Nevada Casinos Post Second Consecutive Revenue Drop in August

Nevada Casinos Post Second Consecutive Revenue Drop in August

Nevada’s casino market saw its revenues slip by 7.7% to $913 million in August, representing two straight months of decline, and marking its lowest point of the year. Nevertheless, analysts had predicted a difficult comparison versus the same month in 2017 which featured a busy calendar of events, including “The Biggest Fight in Combat Sports History” between Floyd Mayweather Jr. and Conor McGregor.

Market Analysis

Overall, slot machine revenue was 1% lower at $618.3 million, while table games tumbled by nearly 20% year-on-year to $294.7 million, with double-digit losses recorded across most card games. This includes blackjack plummeting by 25.7% to $80.5 million, craps down by 14.2% to $26 million, roulette falling by 18.5% to $22.2 million, and baccarat posting a relatively more moderate 8.7% decline to $92.7 million.

The state subsequently collected $46.8 million in fees and taxable revenues in August, and commenting upon last month’s results, Michael Lawton, senior research analyst with the Tax and License Division of the Gaming Control Board, stated:

“People called it the fight of the century, and it was a pretty big draw and it drove a lot of those gaming numbers for last August. We didn’t have an event this August that was anywhere near replicating something of that magnitude. We knew going in that this was going to be a tough month for us.”

Las Vegas Slides By 12.4%

As one might expect, the Las Vegas Strip had much fewer high rollers in town compared to last August when “The Money Fight” took place at the T-Mobile Arena. Consequently, gaming revenue fell by 12.4% to $477.9 million, with Lawton blaming the Strip casinos for 90 percent of the revenue decline. Once again, the slot machine segment posted a slight 1.3 percent revenue contraction, while table game revenue took a major hit and contracted by almost 23 percent.

Other Markets

In addition to the Las Vegas Strip, other markets also experiencing revenue declines last month included downtown Las Vegas lower by 4.8 percent at $46.2 million, and Boulder Highway casinos down 16.3 percent to $62.2 million.

The year-on-year losses were not replicated across the whole state, though, with casinos in Reno generating revenue of $61.6 million, up by 7.3 percent, and Lake Tahoe casinos raking in $26.8 million, up 4.7 percent from a year earlier.

Sports Betting Wins $12.6M

The Silver State’s 191 sports books won $12.6 million in August, according to the figures released yesterday by the Gaming Control Board, which represents a 62.89% drop from last August.

The sport providing the highest returns for sportsbooks was baseball which won $8.28 million in August, or 3.78 percent less than a year ago, followed by football down by 9.02% at $6.02 million. Basketball, however, was down 32% year-over-year and racked up $901,000 in losses. The “other” sports betting category, which excludes football, basketball and baseball from its result, also sank by 106.28% to a $1.244 million net loss last month.

Visitation Figures

Las Vegas visitation figures noted a slight 0.2 percent drop to 3.56 million people compared to August 2017, while citywide occupancy was also down by 0.9 percent at 87.7 percent. The average daily room rate, by comparison, was up by 2.1 percent at $115.67.

Convention attendance, on the other hand, jumped by almost 18 percent to 646,500, recovering nicely from the 19.5 percent drop the sector suffered in July. According to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority (LVCVA), its figures benefited from a rescheduling on the convention calendar for its trade shows. The Black Hat conference, for instance shifted from July 2017 to August 2018 and brought in 17,400 attendees, while the Orgill Fall Dealer Market attracted a further 32,000 people.

Overall, McCarran International Airport catered for 4.31 million passengers in August, up 1.5 percent year-on-year. As a result, passenger numbers are currently 2.7 percent higher at 33.23 million for the first eight months of 2018, putting it on track for a record year. From that figure, international visitation was up 6.9 percent to 344,601 last month, while domestic flights improved slightly by 0.8 percent to 3.9 million.