Nevada: Boosted by Strip baccarat win, August gaming record set

September 29, 2023 3:45 PM
Photo: Shutterstock
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports
September 29, 2023 3:45 PM
  • Buck Wargo, CDC Gaming Reports

Aided by strong hold in baccarat on the Las Vegas Strip, Nevada set a record for August gaming revenue, marking the 30th consecutive month it has exceeded $1 billion. Year to date, state gaming revenue is up 3.6%, while the Strip is 5.8% higher through the first eight months of the year.

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Nevada recorded $1.209 billion in revenue in August, .07% or $789,000 higher than August 2022’s $1.208 billion. The Strip earned $666.7 million in revenue, 1% or $7 million higher than the $659.7 million in August 2022, according to the Nevada Gaming Control Board.

The state and Strip, however, would have taken a year over year loss if not for baccarat. Statewide total win excluding baccarat decreased 1.7% or $18.7 million. Statewide total win excluding the Strip decreased by 1.1% or $6.2 million, according to Michael Lawton, senior economic analyst with the Nevada Gaming Control Board.
On the Strip, total gaming win excluding baccarat decreased 2.7% or $15.1 million compared to last year, Lawton said.

The baccarat win of $116.2 million increased 20.2% or $19.5 million and the baccarat drop of $661.8 million increased 5.9% or $37 million. Baccarat’s hold percentage was 17.6% versus 15.5% last year.

One area to watch going forward is slots. The August slot win recorded its first year over year decrease in 2023 and the first decrease since July 2022.

In a historical comparison, August’s total win of $1.2 billion is 3.5% higher than August 2021. Nevada continued to record gaming win amounts in excess of pre-pandemic levels this month. Statewide total win was 26.8% or $255.7 million over August 2019, Lawton said. When compared to August 2021, the Strip’s gaming win increased by 5.2%.

In August, the Strip benefited again from a residency, concert, and sports calendar. The Soccer Champions Tour featuring a match between FC Barcelona and AC Milan played at Allegiant Stadium. Maroon 5’s residency, M5LV, returned to Dolby Live inside the Park MGM. Weekends with Adele returned to the Colosseum at Caesars Palace. Beyonce’s Renaissance World Tour performed at Allegiant Stadium for two nights.

Beyonce’s performance went on in the face of several hundred flights being canceled going into and leaving Harry Reid International Airport.

Deutsche Bank reported that the locals casinos’ $247.6 million in August revenue was down 1% year over year. Slot revenue of $208.4 million was down 3.5% year over year, as hold was down 5 basis points to 6.9%. Handle was down 3% year over year. Table revenue of $39.2 million was up 15.1% year over year, as hold of 16.5% was up about 195 basis points and table drop was up 1.4%.

Downtown Las Vegas reported $64 million in revenue, an .83% decrease over August 2022. North Las Vegas fell .74%, while the Boulder Strip fell 6.2%. Mesquite fell 3.3%. Laughlin fell 4.4%.

Reno increased 2.2%. Sparks rose 4.7%. North Lake Tahoe declined 17%, while South Lake Tahoe fell 11.3%.

August was considered a solid month with 3.31 million visitors, up 4% over 2022’s 3.19 million. According to Kevin Bagger, vice president of research for the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority, weekend occupancy was largely on par with last year, while midweek’s notable gains were supported in part by a strengthening convention segment. This included such recurring shows as ASD Market Week and the Summer 2023 Las Vegas Market show at World Market Center, which took place in August this year compared to July in 2022.

Overall hotel occupancy reached 80.3% for the month, an increase of 3.5 percent year over year as weekend occupancy came in at 89.7% and midweek occupancy reached 77%, surpassing last August by 4.8 percent, Bagger said.

Convention attendance was 647,600, 64.3% higher than the 394,100 in August 2022.

Average daily room rate growth continued in August, approaching $159, some 7% higher year over year, while revenue per available room exceeded $127, a gain of 11.9% year over year.

Statewide in August, table-game win of $380.1 million increased 5.2% or $18.7 million. Games drop of $2.4 billion decreased 1.2% or $28.1 million from August 2022. Games hold was 15.79% versus 14.85% last year. Slot win of $829.2 million decreased 2.1% or $17.9 million and coin-in of $11.6 billion was up $76.1 million or 0.7%. Thje Slot win percentage was 7.14 versus 7.34 in August 2022.

Nevada sportsbooks won $18.1 million, up 12.7% or $2 million compared to August 2022 on a hold percentage of 4.2% versus 3.9% last year.

Sportsbook wagers totaled $431.3 million, up 5.5% or $22.6 million compared to last August when $408.7 million was wagered statewide. Mobile wagers totaled $316.7 million, up 18.1% or $23.8 million, and accounted for 73.4% of total wagers.

The Strip baccarat win was up $22.1 million or 24%, with volume up 6.4% or $38.6 million; the hold was 17.8% versus 15.3%.

The Strip’s slot win totaled $368.3 million, a decrease of 3.4% or $12.8 million. Coin-in totaled $4.8 billion and increased 3.1% or $145 million and slot hold was 7.64% versus 8.15%.

The Strip’s games win totaled $298.4 million and increased 7.1% or $19.8 million; drop totaled $1.8 billion and decreased 1.8% or $32.5 million and hold percentage was 16.5% versus 15.2% last year.