Nevada Casinos Report Highest Revenues Since 2008

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Nevada casinos recorded more than $1 billion for the fourth straight month in June, witnessing the first fourth-month streak of $1 billion since 2008.

According to the Control Board Senior Research Analyst Michael Lawton, the Silver State last saw four straight billion-dollar revenue months thirteen years ago, from Jan. 2008 to April 2008.

The overall total, $1.19 billion, fell slightly shorter than the all-time highest record of $1.23 billion posted in May, according to the Gaming Control Board that released June gaming figures on Thursday.

Lawton noted the $3.46 billion – the total casino winnings from April to June – amounted to the largest gaming win number in a calendar quarter in Nevada’s history. The previous best was $3.26 billion reported during the last quarter in 2006.

Casinos Winnings More Than Doubled in A Year

According to the NGCB, casinos posted house winnings of $1.19 billion statewide during last month, more than double the $567 million seen during June 2020, the first partial month of post-COVID casino openings. Last month’s casino revenue also eclipsed the monthly casino winning of $1.04 billion in June 2019.

June also marked the first full month that Nevada casinos were allowed to operate at 100% capacity without following pandemic-led protocols.

However, the mandatory face coverings have returned effective Friday due to the spike in the COVID-19 cases.

Record-setting Slot Machine Winnings in June

Slot machine revenue of $868.1 million set the new record for the Silver State, making up the largest share in June’s overall total. The previous highest slot machine winnings were recorded in Oct. 2007. Wagering on slot machines across Nevada was $11.4 billion, representing a 19.7% increase from June 2019.

Lawton noted the recent surge in statewide gaming wins was the outcome of various contributing factors, including strong demand and return of leisure travel. He particularly underscored the return of the elderly gamblers – which he termed core customers – as one of the key factors.

For the fiscal year 2020-21, casino winnings totaled $10.7 billion, representing a 14.3% increase after sliding almost 22% in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2020.

However, the casino winnings were 10.5% less in this fiscal year than the year that ended June 30, 2019. The Las Vegas Strip accounted for much of that decrease, according to Lawton.

“Every market increased over June 2019 with the exception of the Strip,” he said.

Record-Breaking Month for Downtown Las Vegas

While Strip presented a disappointing picture, downtown Las Vegas recorded an all-time single-month gaming revenue total of $79 million, besting April’s $76.3 million.

For the April-June quarter, downtown’s gaming revenue surpassed $230 million, breaking the previous record of $183.6 million seen in 2019.

Last year’s opening of Circa Resort Casino is believed to have geared up things for the downtown area.

Circa owner Derek Stevens said Thursday he was “upbeat” by the Silver State’s overall figures as well as downtown’s total. But he cautioned a single quarter is not enough of a time frame to look at things, adding that Sin City needs international travel and convention businesses to return.

Strip Lags Behind

During last month, Strip casinos amassed $610.6 million from gamblers, representing a 1% decline from June 2019. Those winnings including a few day’s operations from the $4.3 billion Resorts World Las Vegas that opened on June 24.

Slot machine winnings supported the Strip’s overall number with a 34.4% increase in revenue to $376.8 million compared to June 2019. Slot machine wagering involved $4.3 billion, representing a 21% increase from 2019.

But high-end baccarat play remained behind 2019 totals; baccarat revenues of $42.5 million represented a 73.1 slide during the month.

Strips casinos amassed a combined $1.75 billion in gaming revenues for the second quarter of this year, the third-highest quarter ever for the Strip.

However, the Strip lags behind Silver State’s overall recovery. The statewide gaming revenues improved 1.5% over the first six months of this year compared to 2019, while Strip gaming revenues shrink 11.3% for the same time period.

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