Nevada’s September Gambling Revenues Up, Las Vegas Strip Shines

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Nevada’s gambling operators saw a slight rise in revenues year-on-year in September 2023, as well as more than August. That’s according to the latest monthly figures from state regulator the Nevada Gaming Control Board. In total, the Silver State’s casinos and sportsbooks took in $1.33 billion in revenues.

The famous Nevada casino venues of the Las Vegas Strip and beyond brought in more than $1.27 billion in revenue, marking a 1.69% increase compared to the same month last year.

That’s consecutive billion dollar month number 31 for the casinos, and the market could still post a record year. September’s revenues also up marginally on August’s numbers, which were themselves a record for that month.

The impressive September figures come despite it being a challenging month for leading U.S. and Las Vegas casino operator MGM Resorts International. The operator of a dozen Las Vegas casino resorts was the victim of a cyberattack that shut much of its services down for 10 days. It says the disruption cost it more than $100 million.

On the Nevada sports betting side of things, Silver State retail sportsbooks handled $811 million in wagers for September, which is up 6% on September 2022.

That $811 million translated to adjusted gross revenues of $62.3 million for the month, which is also up year-on-year. The start of the NFL season was a key contributor for sports betting’s popularity over the month, as well as excitement ahead of the upcoming F1 Las Vegas Grand Prix.

Las Vegas Strip and Laughlin Shine

The big winners of September among the 437 current Nevada casinos were those on the Las Vegas Strip and in the town of Laughlin.

Las Vegas Strip resort venues pulled in $741 million in revenue for the month, which was up 6.94% on September 2022.

Laughlin, the isolated southern Nevada casino town near the Arizona border, saw its casinos bring in $41 million – up 6.43% year-on-year. The success of Laughlin this month would have pleased the town’s namesake founder and legendary casino owner, Don Laughlin, who passed away in October aged 92.

Outside of those two areas, almost all other Nevada casinos lagged at least somewhat behind 2022. The second-worst fall, down 7.86%, was for downtown Las Vegas, including the casinos on Fremont Street.

In October, Las Vegas City council finally opened the long-considered new police substation in the heart of the area at the Fremont Street Experience. The city will be hoping that investment in visible safety, plus a $50 million expansion and renovation for the iconic Fremont Casino, will turn the decline around for next month’s figures.

In terms of games, the high baccarat hold percentage of 19.5% played a crucial role in boosting the overall casino revenue. Gambling on baccarat, a popular card game with high-budget players, returned to popularity, with players wagering more than $147 million at the tables.

The popularity of Las Vegas Strip casinos throughout the month was boosted by the full opening of the Las Vegas Sphere and it’s AI greeters, as well as the Las Vegas Raiders’ opening game of the NFL season at the Allegiant Stadium.

Sports Betting Thrives, Tax Take Also Up

The return of the NFL season and the continuation of college football also brought sports bettors flocking back after the off-season lull.

Sportsbooks across Nevada claimed nearly $62.3 million in revenues in September, which is the third-highest total since sports betting began legalization in the U.S. in 2018. A total of $811.2 million worth of wagers were accepted, with football accounting for nearly 63% of the overall handle. The state’s win rate topped the industry standard of 7%, with a collective hold just shy of 7.7%.

Football betting fans in Nevada wagered $510 million in September, with operators keeping $38.87 million. However, Nevada’s bettors did a lot better against the ‘books this September than in 2022. Last NFL season kickoff, Nevada’s operators hit a 10.8% hold and revenues were 25% higher.

Baseball was the second-biggest revenue bringer for sportsbooks over the month at $16 million kept on a $188 million handle.

As for taxes, the state received slightly more than $4.2 million in taxes from sports betting, lifting the total for the calendar year above $21.1 million.

The year-to-date revenue from sports betting stands at $313.2 million, which is 5.7% higher compared to the first three quarters of 2022.

Casino-wise, operators paid $77.6 million for the month, bringing the total to $333 million for the fiscal year so far. That was down 3% on September of last year, but overall tax income is still up 1.13% on fiscal year 2023.

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