Nevada Casinos Up 7.7% to $1.02bn in February

Nevada Casinos Up 7.7% to $1.02bn in FebruaryHaving generated revenues of $1.01 billion in January, Nevada casinos have continued their winning streak into February with $1.02 billion earned from gamblers, representing a 7.7% increase versus the same month last year. The state subsequently collected $44.2 million in tax revenues in February, down by 15% year-on-year, according to the latest results released by the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
Gambling Verticals
Breaking the numbers down further, statewide slots revenue posted a modest 4.17% gain to $605.58 million in February, while table games saw their business jump by 13.27% to $412.33 million. Nevertheless, it was the baccarat tables which accounted for the month’s impressive growth with its revenue of $177.3 million higher by 80% year-on-year. Meanwhile, blackjack was down by -17.22% ($88m), craps down -12.33% ($31.2m), and roulette lower by -5.55% ($36.4m).
Baccarat Huge Upswing
Nevada’s revenue surge can be explained by the Chinese New Year falling in  February this year as opposed to January in 2018. According to NGCB Senior Research Analyst Michael Lawton, this then led to an “expected” revenue increase in some of the world biggest gambling hubs, with Macau receiving 960,000 visitors in February, and its casinos generating 22.2% more business at $3.2 billion.
Likewise, many Chinese tourists decided to visit Las Vegas for the New Year period, which is evident from the huge 80% baccarat gains reported. Many of the state’s baccarat tables are located along the Strip, which also hosts the most popular hotels of choice for wealthy Asian travelers, and February’s numbers now push the vertical into the black for 2018, with the Strip gross gaming revenue (GGR) reaching $1.158 billion, or 0.6% higher compared to the first two months of 2017.
Poker Revenue Higher
Nevada has 64 poker rooms offering a combined 590 tables throughout the state, around 470 of which are located in Las Vegas. Last month, poker revenue then amounted to $8.96 million statewide, representing a 1.4% gain versus last year. The Las Vegas Strip’s 18 poker rooms and 276 tables subsequently earned $5.62 million in February, higher by 0.7 percent year-over-year, meaning that overall Strip poker  revenues for the past year have now reached $78.38 million, or higher by close to 1%. Furthermore, statewide poker revenue have posted a steady increase in popularity for a year now, and have returned year-on-year growth in 9 out of the past 10 months.
Sportsbooks
Poker’s winning streak, however, pales in comparison to the state’s sportsbooks market which in February extended its winning streak to 55 consecutive months. Moreover, Nevada sportsbooks experienced their best February to date in terms of handle (amount wagered), which surpassed the $400 million mark for the first time ever.
In fact, February’s $411.7 million handle marked a $30 million increase over the same month last year, and in a sign of its continuing growth was a massive improvement over the $290 million collected three years ago. On the flip side, the
hold (revenue) came to just 2.6% of the handle, or $10.7 million compared to last February figure of $20 million.
Examining the vertical further, Super Bowl wagers amounted to $149 million in February, up by $15 million over last year, although football revenues as a whole were actually lower for the month. Elsewhere, basketball wagers were static at $213 million, while the “other” sports category, which includes hockey, saw its wagers increase to $44 million from $30 million for February of last year.
Looking ahead, analysts are anticipating bumper handle and revenue figures next month as March Madness heralds the biggest month of the Nevada sportsbooks calendar outside of the football season. Last March, Nevada’s sportsbooks generated a record $475 million, with some analyst believing that the $500 million may be surpassed for the first time in its history. Nevertheless, the situation may soon change if New Jersey manages to have the Professional and Amateur Sports Protection Act of 1992 overturned in the Supreme Court this summer, thus paving the way for the industry to be more evenly shared throughout the country.


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