Nevada Casinos Posts 1.3% Revenue Gain in September

Nevada Casinos Posts 1.3% Revenue Gain in September

Nevada’s casino market has broken its two straight month losing streak after reporting a 1.3% revenue increase to $991.2 million in September. While year-on-year growth may have been slight, more impressive is the fact the gain came despite September’s calendar having one less weekend day than in 2017. The state subsequently collected $54.5 million by way of gambling taxes, with that amount lower by 7.6% versus the same month last year.

Falls Short of $1 Billion Again

From January to June of 2018, the state’s gambling revenues topped the $1 billion mark each month, with the lone exception of April. Since then, casino earnings have fallen short of this important threshold. Nevertheless, September’s result was not too far off the mark, and as Michael Lawton, Senior Research Analyst for the Nevada Gaming Control Board (NGCB), explains:

“Look, it was $991.2 million. We were $8.8 million away from a billion. If we would have held a little better in baccarat, we would have hit a $1 billion. So, it was a good month.”

Breakdown by Market

In September, the Silver State’s slot machines generated $637.2 million in revenue, up by 7% compared to the same month in 2017. Table games, on the other hand, saw their earnings slump by 7.7% to $354 million, with almost all its products suffering declines, except roulette which noted an impressive 22.4% improvement to $40 million. Meanwhile,
baccarat saw its revenue drop off by a massive 27% to $70.4 million, blackjack was down by 17.5% to $92.1 million, and craps suffered a 10.4% year-on-year contraction to $32.7 million.

The Las Vegas Strip traditionally accounts for more than half the state’s gambling revenues, and in September the roughly four mile-long stretch of casinos and hotels generated a total of $546 million, representing a 3.7% year-over-year decrease. Its lower overall numbers, however, was mostly due to casinos getting unlucky and experiencing a significant 11.7% decrease in their table game win. In addition, people visiting the area dropped off by 3.1% to 3.5 million during the month.

Elsewhere, Downtown Las Vegas reported a 11.64% revenue improvement to $55 million, while the rest of Clark County, too, was in positive territory and saw its revenues increase by 1.52% to $843.4 million.

Sports Betting Sets Record

September proved a high point for the state’s sports betting market. The segment subsequently accepted $571 million in wagers for the whole of the month, the biggest amount since the industry launched in 1984, and surpassing the previous record of $565 million set in October 2017. From total wagers, Nevada sportsbooks won more than $56 million from punters, also a new revenue record for the state, and beating the old peak of $53.3 million posted in September 2012.

The National Football League which kicked off on September 6th helped lift the state’s sportsbooks to new heights. Overall, a staggering two out of every three bets made were placed on NFL and college football, resulting in a handle of $389 million, with a solid hold of 11.4% producing roughly $44 million in revenue for sportsbooks. The NFL’s return also positively impacted parlay card betting, which combines multiple individual bets into a single wager, with the segment’s revenue soaring by 17.2% year-on-year to $6.8 million.

In the meantime, baseball revenue climbed by 14.7% to $4.25 million, while for ‘other’ sports that figure was nearer to $1.5 million. Basketball, on the other hand, was a net negative for sportsbooks which lost $537k on games, while the Nevada’s race books also saw their revenues dive by 7.1% to $3.2 million.

Has Sports Betting Expansion Impacted Nevada?

While some analysts thought expanded sports betting throughout the nation would cannibalize Nevada’s sports betting industry, it would appear that it may be helping to grow the market after all. As Michael Lawton explains:

“We felt that the expansion of sports wagering could have a positive effect on our business with increased acceptance and exposure. It is very early. However, this month would support that theory.”

Over the past 12 months, Nevada sports wagering has now generated $275.6 million in revenue, having enjoyed an average hold of 5.6% during that time. It also boasts a phenomenal winning streak dating back to July 2013.