thursday that the state’s $1.355 billion gaming revenue figure in March trailed only July 2021, which holds the record at $1.59 billion. The March figure was a 26.8% increase over March 2021, which kicked off the billion-dollar monthly figure, thus reaching now its 13th consecutive month. Las Vegas Strip casinos recorded their third-highest revenue month of all time.
Analysts attributed these results to locals’ gaming markets and slot machine players. On the Strip, gaming revenue of $746.2 million represented a 48.8% increase over March 2021, when COVID-19 operating restrictions were still in place for half of the month. The figure fell short of the $792.1 million Strip casinos produced last July and $755.1 million in gaming revenue from November.
For the first three months of 2022, gaming revenues on the Strip are up 63.3% compared to the first three months of 2021. Last year, Nevada casinos collected a record $13.4 billion in gaming revenue, including $7 billion on the Strip.
Michael Lawton, Nevada Gaming Control Board Senior Economic Analyst, said $901.3 million in gaming revenue produced by slot machines statewide was an all-time record and a 16.8% increase compared with March 2021. More than $12 billion was wagered statewide on slot machines, and the subsequent results were the overriding factor during March.
The statewide slot revenue total included single-month record revenue of $751.6 million from all of Clark County, as well as record months at downtown Las Vegas casinos ($60.7 million) and casinos in the county’s unincorporated areas ($123.5 million).
Lawton credited a strong calendar of events in Las Vegas during March that brought increased visitation to Southern Nevada, including three NASCAR races at the Las Vegas Motor Speedway during the first weekend of the month, a UFC fight card on March 5, and three college basketball conference championship tournaments. The opening weekend of the March Madness men’s and women’s NCAA basketball tournaments were also a factor in gaming totals, Lawton said.
Wells Fargo gaming analyst Daniel Politzer told investors in a research note Thursday the increased gaming revenues in the Las Vegas locals market reflected “ongoing demand” by customers with COVID-19 case counts falling and following the removal of Nevada’s mask mandate in February.
Washoe County casinos took in $84.7 million in revenue during March, a 1.9% increase from a year ago, while Reno casinos collected almost $59.8 million of the county’s total, an increase of almost 1.3%. South Lake Tahoe casinos reversed a two-month gaming revenue slide and $25.4 million during March, an increase of 5.6%. For the first three months of the year, gaming revenue in Washoe County is up 9.2% from a year ago. Reno gaming revenues are up 10%.
Despite March Madness, Nevada sportsbooks missed hitting the $1 billion mark in wagers for the second straight month. State sportsbooks took in $1 billion or more in wagers each month between October and January. Overall, sportsbooks took in $863 million in wagers, an increase of 34.7% compared to March 2021.
Revenue from sports betting of $36.9 million was down 6.2% compared to March 2021 because the sportsbooks held 4.3% of all wagers, as opposed to 6.2% a year ago. Nevada sportsbooks said 66.8% of all wagers were made through mobile sports betting apps.