Nevada Casino Revenue Up 3% to $1 Billion in March

Nevada Casino Revenue Up 3% to $1 Billion in March This week, the Nevada Gaming Control Board released its latest revenue results, with the state’s casino industry generating $1.03 billion in March, up by 3.4% versus the same month last year. Helping to push the numbers higher was impressive winnings on the Las Vegas Strip which increased year-on-year by 9.1% to $574 million.
It was only the 38th time that Nevada has posted more than $1 billion in monthly revenue, with the level having first been achieved back in March of 2005. Furthermore, Nevada has now posted three consecutive billion dollar months for 2018, a feat last attained in 2008 (February-April), with the state currently still on track to challenge the state’s longest billion-dollar streak which lasted for eight months during its peak year of 2006/07.
Statewide GGR Up 3.4%
In March, slot machines produced the lion’s share of statewide gross gambling revenue (GGR) with winning falling by 1.85% to $643.3 million. Meanwhile, game and table game GGR jumped by 13.5% to $381 million compared to March 2017, with baccarat up by a whopping 110.6% at $117.2 million, followed by blackjack at $95.2m (-15.5%), craps at $34.1m (-2.5%), sports at $34.1m, roulette at $29m (+1.6%), and poker at $10.1m (+5.7%).
Las Vegas Strip
The Las Vegas Strip traditionally generates more than half of Nevada’s gambling revenues, and last month was no exception with the area generating $574 million, or 56% of the $1.03 billion in total revenues. Contributing to the Strip’s success in March was baccarat, which won $114.8 million from gamblers, up by 14% year-on-year, and commenting upon the the figures, Michael Lawton, senior research analyst for the Tax and License Division of the Control Board, stated:
“For the Strip, the story was an extremely strong baccarat month in both volume and win. The Strip has now recorded consecutive increases after four consecutive decreases and is up 3.3 percent for the calendar year.”
Elsewhere around the state, downtown Las Vegas posted the sharpest decline with its casinos down by 14.2% to $54 million, with other falling markets including North Las Vegas down by 9.4%, and Lake Tahoe lower by 12.9% at $14.6 million.
Baccarat Players Return
Interestingly, without the baccarat win statewide revenues would actually have fallen by 2.7% overall. Last October, a gunman opened fire on concertgoers at the Route 91 Harvest music festival, resulting in the 58 deaths and 851 injuries. From October to January, four straight months of declines were then recorded, with Caesars CEO Mark Frissora accurately predicting at the time that “people in Asia are very respectful of the deaths.. I’ve heard that it’s sometimes a period of three, four months.”
Baccarat, the game of choice amongst Asian travelers, subsequently saw its revenues decline during the four month period, with December’s tally falling by a massive 30%. In February and March, however, baccarat revenue was up by 83% and 115% respectively, strongly suggesting that Asian visitors are once again returning to The Strip.
On the visitation side of things, however, the numbers were down by 0.9% year-over-year, marking 10 straight months of decline, although the 92.7% occupancy rate was the best recorded in 2018 so far.
Sports Betting Surges
In March, Nevada’s sportsbooks collected around $522 million in sports wagers compared to the $475 million taken a year earlier, with basketball wagers continuing their winning ways and posting a seventh straight March in which a record handle was recorded. Commenting upon sports betting’s winning streak, Lawton said:
“Obviously, that was driven by basketball. Basketball betting volumes were $436.6 million, that’s an all-time record for basketball for any month ever, and of course, a lot of that activity was driven by the NCAA basketball tournament.”
The overall hold across all sports, however, came in at $34.2 million, or 8.7% less than the $41.2 million collected in March 2017. Accounting for the discrepancy is sports books paying out more than $11 million in football winnings, representing a massive 910% increase versus the same month a year ago.

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