Las Vegas Super Bowl bet pays off with February gaming revenue record on the Strip

March 28, 2024 3:04 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
March 28, 2024 3:04 PM

Las Vegas’s big bet hosting its first Super Bowl paid off in a big way as Strip gaming revenue rose 12% to $800 million to set a February record and, with a strong convention calendar, increased monthly visitation by nearly 300,000. It also boosted overall state gaming revenue by $105 million compared to 2023 – the sixth highest revenue month of all time.

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The Nevada Gaming Control Board released its February figures Thursday that showed statewide revenues rose 8.5% to $1.34 billion, up from $1.23 billion in February 2023.

On the Strip, the $800.7 million, aided by an 82% increase in baccarat win over February 2023, easily topped the last year’s $712.3 million and marked the fifth highest Strip gaming win of all time. Besides the Super Bowl, Chinese New Year fell over the same weekend as the game; it was in January last year.

The amount of credit issued for table games, $1.9 billion, was the highest since December 2014. This exceeded the second-highest amount in November 2023, $1.8 billion by 7.7%, the Gaming Control Board reported.

“The Super Bowl, along with Chinese New Year and February having an extra day, created extremely supportive tailwinds for gaming activity in Nevada and the Las Vegas Strip,” said Michael Lawton, senior economic analyst for the Gaming Control Board.

The numbers are for February gaming win only; casinos will report hotel and other revenues in their first-quarter earnings reports in late April and early May.

With an extra day from the leap year, a notable year-over-year increase in available rooms, a strong group segment, and the Super Bowl, there was a robust increase in visitors and record‐breaking room rates, according to the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority.

Visitation for the month increased by 9.5% increase to reach 3.37 million visitors or just shy of 300,000 more visitors than February 2023. Conventions helped boost visitation, with 764,800 in February compared to 663,400 a year ago, an increase of 15%.

Las Vegas hosted the National Association of Home Builders show and the Kitchen & Bath Industry Show (a combined 100,000 attendees), along with the rotational returns of National Auto Dealers Association (24,000 attendees), International Roofing Expo (13,000 attendees), and several mid-sized shows.

Other special events in February included Bruno Mars returning to the Dolby Live venue at the Park MGM from February 1-9. Christine Aguilera performed four shows at Voltaire at the Venetian beginning on February 2. Weekends with Adele continued her residency inside the Colosseum at Caesars Palace throughout February. U2 continued their residency at the MSG Sphere Arena February 2-18.

Despite the larger room inventory versus last year, overall hotel occupancy for the month surpassed last February by 1.7 points to reach 83.9%. Weekend occupancy reached 90.3%, up one point year over year, while midweek occupancy came in at 81%, up 2.2 points year over year, according to the LVCVA. Downtown occupancy was 71.1%, up 3.5 points. Strip occupancy was 86.6%, up 1.4 points.

Driven by dramatically strong rates during the Super Bowl, the average daily room rate for the month exceeded $248, while revenue per available room hit a record $208, a 43.5% increase.

Excluding the Las Vegas Strip, statewide gaming win increased 3.2% or $16.8 million.

Other jurisdictions, however, recorded lesser gains than the Strip.

Locals casinos recorded $242 million in revenue in February, up 3.9% over February 2023. Downtown Las Vegas had $76.1 million in revenue, only a 2.7% increase from the year-to-year $74.1 million. The Boulder Strip recorded an extra $400,000 in revenue compared to 2023, a gain of 0.55%. North Las Vegas fell 4.4% to $23.7 million.

“By segment, the impact of Durango Casino & Resort continues to show with the balance of Clark County gross gaming revenue up 7.4% year over year in February, while both the Boulder Strip and North Las Vegas segments were essentially flat to down mid-single digits,” according to Deutsche Bank Analyst Carlo Santarelli. “Durango opened December 5. On a quarter-to-date basis, Las Vegas locals gross gaming revenue is up 4.2% Y/Y.”

Elsewhere in Clark County, Laughlin dropped nearly 8%, while Mesquite rose 1.1%.

Northern Nevada, attracting fans of the San Francisco 49ers, who played the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, posted strong numbers in February. Reno gaming revenues rose 10% to $60 million. Sparks rose 3.3% to $13.8 million. North Lake Tahoe fell 5.3%, while South Lake Tahoe rose 13% to $21.3 million.

February represented the 36th consecutive month that the state has recorded at least $1 billion in monthly gaming win.

The Strip’s slot win decreased 2.4% or $9.3 million, with a $170.2 million (3.5%) increase in coin-in. Slot hold was 7.7% versus 8.1%.

The Strip’s games win totaled $419.7 million, increasing 30.3% or $97.7 million and drop totaled $2.8 billion, which increased 34.8% or $734.1 million. Games hold percentage was 14.7% versus 15.2% last year. The win total was the third highest total all-time and volumes were the sixth highest total ever recorded, the highest since December 2013, Lawton said.

Strip baccarat win totaled $180.5 million and was up $81.2 million or 81.9%. Volume totaled $1.0 billion, up 47% or $325.5 million, and hold was 17.7% versus 14.3%. Total win excluding baccarat increased by 1.2% or $81.2 million, Lawton said.

Twenty-one win totaled $107.8 million and was up 20.8% or $18.5 million. Volumes were up 45.5% or $263 million.

Craps win totaled $34.4 million and increased $8.6 million or 33.4%. Volumes were up $26.3 million or 15.4%.

Strip sportsbooks won $24.7 million, a year-to-year increase of $2.2 million or 9.9%. Volumes were up 6.7% or $21.9 million.

Nevada sportsbooks won $47.9 million, up 16.1% or $6.6 million compared to February 2023, on a hold percentage of 6.73% versus 6.26% last year. Sportsbook wagers totaled $712.3 million, up 8% or $52.9 million compared to last February. Mobile wagers totaled $423.8 million, up 5.4% or $21.6 million, and accounted for 59.5% of total wagers. Football wagers totaled $190.7 million and increased 23.9% or $36.8 million over February 2023.

Statewide baccarat volume hit $1 billion and was comparable to a pre-pandemic Chinese New Year. This year’s total was the fifth highest out of the 13 previous Chinese New Year periods going back to 2012.

Statewide baccarat win of $180.1 million increased 75.5% or $77.5 million and baccarat drop of $1 billion increased 45.5% or $323.2 million. Baccarat’s hold percentage was 17.4% versus 14.5% last year.

Statewide gaming excluding baccarat increased 2.4% or $27.7 million, Lawton said.

Table, counter and card games win of $514.6 million increased 24.2% or $100.1 million and games drop of $3.627 billion, increased 28.6% or $806.9 million over February 2023. Games hold percentage was 14.2% versus 14.7% last year. Games win was the third highest total all-time and volumes were the second highest total in state history. The December 2012 all-time record was $3.66 billion.

Twenty-one win totaled $132.5 million and was up 15.6% or $17.9 million. Volumes were up 38.9% or $282.3 million.

Craps win totaled $44.7 million and increased $8.1 million or 22%. Volumes were up $29.0 million or 12.4%.

Slot win of $827.6 million increased 0.6% or $5.0 million and coin-in of $11.8 billion was up $352.9 million or 3.1%.