evada casinos reaped more than $1 billion in winnings in December, pushing the tally for 2019 past $12 billion in a key index of state fiscal health.
The statewide casino win figure was up almost 5.8% compared with the same month in 2018, and the Nevada Gaming Control Board said Thursday that the first six months of the fiscal year have seen a 2.1% jump in casino winnings.
Casinos on the Las Vegas Strip brought in nearly $592 million and downtown casinos won more than $62 million. Casinos in Las Vegas made $6.587 billion for the 2019 fiscal year. Last year, casinos in the Las Vegas area made $6.588 billion. Although gambling was down on the Las Vegas Strip, they increased by 5.4% in downtown Las Vegas.
Monthly house winnings topped $1 billion for the seventh time in the calendar year, but fell just short of the high of almost $1.06 billion set in September. October 2007 was the best month ever for casino winnings in Nevada, at $1.165 billion.
Overall, regulators said winnings during 2019 were up 1% from 2018, and a year-end analysis reported a steady 10-year average growth of 1.5% in slot machine and table game winnings since 2010.
Board analyst Michael Lawton said it was the first time the casinos won $12 billion in a year since hitting $12.8 billion in 2007, the Associated Press reports. December results were boosted by slot machine winnings of more than $700 million, which Lawton said was the highest monthly slots total since March 2008.
The state collected more than $50 million in taxes based on the December figures, up 2.7% from a year ago. Gambling tax revenue is second to sales taxes as a percentage of Nevada’s annual budget.