Casinos in the Las Vegas Strip have driven Nevada to post its highest-ever June gaming revenues or win at $1.27 billion. Thus, casinos in the Silver State have now recorded their 16th consecutive month with more than $1 billion in gaming win. The news comes as airports, parking lots and the entire Strip face floods since Thursday night.
In addition to setting the best-ever June for Nevada, last month’s revenue results also mark the state’s fifth-highest all-time total for a single month. But most of the credit corresponds to the iconic Strip: without performance there, statewide gaming revenue would have been down 7.5%, rather than increasing by 8.1%, according to data by the Gaming Control Board.
In contrast to the Strip’s solid performance, several markets in Clark County -including downtown Vegas, Laughlin and the Boulder Strip- posted double-digit revenue declines last month. And as for most major markets in Northern Nevada, including Washoe County, Reno, Sparks and South Lake Tahoe, revenue declines were also the rule and not the exception.
Las Vegas casino areas outside of the Strip that cater to local residents all reported declines in June. “The majority of the submarkets in Clark County, in addition to several submarkets outside of Clark County, continue to face difficult year-over-year comparisons,” Control Board Senior Economic Analyst Michael Lawton told The Nevada Independent.
As anticipated, growth is decelerating compared to calendar year 2021, Lawton notes. But still, for the first six months of 2022, gaming revenue statewide is up 19.8% against the record $13.4 billion in revenue posted in 2021. Only two markets -Sparks and South Lake Tahoe- were down for H1 2022 when compared to last year.
And as for fiscal year 2022 (July 2021 through June 2022), results shattered 15-year-old records. The statewide total of $14.6 billion was 37.3 percent higher than the $10.6 billion in fiscal year 2021 and broke the 2007 fiscal year record of $12.7 billion.
But going back to June, with the exception of North Las Vegas and Laughlin, all of Nevada’s reporting markets had gaming totals that exceeded the revenue reported in pre-pandemic June 2019. And when it comes to Strip gaming, June’s revenue of $734.8 million was 22.7% higher than 2021, and 19.2% above pre-pandemic June 2019.
Baccarat played a key role in June’s results, with a revenue of $141.1 million, up 258.8% from a year ago. Casinos held 22.1% of all baccarat wagers, more than triple the 6.4% hold in 2021. Meanwhile, slot revenue on the Strip also saw an increase, of 4.6%, to $380.3 million.
Despite the expected growth deceleration and ongoing macroeconomic concerns, business is good thus far for Las Vegas. June was the ninth time in the last year it has set an all-time monthly record for gaming revenue, and the Strip is now 19% above the highest pre-pandemic period in history.
During June, the Strip benefited from strong demand for travel, with visitation up 12% from 2021. Harry Reid International Airport reported its busiest month ever with almost 4.7 million passengers, and a series of events at Strip venues helped fuel visitation.
“I’m not surprised with the gaming win figures—especially with what we’re hearing and witnessing with the airport and how busy it is,” added Lawton, according to Forbes. “We are in good shape heading into the fall… and the billion-dollar win amount is looking safe.”
However, sports betting didn’t fare as well in June, with revenue from sportsbooks across the state down 18.3%: wagers totaled $490 million, down 10%. And statewide, table, counter and card game win were also down, although only by 0.5%.
It is yet to be determined whether the warning signs seen in local markets and inflation will catch up to the tourism sector, but some believe some slumping might be seen across the industry. Still, Lawton told Forbes he expects another $1 billion+ month in July, thanks to the ongoing solid tourism demand both domestically and internationally.
Not sure if it’s raining more inside or outside of @CaesarsPalace @VitalVegas @LasVegasLocally pic.twitter.com/4cArRye5mM— Sean Sable (@SeanSable) July 29, 2022
As for the present, the Strip was flooded Thursday night. Heavy rain filled buildings as the city put a flash flood and severe thunderstorm warning in place. One video shows the iconic Caesars Palace affected by floodwater, with the ceiling unable to contain the water.
Elsewhere, local airports are experiencing severe delays as a result of the rare thunderstorm. Could similar stormy weather, driven by the recession, put an end to Vegas’ record gaming results going forward? Only time will tell.