Nevada's gaming industry faced a challenging month in June as it grappled to keep up with tough comparatives set a year ago. According to the latest report by the Nevada Gaming Control Board on Friday, the statewide overall gaming win for June dropped by 2.4%, amounting to $1.25 billion. For their part, Clark County casinos managed to collect over $1 billion from players, but the figure reflects a decline of 3.5%.
While the decline in gaming win is noteworthy, industry experts had anticipated such challenging year-over-year comparisons. Given the number of all-time monthly revenue highs achieved in 2022, it becomes increasingly difficult for Nevada casinos to maintain the gains recorded since 2019. Michael Lawton, senior economic analyst for the Control Board, has been warning about this trend for months.
However, it is essential to consider the broader picture. Despite the dip in gaming win for June, the statewide totals for the first six months of 2023 demonstrate promising growth, with a 3.6% increase from the accumulated first half of 2022. Moreover, the overall win on the famed Las Vegas Strip during the 2022-23 fiscal year, which ended on June 30, witnessed a rise of 4.8%, reaching an impressive $8.53 billion.
The decline in June gaming win was not limited to the Las Vegas Strip; it was observed across most of the 20 markets that the Control Board regularly monitors. However, out of these markets, only six experienced win declines during the fiscal year.
Despite the challenges in June, Nevada still managed to record gaming win amounts that surpassed pre-pandemic levels. The total gaming win for the state in June was 19.7% or $204.9 million more than in June 2019. Notably, this month marked the 28th consecutive month that Nevada has achieved over $1 billion in monthly gaming win.
A combination of special events and a favorable calendar contributed to drawing traffic to Las Vegas casinos in June. Concerts by top artists like Garth Brooks, James Taylor, and Adele, alongside sporting events such as the CONCACAF Nations League Finals, attracted visitors to the city.
The World Series of Poker also had a positive impact, boosting poker play across Southern Nevada. The success of the Vegas Golden Knights in the Stanley Cup hockey championship further amplified attention to casinos, particularly on the iconic Las Vegas Strip.
Analysts noted that gaming win performance varied by game category and geographical location during the month. While slot win on the Strip increased by 3.9%, baccarat win experienced a significant decline of 29.2%. Similarly, blackjack win surged by 22.4%, but the volume was down by 20.6%.
A segment that saw a significant impact in June was sports wagering, as bettors had a lucky month. Nevada sportsbooks collected $9.5 million in revenue during the month, a decline of 60.1% compared to a year ago. But the books also held less than 2% of all wagers compared to a nearly 4.9% hold last June.