26th straight month Nevada tops $1B

Las Vegas Strip gaming win drives Nevada to post its best-ever April at $1.2B in revenue

Aerial view of the Las Vegas Strip.
Reading time 4:06 min

Nevada has topped the $1 billion gaming revenue mark for the 26th straight month, according to the latest data from the Nevada Gaming Control Board. Strip casino results drove the Silver State to a record gaming revenue total for April, with Nevada collecting a statewide revenue total of $1.2 billion, up 2.8% from a year ago and only the fifth time the state has collected $1B+ in that month.

Strip casinos were responsible for $624.7 million of the total revenue, a 5.2% increase from a year ago. For their part, downtown Las Vegas casinos saw a 10.6% gaming revenue jump to $74.5 million. However, in contrast to the success seen in Strip and downtown casinos, the Las Vegas locals gaming market as a whole suffered a 2% decline to $232.4 million in April.

The balance of Clark County – which includes unincorporated areas of Southern Nevada – saw a 6.3% percent revenue drop to $131.1 million, reports The Nevada Independent. North Las Vegas casino revenue declined less than 1% to $24.6 million. Those dips were offset by a 5.7% increase on the Boulder Strip, which includes Henderson. 

Las Vegas Strip drove April's numbers

As a whole, Clark County saw $995 million in gaming revenue from its 219 licensees, a figure that ended a streak of 11 consecutive months of $1 billion or more. Michael Lawton, senior economic analyst for the Control Board, had warned when reporting March numbers that gaming win would face tough comparisons throughout the year because casinos had either their best or second-best months in history in the 12 months since March 2022.

A month of contrasts

April was a month of ups and downs for Nevada’s gaming industry. While some submarkets monitored by the Control Board showed weakness, such as Lake Tahoe’s double-digit percentage drop, others had double-digit improvements, including downtown Las Vegas’ 10.6% jump. There were different reasons that explained these contrasting pictures.

As reported by Las Vegas Review-Journal, Lawton said downtown’s big gain was the result of the timing of collections. Win totals at South Lake Tahoe also were affected by the timing collections with win volume down 1%, while the hold percentage was down from 7.6% to 5.3%. The market has declined three straight months when wintry weather kept customers away.

The expert also predicted a raising trend for Sparks, which is benefitting from the opening of its latest casino, Legends Bay. And as for Lake Tahoe, Northshore win was down primarily because there’s one less casino operating: North Nevada fixture Tahoe Biltmore closed its doors in April 2022, reducing the number of licensees in the market from five to four. In consequence, gaming win in the market has now been in decline for seven straight months.

Sparks benefits from Legends Bay's presence

Despite softness in some markets, Lawton said most of them are performing “well above expectations.” For the first four months of the year, downtown win is up 10.4%, while Strip win is up 10.7%. As for the state, gaming win is also overall up 6.6% from the first four months of record 2022. Gaming tax collections for the fiscal year through May are $886.9 million, up less than 1% from a year ago.

Strip saves the day

Gaming win on the Las Vegas Strip was responsible for driving the statewide increase. Overall gaming win in Nevada actually decreased by $5,000 and gaming win in Clark County increased by just 1% if the Strip is excluded, Lawton told Review-Journal. Thanks to the Strip, the Silver State continued to record gaming win amounts in excess of pre-pandemic levels.

According to the expert, the Strip’s successful April benefitted from a solid special events calendar, including the Red Hot Chilli Peppers performing and Maroon 5 and Usher residencies with multiple dates. Additionally, the National Association of Broadcasters had its convention in mid-April, the T-Mobile Arena hosted a lightweight boxing match, and the Vegas Golden Knights began their quest for the Stanley Cup against the Winnipeg Jets.

Within the casino segment, slot machines and sports wagering win increases offset table games and baccarat. Slot win was up by 4.2% to $837.9 million, with coin-in up 1.9% to $12 billion; while Nevada sportsbook win was up 27.8% to $32.4 million, with the amount wagered up 2.7% to $598 million this year. While down by 7% from 2022, mobile wagers accounted for 66.1% of all sports bets at $395.2 million.

However, Deutsche Bank gaming analyst Carlo Santarelli told investors Strip casino results were actually slightly off the projection his firm made going into the month because of a lower-than-normal hold percentage on baccarat, reports The Nevada Independent. Wagering was up almost 12% but win declined 14.8% to $44.1 million, the result of the hold percentage falling to 7.1% from 9.3% a year ago. Other table games' win declined by just 0.8% to $321.8 million, while the drop – the amount wagered – increased 2.4% to $2.7 billion. 

Las Vegas tourism flat in April

According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, Las Vegas drew nearly 3.4 million visitors in April, less than 1% higher than a year ago. Meanwhile, overall hotel room occupancy reached 84.3%, also less than 1% higher than the same month last year. “Las Vegas [was] on par with the robust volumes achieved last [April] when pent-up demand overtook receding pandemic impacts,” LVCVA Vice President Kevin Bagger wrote in a report.

However, for the first four months of the year, the gambling mecca’s visitor volume is at 13.4 million, which is 13.5% higher than in 2022. Convention attendance from January to April is also up a healthy 44% from the first fourth months of 2022, despite a 2.1% decline in April.

Other figures show that, after four months, Harry Reid International Airport has seen almost 22% more passengers than a year ago. April saw more than 4.8 million passengers at the airport, 12.8% higher than a year ago, though it fell short of March’s 4.91 million passengers, the second-highest month in the airport’s history. Through April, Reid Airport has seen 18.3 million passengers and is well on its way to breaking last year's record of 52.6 million.

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