Nevada Casinos Hit 12th Straight Month of $1B in Gaming Revenue

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February marked the 12th consecutive month of Nevada’s gaming industry drawing over $1 billion in gaming revenue. The milestone comes despite the shortest month of the year and lower-than-expected Strip resort gaming totals.

According to the monthly report released by Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), the state’s casinos won $1.113 billion from gambling in February. It represented a 44.1% increase from last February.

The Silver State’s impressive gaming win in February was partly due to a record-breaking Super Bowl early in the month. According to the NGCB, a record $179.8 million was wagered on the big game.

Nevada sports betting reported $781 million in February handle despite hosting the NFL Pro Bowl, NHL All-Star Game, and the big Super. It represented a nearly 35% shrink from January’s $786.8 million.

Nevada sportsbooks generated $30.9 million in February, from an extremely low hold of 3.96%.

Why Did Strip See Lower-Than-Expected Revenue?

The Omicron variant slowed down the usually busy Chinese New Year’s celebration on the Vegas Strip. Still, it is phenomenal that the state casinos managed to amass over $1.1 billion in gaming revenue, outshining the month’s previous record of $1.07 billion witnessed in 2013.

The fewer turnaround at this Chinese New Year’s celebration meant fewer gamblers played baccarat. The card game contributed a little north of $62 million to the Strip’s revenue total of $599 million – or 10.3% of the Strip’s total revenue.

In Feb. 2013, baccarat had contributed a massive 38% of the Strip’s revenue.

Despite a slower-than-normal activity on Strip, the region’s February revenue total was Strip’s third-highest ever for the month. It was even 1.2% higher than the numbers seen in Feb. 2019 – when the pandemic had not arrived.

Gaming Control Board Senior Economic Analyst Michael Lawton said the numbers illustrate that the Nevada industry is seeing strength from locals, domestic customers, and leisure travelers this time.

Tourists Returning to Las Vegas

But over the past months, tourists have been flocking to Las Vegas in huge numbers. February witnessed 3,343,562 passengers at Harry Reid International Airport. It is more than double – the 1,614,130 tourists – who flew to Sin City in Feb. 2021.

The significant year-over-year increase in visitor traffic helped swell the numbers at casinos, resulting in huge gains for the properties on the Strip.

In February, the $599 million casino win for Strip casinos represented a 71.9% increase year-over-over.

The return of gamblers to the Strip from July 1, 2021, to Feb. 28, 2022, has been phenomenal. The casino win for the Silver State is up 56%. Strip casinos’ percentage is even better.

The casinos in the tourist areas of the state have experienced a 98.3% rise over the previous fiscal year.

Many casino owners shared their views during quarterly earning calls that February could follow a period of successful months ahead. Hotel room capacity is likely to increase monthly in the coming months.

New Normal?

Nevada’s $1 billion monthly revenue total began in March 2021, after the state lifted many of the pandemic-led restrictions.

According to Lawton, it is unclear whether $1 billion per month in Nevada gaming revenue is the ‘new normal’ for the state. However, many experts believe gaming activity will grow in the coming months.

Though monthly records have been recorded over the past year, Lawton suggested Nevada’s gaming industry could still see some road bumps from gasoline prices and the ongoing war in Ukraine.

“There is a great deal of macro-economic and geopolitical issues that are occurring in real-time, which are concerning,” Lawton said. “It is unknown how it could impact the trends we have been seeing for the past year.

For the first two months of this year, Nevada casinos are nearly 43% ahead of 2021’s all-time gaming revenue record of $13.4 billion. The Vegas Strip is over 74% ahead of its previous year’s record of $7.07 billion.

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